Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Give me a break... or not

I had a thought sometime last night that lasted to now. It's about writing all the time. It's one of the top pieces of advice. Write every day. I tend to roll my eyes at that. Do I really want to write every day? Not really. I usually do. If I'm not working on one of my stories, I'm writing a blog post. Yet I keep rolling my eyes at that piece of advice. Us writers deserve a break don't we? It's not going to hurt if we take one day off and not worry about writing. Our muses deserve a little rest, right? RIGHT?

Enter my thought.

I can't really complain about writing every day. As of this post I am still unemployed so I have a ton of writing time. I have too much writing time. Really, I need to stop bitching about other writers saying we should write every day. Not everyone gets to write ever day and some want to write every day. Now I'm not saying I'm changing my mind about giving the muse a break every once in a while. I'm just saying I need to shut up.

I'm going to keep talking though.

Maybe what really gets me is the obsessiveness over writing every day. OMG I need to get writing in!!! The world will end. No, it won't. The world will keep on ticking if you let those five minutes you could have squeezed writing in by.

I guess that train of thought goes against my laid back personality. The other day I didn't write a single thing. I was busy. My two BFFs came to hang out with me and we went and played with bouncy balls and hula hoops in Walmart. Then we went out to dinner and made even bigger fools of ourselves via whipped cream. Making a fool of yourself for fun is hard work (also so is walking in three inch heels) so by the time I got home I was beat. Writing just didn't hold any appeal. Could I have written something? Oh hell yeah but I didn't and I really see no big deal about it.

The moral of my story (if there even is one. I'm just typing out words in hopes they make sense) sometimes you just don't write. Whether it's life or procrastination, sometimes you just don't get the words down. Don't beat yourself up though. You'll get another chance to crank out those words. I promise the world will be here tomorrow. (And if not I'm very sorry for misleading you.)


  1. I agree. In a lot of cases, the days you don't write are the days that give you inspiration to write something tomorrow :D

  2. I don't think you should beat yourself up for not writing every single day, but at the same time you should be aware that as you get older time changes speed.

    It's not really something you can really appreciate until you exprience it, but it's going to start whizzing past, so if you can get yourself to put in the hours now you won't regret it.

    Moody Writing

  3. I think the main thing is to make a habit of writing on a regular basis, be it a little every day or just marathon sessions on the weekends. Some people (and I've been guilty of this at different times over the years) like to placidly day dream about writing without ever knuckling down and really doing it. The old "write every day" sentiment is mostly for their benefit, I believe. It's meant to impress upon them the need to actually do the work, to adhere to the discipline of a routine. A book can be a long hard slog, as you know, and it's not all romance and glamour. Sometimes you have to force yourself to sit down and do it, if you ever hope to get it done. "Write every day" is that little crack of the whip meant to drive you on to do it. It doesn't, I believe, have to be taken completely literally. If you're really doing the work, which I know you are, if you're doing and not just dreaming, then I think you're on the right track, and you certainly deserve a day off now and then. If you've got the words on paper to show, then you've earned it.

  4. Wow, three good comments. Thanks, I feel better about my complaining.

    Bryan, I think you have the best point about it but I have seen people who no matter what believe every writer should write every day.

  5. I used to let this "advice" get to me and dictate how I should live - especially while I was in an MFA program. I felt like a loser when I went a day without writing. Once I got a "real" job I tried to write every day just so I wouldn't forget what I love to do. But the thing is... I DO love it. I always thing about it, and like Jamie said - just because I'm not actually putting words on paper doesn't mean I'm not writing. Sometimes I need to think about a story, or get an idea that clicks and makes me WANT to write. You have to live life to write about it!

  6. I can write without being in front of a keyboard. Sometimes you need to sit back and just let the muse do her talking while you go about other things.

    Though there is never a time when I am not thinking about my novellas, be it the writing/editing, or how I want to parse out that information.

  7. Last week/weekend I was too busy to hop online for 5 days. No writing, reading, or comment returning time. It was VERY hard for me, but also very healthy to have a vacation. :o)

  8. Interesting that you mention having "no excuse" not to write because you're unemployed. So am I, and frankly I get less writing done now then I did when I was working full time.

    Having a job forced me to get my butt out of bed and get to work, so my mind was geared for action. It was easy to translate that into sitting at my desk and writing a few hundred words almost everyday. Now, with no demands on my time, I feel lazy. When I think about writing, I move in slow motion, and this little nagging voice in my head keeps saying, "nah, just do it later."