6 Months and 128k Words:​ 5​ Lessons Learned from Daily Writing

By Liz Froment •  Updated: 06/20/17 •  9 min read

About three years ago, I decided I wanted to start a daily writing practice. I immediately set a goal that I’d never actually achieve: 1,000 words a day.

You can guess how long my writing practice lasted….

6 Months and 128k Words-- 5- Lessons Learned from Daily Writing

Two days.

Writing 1,000 words was absolute torture. It made me feel worse about my writing than ever.

And when I couldn’t even make it a week, I felt like a failure.

About a year and a half ago, I decided to give the daily writing practice another try. This time, I was going to be smarter about it. I set my goal: 750 words a day.

Since I sort of learned a lesson from my last try, I figured this would be better. Plus I could use a tool like “Write or Die” set my word count and go.

That one lasted…maybe a week.


I started strong, as I do with most things, and then began to fade. Having to write so quickly using Write or Die was fine for my word speed but not great for my thoughts.

Once again, I was stuck with no ideas and I faded out.

Failed again.

Considering I make (most of) my living from writing, this lack of a practice has bothered me ever since. I didn’t know ‘why’ I wanted to do it, I felt that I should.

After all, writers write, right?

About six months ago, I gave the daily writing practice another shot.

This time, it stuck.

daily writing practice

The proof!

From October through December 2016, I wrote over 60,000 words. From January through March 2017, I wrote over 65,000 words. And now, I’m rounding the corner to the end of my third quarter of writing, where I should hit close to 70,000 words.

By setting this practice, I’ve finally been able to write every day. I’ve also learned some extremely valuable lessons along the way, and that’s what I’m going to share in this post.

I know a lot of people struggle with this. I was right there with you. And to be honest, it’s still a struggle (more on that below), but hopefully, my lessons learned might help you along the way. 

Daily Writing Lesson #1: Start Small

It’s no surprise my first foray into getting going was set for disaster before I even started. Yes, there are plenty of people who could go from writing zero words a day to 1,000.

This girl was not one of them.

When I set that goal, I thought I was pushing myself. Instead, I picked something that was too far out of reach for me.

While I usually never have a problem with reach goals, I went from couch potato to marathon, instead of couch potato to 5k. It’s hard (like, really hard) to go from zero to awesome, most people need to make a few stops along the way.

This time, I gave up my ego and started small.

I went with 500 words. That small shift made a huge difference for me. Since I’d been freelance writing for a while, I was pretty confident that I could sit down and bang out 500 (coherent) words quickly.

That means I’m not sitting for two (!) hours trying to hit my count.

Somedays, I get into the zone and I can sit for two or more hours happily typing away. But if I’m not feeling it, I can spend 15 minutes, check it off my list, and move on.

With each quarter, I add more words.

Right now, it’s 700. Basically, I add 100 words every 3 months. I’m on track to hit that precious 1,000 words a day around the end of the year.

Lesson #2: Remove the Pressure

Another reason why my first (and second) attempts at this failed was because I was putting too much pressure on myself. I thought my 1,000 words had to be Pulitzer Prize winning.

So when I’d read through my 1,000 words and found 100 that were ok….let’s say it didn’t inspire me to write the next day.

I had to learn to remove the pressure.

When I started my third try, I put zero qualifications on what I wrote. Well, almost zero. There was only one rule: it could not be client work. Anything I wrote had to be good for Liz Froment, Inc.

That means what I write can be anything that promotes me or my freelance writing business is fair game.

I allowed myself to write crap, or gibberish, or ideas, or rants, or la la la la la over and over again. It didn’t matter what I wrote, I had to write something.

As I went on, the gibberish and la la la’s decreased and the useable words increased.

While a portion of my words don’t see the light of day, I’ve been able to churn out more content in the last six months than I ever have before.

This includes writing more here at Location Rebel, a bunch of guest posts, tons of pitches, a brand new blog on books, newsletters, and opt-ins. Most of that stuff had been on the back burner for years.

Learn How to Make Your First $1,000 Freelance Writing (in 30 Days or Less)

Join over 40,000 people who have taken our 6 part freelance writing course. Sign up below and let’s do this together.

By entering your email address you agree to receive emails from Location Rebel. We'll respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Lesson #3: Everyone Should Start Journaling

I was never one to keep a journal or get my thoughts down. But as I started writing more, frankly, I need to come up with stuff to write about.

Welcome to the jungle that is my brain.

Developing a daily writing practice was something that came out of a course I took from Taylor Pearson called The Effective Entrepreneur. As part of that course, actually, at the start of it, we had to write both 25 year (!) and 90-day goals.

I found it interesting that writing was a big part of both of my goals – so I knew I had to create a system that included a daily writing practice.

My first few days of writing I spent a lot of time thinking about those 25 year and 90-day goals. I found myself journaling a ton.

And, you know what? It was great!

It allowed me to get my thoughts out there, and more often than not, I was able to work through issues, develop plans, and become a little bit more self-aware.

So while I used to think the concept of journaling was a little too “woo woo” or new age for my tastes, especially in the context of a daily writing practice, now I embrace it.

As I’ve gone along, using my daily words as a journal has decreased quite a bit, but I still find it a valuable way to get myself organized with plans. And, I always devote a few days to journaling as I come to the end of every quarter so I can review my progress and plan for the next few months.

And, I always devote a few days to journaling as I come to the end of every quarter so I can review my progress and plan for the next few months.

Lesson #4: Create a System

Here’s a lesson within a lesson: To get anything done consistently, create a system around it.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned along the way, and not with the writing practice, is that when I create a system instead of a goal, I get things done.

Here’s my system:

Step 1: I only worry about writing in 90-day chunks. Each of my 90 days has a daily writing goal with a number.

Step 2:  I have a recurring task on my daily to-do list that is daily writing. It’s staring me in the face every time I open a new tab.

Step 3: Finally, I use a writing tool that lets me easily see what I write every day.

For me, it’s BlankPage. It’s actually setup for authors who write books, but I use the ‘book’ feature as each quarter and the ‘chapter’ feature as my days.

daily writing practice blank page

A sample of my BlankPage posts from earlier in June.

BlankPage lets me set a daily goal and title each of my ‘chapters’ with the title and a date. This way, I know exactly what I wrote about so I can go back if I need to and pull out ideas or outlines.

I have the BlankPage bookmarked, with the icon directly in the middle of my browser, always in eye line. So when I look up, it’s a daily reminder to write.

On days when I’m struggling to get anything done, I will tackle my daily writing first. More often than not, it will give me that spark of creativity and push to move forward.

Lesson #5: It’s Not Automatic

Ok, I have a confession. There are days I don’t write.


Before you scratch that record and call me a fraud, hear me out.

What I’ve found to be incredible, is after close to 180 days of a writing practice, there are still days I forget to write. You know when everyone tells you it’s 21 days and something is a habit?

Yea, not so much for me.

Some days I realize I completely forgot to write. One week in May I had friends visiting and I didn’t write at all.

Here’s the thing though, I make up for every one of those days. If you scroll through my BlankPage account, you’ll see 90 days of writing inside every quarter.

The vast majority of those days I wrote on the day it was dated. But for some, I had to sit my butt down and bang out thousands of words to make up for what I’d missed.

I know for a fact if I don’t sit down and make those days up then this writing practice will 100% go out the window. I’d guess that part is the 180 days. It’s more than likely if I had missed three or four days in a row in that first quarter, I wouldn’t have gone back to write.

Now I always do.

I think you have to be ok with missing a day here and there. It’s not the end of the world if it happens. And when it does, sit your butt down and make up for what you missed, don’t dwell on it.

Some Parting Advice…

Those are my lessons learned. But, here’s my advice. If you want to start a daily writing practice, do it.

Right now, today.

Open your email, or Google Docs, or BlankPage, or TextEdit, or the Hemingway Editor, or even a good old-fashioned notebook and just write.

Write 100 words if you want to start small. Or write for 5 minutes straight.

Then tomorrow, do it again.

Trust me, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

Liz Froment

Liz Froment is a full-time freelance writer and the one who keeps Location Rebel running like a well-oiled machine. If she's not writing something informative or witty for her clients, she can most likely be found reading a good book.
Learn How to Make Your First $1,000 Freelance Writing (in 30 Days or Less)

Join over 40,000 people who have taken our 6 part freelance writing course. Sign up below and let’s do this together.

By entering your email address you agree to receive emails from Location Rebel. We'll respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.

16 comments on "6 Months and 128k Words:​ 5​ Lessons Learned from Daily Writing"

  1. Andrea Torti says:


    No matter what people say, starting small is often a good idea: setting the bar too high is the recipe for disaster, while graduality is the best way to achieve long-term goals.

    1. Liz Froment says:

      Totally agree, made all the difference for me.

  2. Christoph says:

    Thanks so much for this! I want to get a personal blog going for some time now, but I am still at zero posts.
    I’ll write daily starting from now (no commitment to whether it will be published)!

    In fact, I just banged out 246 words into a google doc.

    I’ll try to think of writing as I do of running: It’s not only that I started running, no, I stopped NOT running! No matter what, I’ll at least start a run (maybe easy to say after just 41 days…). The same thing should work with writing.

    1. Liz Froment says:

      Sounds like a great plan, Christoph. Start small and don’t worry about what you write. Just do today then worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes. Starting small is your best bet!

      1. Christoph says:

        Yes, that small start is very helpful.

        I have one question: Did you improve your writing just by doing it daily, or do you have some kind of feedback system that helps you improve?

        1. Liz Froment says:

          Probably a combination of both. I think because I write daily I’m getting better at writing. It’s also given me more confidence to more pitching with guest posts and writing jobs. I’ve gotten more yesses lately than no’s so I think that helps with the quality of the pitches and submissions. So they sort of tie together.

  3. Such a great post, Liz. I’d love to know more about your journaling process… is it structured, ie are there certain questions you ask yourself, or is it more a free-writing process?

    I’ve definitely learned, after writing 25+ books, that the more you write, that the easier it is to do, and that the easier it is to do, the more often you’ll do it. Consistency is key, with anything. Showing up, doing the work, NEVER puts you on the wrong path 😉

    1. Liz Froment says:

      It’s only really structured journaling around the start and end of the 90 day period. Then I go through and look at my goals from the start, what I did weekly, what worked, what I need to improve on, what was a waste of time, etc. Then I plan out my next 90 days.

      The rest of the time it’s pretty much freewriting, I might not go into it thinking about doing a journal but maybe I’m struggling with getting things done at the moment (or something like that) and writing it down will help clear my head.

      I have found that I do way more brainstorming now, which has really helped. It leaves me more organized, in general, and my posts have more of a structure.

      Next it’s back to the books for me 🙂

  4. Hi Liz,

    Your article is very inspiring to me. In my case, I do too much journaling and not enough writing 😉
    As a challenge, I’ll start writing every day with 300 words (baby steps) and keep increasing this value every quarter. This should help shaping my “writing muscle”.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. Liz Froment says:

      Hi Steve, that’s great starting with 300 words! Baby steps all lead to big steps 🙂

  5. Stephanie says:

    Great post, Liz, and thanks for the push. My prior attempts at daily writing probably sound familiar — a streak of 2 … maybe 3 days at most. I have to keep reminding myself that perfection is the enemy of progress … as a life-long perfectionist, that’s a hard one.

    You mention going back and making up for the missed days writing — any tips not beating yourself up too much and getting back on track? Do you try to make up all the days you missed on the same day? Or does it take you a couple of days to catch up?

    Thanks again!

    1. Liz Froment says:

      Thanks, Stephanie. I certainly have perfectionist tendencies too, and that got me stuck the previous times. Like Annie said in her comment, making it so everything doesn’t have to be publish ready is a great way to start. And also, honestly, just giving yourself a break, it’s ok for what you write to be crap. It might sound backward, but for me, the first priority was getting into a daily habit, THEN came getting better at writing. I think doing it that way helped me take the pressure off because I knew I wasn’t going to be publishing anything.

      As far as the making up stuff. I only had one time (when my friends were here) that I didn’t write for a long stretch. So, I took I think it took me around 3ish days to make up all that. Every other time, I’ve just missed a day at most and make it up the next day, which is relatively easy if I’m writing a blog post.

  6. Annie says:

    Great advice, and inspiring! I’ve especially benefitted from #2 and #3. Removing the pressure is HUGE. I started writing regularly when I quit expecting everything I wrote to be publish-ready. And journaling helps so much with coming up with ideas and getting the words flowing.

    1. Liz Froment says:

      Awesome, Annie! I totally agree and that’s a great way to put it, realizing every word doesn’t have to be publish-ready takes a lot of the stress off. Keep it going!

  7. Susan Velez says:

    Hi Liz,

    I actually started out writing a blog post every day or every other day when I started my blog. I was pumped.

    I even got to the point where I am 3 months ahead with my posts. Now, I have seemed to have difficulty writing.

    I can’t remember the last time I wrote. I need to get back into the habit of writing.

    It definitely makes it easier if you can develop the habit of writing.

    I am going to use some of your techniques and see if they work for me.

    Thanks for sharing, have a great day 🙂


    1. Liz Froment says:

      Hi Susan, Wow so impressed you were able to get that far ahead with your posts!

      One thing that might help is just switching up what you’re writing about. You could do that in a business sense by working on guest posts, or pitches, or re-vamping your website, or an email series. Or you can just inject more fun into it. That might be journaling, or a short story, or thoughts on something you loved to read, or fan fiction. Things like that can kickstart things and make writing fun (again).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *