Write every day (just don't publish every day).

Written by Cole Schafer




 To become Jerry Seinfeld, you need some hustle, some moxie, some skill (you definitely need skill) and you need consistency.

When Seinfeld was first writing jokes, he learned consistency by challenging himself to write a joke a day.

Every day he successfully wrote a joke, he’d yank the cap off his black sharpie and draw an “X” in his calendar. After two to three days, he’d have what he would call a “chain”.

Anytime he had the urge to take the day off, he’d remind himself… “Don’t break the chain”.

When I was picking up the pen for the first time, this story really resonated with me. It was bar none the best writing advice I ever received.

It’s a practice touted by Seinfeld and a few other prolific writers writing in a wide array of different genres and mediums.

Brian Koppelman, the great screenwriter behind the wildly addictive tv-series Billions, challenges budding writers to write 750 words a day.

Stephen King (does he even need an introduction?) recommends that writers write six days a week while taking just one day off to rest.

Seth Godin, the master marketer and author of over 18 books, has said that starting his daily blog was one of the best career decisions he’s ever made and recommends everyone do it (both writers and non-writers alike).

However, there is a caveat.

While writing every day (or nearly every day) is certainly, inarguably a worthwhile practice, it seems folks are confusing “writing” with “publishing”… and there is something fundamentally different between the two.

A difference most apparent on platforms like LinkedIn where “thought-leaders” are running in the wrong direction with the wisdom, spewing out poorly-written regurgitated self-help in the form of bizarre single line posts.

(For those unfamiliar with what I’m referring to, it’s called “broetry”).

The problem in publishing every day is that not everything you write is “publishable”. In fact, some of it is complete and utter shit so toxic, so heinous that if it were a planet it would be uninhabitable.

This isn’t a knock against you nor I nor the Linkedin thought-leaders (well, maybe the LinkedIn thought-leaders)…

Even the best writers to ever live wrote shit.

However, the difference between writers like Hemingway, Kerouac, Woolf, Bukowski and Leonard… and us is that they didn’t have a glowing button on their screen reading “tweet”, “post” or “publish” that worked like a mini-dopamine dispenser every time they gave it a tap.

So, when they wrote every day, they had ample time the next day and the day after and the day after that to sift out the gold from the shit.

When publishing every day, you aren’t giving yourself that time.

So, do as Seinfeld and Godin and Koppelman and King suggests, write every day (just don’t publish every day).

But, I digress.

By Cole Schafer.