Manufacturing the Writing Muse: Consistency


I hope everyone who began first drafts is finding the joy in it, and those of you well into a first draft already are chugging along. Did you start with a certain approach, i.e., plotting, pantsing, or plantsing? I hope your muse has been helping you out. If not, today’s post should offer some insight into what I call manufacturing the writing muse. Now that you’ve begun the work, it’s time to keep going, even when you reach the motivational slump in the road.


One of the simplest, but sometimes the hardest, ways to manufacture the writing muse is consistency. The great thing about consistency is that you can scale it to your experience level. You can follow Piny the Elder’s advice of Nulla dies sine linea (Not a day without a line.), set time goals, or word counts. The choice is yours in how you want to show up every day. Often, it’s recommended that you set a certain time to write, and then return to your desk at the same time the following day. This recommendation isn’t limited to writing. Many weightlifters have their religious workout times that every morning they’re in the gym, no matter what. And often the ones that stick with it have the results to show its power.

The reason you want consistency is it trains your mental resilience of writing. The early doe eyed writers may fight back and say things along the line of “I don’t need resilience to write, I live off my muse and they’ll never leave me.” And I hope it lasts like that for them as long as possible. If they never leave that state, they are the proud few. But for people like me, I hit my ruts, and I need something more reliable than my muse to keep me writing. So writing every day has been a goal of mine since I got serious about my writing.

Building Consistency into Your Writing

Nulla dies sine linea (Not a Day Without a Line)

This approach is pretty simple. Don’t let a day pass without writing a line. This could be a sentence or more, but the goal here is to get your mind used to at least one line of text a day. Examples might include a line of text in your manuscript, research notes, character outlines, etc. There are endless ways you can meet this goal, so long as you write every day. Often, this will turn into more than just a line. So turn nulla dies sine linea into your writing motto for the next month and let me know how it goes!

Time Frames

Working with time frames is a great way to build consistency. Whether you’re writing for an hour every day or you write from 0900 to 1000, getting your mind used to focusing on writing for set periods of time will build that writing resilience. For those of you with more structured schedules, using the set time to write each day can help you find a good flow in your day that balances with your regular life. It doesn’t matter for how long, so long as you sit down at the same time every day, remove all other distractions (or at least as many as possible), and work on your writing.

For those of you with more erratic schedules, try setting lengths of time to write. For example, 15 minutes on your lunch break, an hour a day total, break it into multiple shorter writing sessions to meet your goals. Either way can work for you. I’ll write on my breaks during work days since I work 12s. What are some ways you might break down your time to write for a certain amount of time each day?

Word Counts

Consistently writing a set amount of words each day is like doing repetitions in a workout. Let me give you an example. The year I “won” NaNoWriMo I didn’t just start writing 1667 words every day on November first, but from June to October I increased my word count from 300 to 1600 words every day to get me ready for NaNoWriMo. Now, after that I got burnt out and my numbers dropped back down to a healthier level of like 500 to 1000 words a day, but building the daily habits of writing a set amount of words every day works your writing muscles. The goal of a word count can help when you realize you get distracted in your time frames you set aside. What is an easy word count goal for you? Bump that up 10% and try that next time you write. Don’t push yourself into burnout, but push yourself closer to success.


After today’s post, you should have some ideas for building consistency in your writing. This is one of many ways to manufacture your writing muse. The next few weeks we’ll address some day of approaches that can help you push through the funk of the writing slump. Do you already have a consistent writing schedule? Or is this something you plan to implement? Either way, work with the style that best suits you. If you agree with, or have other ways to build consistency in writing, add them in the comments below.

As always, keep writing, keep learning, and stay fresh, my nugs.

Previous: Writing Your First Draft

Next: Manufacturing Your Muse-Mirror the Greats

2 thoughts on “Manufacturing the Writing Muse: Consistency

  1. Pingback: Writing Your First Draft – Myers Fiction

  2. Pingback: Manufacturing Your Muse: Mirror the Greats – Myers Fiction

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