The Thing I Do Like About Writing Every Day
Even when I don’t write every day.
There lots of people out there who will tell you that in order to be a real writer you need to write every day. Otherwise you won’t improve at the rate you need to improve, you’ll lose Caboodles-worth of momentum, and random folks on twitter will know you aren’t serious about your craft.
I do not do that. Perhaps I am not a “real” writer. That’s not for me to decide. But, you can be the judge. (Seriously. Be the judge. I have like 100,000,000 words on this site and I’d love it if you read all of them, you crazy, judgy, magical person.)
Why don’t I write every day?
Well, there are days when I’d rather jump in a lake and dedicate some of those precious hours to lying on my watermelon floaty and staring at the clouds.
There are days when I’m sick and I hate everything.
There are days when I have work to do and it’s non-writing work and at the end of the day I just can’t drag my writing brain out of the work-related tunnel it’s crouching in.
There are days when the city simply must be explored and, if it isn’t, it might explode into a zillion little pieces of gray confetti and WHOSE FAULT WOULD THAT BE? It would be my fault.
Plus there’s sushi and friends and a husband who needs me to listen to full Bruce Springsteen albums with him every now and then.
And, to give the internet its due, lots of folks are divided on this whole “a real writer writes every day” thing. If you employ a little google-fu, you’ll find lots of writers having in depth arguments with imaginary foes over this very issue.
I’d love to put them all in a ring together and let them wrestle it out. The winner gets to decide what a “real” writer does!
But, for now, we have to decide for ourselves.
I would love to write every day.
I imagine it’s even harder for those who have sticky children demanding grilled cheese sandwiches at all hours of the day. Or those working crazy hours just to get by. Or those with health issues that demand attention and care. Or even those who have lots of different interests and would like to spend one day a week drawing an evil flower instead of writing.
Sure it’s the american way to just do it and stop making excuses, then shame everyone else who isn’t doing it… but a girl needs a nap every now and then or she might turn into a supervillain. That’s a very real danger for me. I don’t want to blow up Gotham. But I get grumpy when I’m tired.
And isn’t there something dangerous about ultimatums? About the relentless demand for perfection? Anyone who has ever attempted a diet knows those hard lines will be the death of your plans.
Unfortunately we are humans and not robots.
(I know. There’s not much I can do about that right now, so it’s a fact that must be accepted.)
Setting a rule that your nonrobotic brain is bound to break is the fastest way to make yourself feel like a failure. And writers already deal with family-sized pickle jars full of self doubt. (I assume. Not me, of course.) Doesn’t beating yourself up today make it even harder to dust off the old Word Document tomorrow?
Don’t pressure yourself to write everyday. Leave a little elbow room so you don’t drive yourself nuts.
But this article is titled: “The Thing I Do Like About Writing Every Day.”
“What the hockey pucks, Sarah?” you must be thinking. “Is this another one of your twisty posts that makes me want to throw “professional hugger” onto the top of my resume and move to Spain to become a performance artist?”
No, I’m just being honest with y’all. Even though I don’t write every day, there are things I like about writing every day. Why is that?
Each day I write is a day I think. There are so many things in life I can set to autopilot, but I can’t do that with writing. To write, I have to turn my brain on. I’m forced to turn things over and to look at them from different perspectives. I can’t just absorb and accept and follow the whole ordeal up with one of my trademark splats.
So, maybe on the days I write, I’m a little more alive, the candle’s burning a little brighter and the static in my mindscape gets dialed back just a smidge.
I can only assume the same is true for you.
So, while I’m not going to write every day, and you probably aren’t going to write every day, either, let’s try and write most days.
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