Writing Every Day: Frankly, It’s Overrated

This post was originally posted to my Tumblr page in 2015. It has since been shared over 750 times, so it's clearly still relevant.

Have you ever been talking with a group of writers, and someone says that they write every day? Do you then feel like you are less productive as a writer, because you don’t write every day?

Stop.

Most writers, especially those with day jobs, don’t write every day. But if you had a group of 20 writers in front of you, and you polled them, many will claim that they do (especially if the first person in line says yes). Many of them are lying.

It is a total misconception that “real writers” write every day. In reality, many writers write most days of the week, but many more squeeze it in when they can. I swing between those two poles often.

Would I like to write every day? Sure. Do I have time or the mental capacity to write every day? Not a chance.

Why not?

Here are just a few interruptions to my writing that might sound familiar to you:

  • My day job
  • Spending time with my spouse
  • Working out
  • Holidays and funerals
  • Illness
  • Social engagements and social media
  • Mental or physical fatigue
  • Vacations

I will argue that interruptions in my writing flow are actually a GOOD thing. Why? Because on days that I really can’t write, but I really want to write, I’m hungry for writing. The hunger for writing reminds me why I write.

Also, as I’ve said before, everyone is a bad writer some days. Why cram writing into your day when you don’t have the time or energy? You will only write badly during those times. That is a waste of time. You’re just going to have to rewrite what you wrote later.

My advice:

Write when you can. Hold onto your creative flow the best that you can. Finish your first draft as soon as you can. And, never feel like you’re less of a writer for not writing every day.

A.M.

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