A Writer Should Write Every Day

There are many pieces of writing advice that are declared as things a writer must do to be taken seriously. The above is one of them.

I do agree that writers should get into a routine of writing, just like any other job (because taking writing seriously is a job). Routine helps you to get into the frame of mind for writing and makes you more disciplined in your craft, in the same way as deliberately sitting at a desk, rather than lounging on the sofa as you write. (I would also add that getting dressed does the same, which, even as I type it, I know is going to annoy all those writers who love to lounge around in their PJs whilst writing, and talk about this as one of the joys of working from home.) However, writing every day, without fail? If you make writing into a chore that has to be done no matter what, rather than something you enjoy, I think that's a route to failure, a route to frustration and a route to burnout.

We all need a rest to recharge our batteries. Yes, you can go for a walk and come back to it, but that's not really a rest. If you work on your writing Monday to Friday, you shouldn't feel guilty about taking the weekend off to be with your family, or to go window shopping, or to read.

In fact, I believe that reading every day is far more important than writing every day, and, in a roundabout way, also counts towards writing time. Everything we read adds to our writing knowledge. We absorb the form of the words, the style and tone of the story, the seemingly effortless craft behind it. Plus, it's relaxing and enjoyable. Even reading something we don't particularly enjoy imprints within our minds what we don't want our writing to do.

So, next time you hear someone shouting this rule from the rooftops, I would suggest that you don't stop pruning the rosebushes, or building that sandcastle. You really don't want to feel the burn.

March 2019

Image credit: Woman burnout multitasking face by geralt at pixabay.com.