Instead I want to talk a little about what kind of writing I do on those “look at me” days. No matter how busy (or flat out exhausted) I maybe be, I do make it a goal to write every day without exception. To me, however, the act of writing doesn’t necessarily mean I have to write something new every day. It just means I spend time working on something writing related every day.
That might mean a blog post, a revision, a critique on Scribophile, resubmitting a rejection, working on a cover letter, or even (gasp!) actually writing. On days where I’m super-busy, super-worn-out, and borderline apathetic, I’ll admit to taking it easy, but taking it easy still means spending at least a half hour picking out links for my Friday post or catching up on my Theme of Absence submissions.
The point is you have to keep working toward your goal, even when all you want to do is give up and go to bed. And sometimes that little push to get yourself started is all it takes. For example, one night last week, I told myself I’d spend fifteen minutes brainstorming the next scene in a novel, but then I ended up writing over a thousand words in that one sitting.
Anyhow, the way I see it is, you don’t have to “write” everyday, but you do have to work on writing every day if you have any hope of getting where you want to be.
Here are a couple of related (and opposing) articles on the topic that are worth a look:
From Salon.com: Nicholson Baker’s best advice: Writers must write every day
And from Cal Newport: “Write Every Day” is Bad Advice: Hacking the Psychology of Big Projects
No matter which side you pick, just make sure you’re doing something to reach your goal, or you never will.
What’s your take? Write every day? To what end? A scene? A blog post? A word count? Or do you only write when inspiration strikes?