You Need to Write Every Day – Despite Not Getting Paid

I’d written and published four journal papers, a few conference papers and a PhD Thesis containing forty thousand words, but I still had a lot to learn about writing fiction and a long novel.
I hadn’t tried to find some time outside of work to write every day, as other things were consuming my needed time.
I told myself my novel would keep until tomorrow and that I could write at the weekend when the time was less important.
When I finally had the guts to sit down in front of the blank page and do my work, I could barely remember where I left off, as I didn’t know about outlines and I was just pantsing the story.
It took too long to pick up from where I left off the previous time. If I missed a weekend writing session because of, unknown things always interrupt, that meant I went an entire week without writing my novel.
I needed a daily writing routine that I could fit in around my job and my lifestyle, but I didn’t have that essential structure implemented in my life.
Then, along comes a short story competition that is inexpensive to enter and you get feedback from the judges. I had to write a short story limited to 1500 words about one person that was the only one to see an alien. I found the contest, entered it and realised I only had one week to find a scenario and write the first draft so it could be submitted for a week’s workshop where myself and the other contestants would read each others story and critique. It took hard work to generate a story and edit, critique and submit. If I had been writing every day, then things would have been more natural and fluid in reading my work. The more you do something, the more it becomes natural.