Many of us are only part-time writers. The rest of the time we’re balancing home life, work, school, college, and a multitude of demanding tasks. It’s not unheard of to go days without writing. Sometimes we have no choice in the matter, sometimes we do. The question I’m asking is: should we be taking advantage of every opportunity to write?
Jason Rekulak said in his book The Writers Block: "Real writers usually write every day, whether they feel like it or not. Don't allow the limitations of your physical condition to interfere with your mind; don't make excuses for yourself!"
Garrison Keillor, writer and radio personality, has his own twist on the subject, "You can write a comedy when you're sick, when you're lonely as a barn owl and your head hurts and your friends are mad at you. It's just work, that's all, and you go do it if you need to."
I class myself as a ‘real writer’, and I’m sure those of you reading this do too. Do I write every day? Rarely. I’m not quite sold on the matter. So I’ve asked my friend, author of the best-selling Daughters of Saraqael trilogy, Raine Thomas what she had to say on the matter.
"The advice I give aspiring authors is to write something--no matter how short--every day. Over time, those ‘little bits’ of writing will add up to a lot. Yes, editing will be required and it won't be polished on the first attempt, but you'll have a complete project. The boost to a writer's self-confidence once that first novel is finished is truly something to behold! That said, even the most dedicated 9-to-5 employee occasionally needs a break. Whether it's a sick day or a vacation day, she's off of work because she requires time to recoup. Writers are no different. We need time to recharge and gather our creative energy. The key is to balance time off with productive time, much in the way a dedicated employee of a company does. I try to keep this advice in mind in the course of my own writing career. I happen to have a full time (often 50+ hours per week) career as a wedding planner, and I'm also a wife and mother. That means my writing time is relegated to after 10:00 p.m. when everyone is in bed until I can no longer keep my eyes open. Even though my life right now dictates that my writing occurs in sporadic amounts of time, I do try to write something every day. As a result of this approach, I completed the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy in less than nine months from start to publishing. Trust me--if I can do it, any writer can!"
Thank you, Raine, those are wise words.
As Raine said, editing is always required. The truth is that every writer has to revise manuscript eventually so it doesn’t matter if you write poor on a sick day: you can insert new lines, cut paragraphs and swap words around during editing.
I'd advise, and I'm sure others would also, that you try to write something every day. Even if it's just a page a day you'll have a novel in a year (or nine months like Raine and Josephine Angelini.) Personally, after trying to write every day, I’ve found that it gets easier after about half an hour of solid writing.
How do you remain productive? Do you write every day?