If there is one maxim that haunts the life of every writer, it is this one.
You should write everyday.
The saying has been around since – well, not since the dinosaurs roamed the earth, but it has been around for a while. Since it’s been around for a while, it has gathered a bit of well, controversy around it.
There are two sides (as I see it) that people take about the saying.
The first side says: YOU HAVE TO WRITE EVERY FLIPPING DAY OF YOUR LIFE AND IF YOU DON’T YOU AREN’T A REAL WRITER. YOU ARE AN IMPOSTOR AND SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF AND YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL WEEP FOR YOU.
Ahem. That’s side one.
The second side says: Don’t worry about it! You don’t have to write every day! Do what works best for you! Never let anyone tell you if you are a real writer or not! You can be who ever you want to be! *throws sunshine and confetti and sprinkles and rainbows*.
Might I suggest – DARE I suggest…a middle ground??
*loud gasps from the audience*
Let me explain.
*someone requested that the next blog posts have gifs. So there are gifs*.
It’s the principle that counts.
I don’t agree with the first side. Because writer or not – we’re people. We will get sick. The holidays will come around. Life will get busy. Accidents will happen.
There is no physical possible way to write every single day of your life. If you need to take the weekend off – take it off. It doesn’t strip away your status as a writer. Week long hiatus? Fine.
Writing every day in and of itself doesn’t make you a writer, and it is an impossible expectation.
Now the second side.
Hmm…this is well – I think stated poorly and a little too much sunshine and rainbows for me.
Because while I would certainly tell someone that they don’t have to write every day to be a writer, I would also tell them:
You need to write every day.
(Ok how on earth does that work you are not making any sense right now)
Because of what I said in the very beginning: It’s the principle that counts.
Writing every day is the epitome of being a writer. Dancers dance every day. Painters paint. That is if we all had perfect lives and nothing else to do and never got burned out.
While you won’t be able to write every day, writing every day should be your mindset. Because life always gets in the way, and if you say to yourself “it’s ok. I’m still a writer if I don’t write today. Or tomorrow or the next…”
Suddenly you’re not pushing yourself and you’re hardly writing at all and you’re just sitting there.
There is a time and place to not push yourself. Sometimes you really do need a break. But to be honest, if you want to be serious writer you need to also push yourself.
Write every day. Don’t be hard on yourself during the days and weeks (or months) that you don’t write, but write every day.
It’s basically like eating healthy. You eat healthy for your regular meals. You eat healthy most of the time. But that doesn’t mean that one dreary morning you can’t grab a donut on your way to work, or have chocolate cake for your birthday, or that one sugar-loaded frappe on a hot summer day.
That’s what writing every day means. It should be your mindset. Not the law, but your mindset.