Monday, March 3, 2014
One of the most persistent myths in the writing pantheon is that "serious" writers write every day.
Like many myths, this one contains a kernel of truth, namely that many writers do write every day. The rhythm and discipline of sitting down every day is important to some writers, and many of them believe so wholeheartedly in their own process that they elevate this to "requirement" status. They can't imagine not writing every day, so it becomes an ironclad rule and some hector others as unserious.
I've said this several times before, but I still see this myth repeated so often I feel like it's time to chime in again. You don't have to write every day. You really don't. I certainly don't write every day.
I'm not a morning person, so I can't wake up early to write in the mornings. And after a long day's work, I'm usually too mentally exhausted to write. So I get my writing done on weekends.
Moreover, I find the breaks between writing times to be very beneficial. Those breaks are ideas times, when I'm letting my mind wander, making free associations, and planning what I'm going to write when the weekend comes. By the time I finally get back to the computer, I'm ready.
Does this mean I write more slowly? I don't think so, actually. I wrote all three Jacob Wonderbar novels in 6-8 months. I just had to carve out quite a bit of time on the weekends.
Don't let other writers shame your style. You don't have to write every day. Unless you do. Whatever works for you. Just get the job done.
Art: Captive balloon with clock face and bell, floating above the Eiffel Tower by Camille Grávis