People who take my copywriting course often want to know how often they need to write. Usually, these are busy people. Time available to write is often limited.
This question often reminds me of archery practice.
On average, I go to archery once a week. In winter this drops to once every two weeks, depending on the weather. This level of practice is only enough to maintain a consistent level. I’m consistently poor at archery.
Each time I shoot, I spend 75% of the session trying to remember what I was doing the previous time. Just as the memories flood back and I get into a rhythm, the session ends and I forget everything again. When you shoot infrequently, finding your form feels like chasing your own shadow.
The same problems affect occasional writers. When you only write once every 1-2 weeks (or less), it takes longer to get going. Time from draft email to published email increases dramatically.
With an infrequent publishing schedule, you also get out of the habit of researching. I’m always on the lookout for email ideas, because I know I have to produce five of these emails per week. Once you know what you’re going to write about, the rest comes with practice and feedback.
Developing skills is an important part of anything you take on. Unless you see a clear development in your abilities, it’s easy to become discouraged, and give up. I haven’t given up archery because I enjoy the process more than I care about the results. Still, it’s more enjoyable when you’re shooting well.
The only time I’ve really improved as an archer was at university, when I shot three or four times per week. I suspect the same is true for writing. I choose to write every working day; partly because daily habits are easier to maintain, and partly because it’s a demonstration of what I do.
If writing every day is too much of a commitment, three times a week is a reasonable target. I think most people can ‘make time’ to write three times a week. You’ll notice a big difference compared to writing less frequently.
You can read more about my copywriting course, Nurture Email Mastery, here.