Sunday, January 22, 2006

"Write Something Every Day"

As promised, this week I'm starting my series of posts on Truths and Myths about writing. Each time I post, I'll start with a truth or myth about the writing life, the publishing industry, etc. Hopefully you'll enjoy some of these secrets, tips and tricks.

So let #1 is "Write something every day." What do you think? Is that a truth or a myth?

You've probably read this advice before or heard a writer say it: you should write something every day. But I disagree. I say that's a MYTH.

You shouldn't write something every day. You should take at least one day a week off. God set the example for us by resting on the seventh day, and we should take a cue from Him. Believe me, I've tried writing every day. But if you work without any break, sooner or later, you're going to burn yourself out.

The only way to stay fresh and inspired is to give yourself a regular break from your writing. I usually try to take either Saturday or Sunday off. And if I have a supertight deadline that forces me to work through the weekend, then I take one day the following week off. And if I've been working real hard on a big project, I'll take 2-3 days off. The key is: give yourself a break.

But don't get me wrong. This isn't an excuse.

The truth is, those who say you should write every single day have learned a secret about writing: If you want to be successful, you need to write regularly. So write 5-6 days a week. Write something every one of those days. Don't wait for inspiration to hit--just sit down and write, whether it's 10 pages or one short paragraph. Something is better than nothing.

Until next time--enjoy writing!


Christopher Maselli


Spatula said...

Hey Chris, perhaps we should ponder the true meaning of the word "myth" before we shoot it futher into the depths of the misunderstood. A myth does not, in fact, have to be something false. You may be familiar with this discussion. If not, please let me know and I'll continue.

Respectfully yours,

Camy Tang said...

I totally agree with you that taking a day off is a good thing. When I was working full time and working on my second and third manuscripts, I found I wrote more efficiently if I took a day off from writing each week--for me it was Sundays.


Mary said...

I think every writer has to find their own routine. What works for one, doesn't work for another. So I do agree that "write something everyday" is a myth for some writers. Sometimes I go weeks without sitting down to write.

Christopher Maselli said...

spatula--hmm...not sure what you mean, but I wouldn't get too hung up on the word. It's just there to as a nice way to get people interested in the topic. :)

camy--I entirely agree! Good stuff.

mary--That's true, each writer has to find their own routine. I would try to write something almost every day though. Sometimes I too go a while without writing, but usually that's because I'm not forcing myself to get my rear in the chair...which is also a great thing to do.