I’ve noticed that there is a crap-ton of advice or writing tips out there on how to be a consistent writer and why you should be a consistent writer.
The problem I’ve been facing lately is figuring out if writing consistently works for me. I keep getting the impression that if you aren’t writing every day or meeting a goal word count, then maybe you aren’t as dedicated as a good writer. But does writing every day mean that you’re a good writer?
As a full-time student, I hardly ever had time to work on my projects; I was too busy reading books and writing essays for my classes that by the time I had free time, the last thing I felt like doing was anything having to do with words.
Now as a full-time editor, nothing much has changed—except I still devote a lot of time and effort to my novel. I found that writing during my lunch break was a breezy way to fit in at least 500 words a day.
And it felt great. And it also felt not-so-great.
I fell into an obsession with working on the novel, and then with Wit & Travesty, it meant working on finding our place in the writing community and writing blog posts to keep things going.
I love this website. I love my novel. I just didn’t like the way the taskmaster in the back of my mind was cracking the whip. Gotta write every day. Gotta get that word count. You’re so close to reaching NaNoWriMo/Camp NaNoWriMo/that one writing challenge that quitting would be a disappointment. No blog post, no page views.
I think part of being a writer is that you have to find a system that works for you, rather than what works for someone else. I gleaned a few ideas from other writers and it seems like they’re all “right” answers, but they were different depending on their goals, deadlines, and normal life stuff that requires their attention. But they’re all awesome writers and they have killer projects.
Because let’s face it, I write miserable crap if I have a specific word count for the day. I would much rather be pleasantly surprised that I cranked out 1000 words without timing myself or eyeing the word count in the corner.
Ultimately, I think that if you miss a few days or if you don’t make the count, who really cares? As in, will your blog followers un-follow you because you are a poor example of a human being? Do the Writing Gods (long may they reign) frown when the juices aren’t flowing or you’re sick that day? In the end, when I “fail,” there’s only one disappointed soul and that’s me.
Maybe this is me trying to justify myself, but really, I’ve worked my butt off this past year on Destiny Seeker, and there’s a crap-ton of pages that I am proud of. I just think there are too many Pinterest quotes with candid shots of beloved authors that seem like rules rather than motivation. Some people are blessed to be able to write all day. Others like me don’t get to start until 5pm. I have things to do. But once writing becomes a chore, that’s when I have to regroup and figure out what’s absolutely necessary to achieve and what’s just unnecessarily stressing me out.
I’m taking my own advice and I’m only doing what works for me. I just hope that you guys look around and realize that you’re the boss. I’m not your boss—ain’t nobody else your boss. You’re the badass writer-boss.
What is your personal writer-boss formula for success? Share below!
6 comments on “Why it’s (a Little Bit) Okay You Don’t Write Every Day”
It’s simply relieving to know that I don’t have to write every day to feel like I’m a good writer. Like you said, if I did, most of what I write would be trash because it takes me a while, not only to come up with great ideas, but to elaborate them and embellish them as nicely as I would like them to be. Excellent article Whitney and Travis! Looking forward to more!
Thanks for your insight, Cami. What are your “tactics” for getting some good writing done? 🙂 For me right now, I just work on a scene and either proofread it or rewrite it altogether.
I thoroughly agree!
Just out of curiosity, why do you swear in your blog posts? It’s very unbecoming. Is an angry thug-type writer the type you’re trying to get across?
I’m occasionally a crass writer. 😉
Word. As in word for word the truth. I am one who recently exploded into writing every morning no fail. Then the teeth dilemma meds occurred and slomo time began. Now I shru . Today was the best writing time in two weeks. Always work to go do, chores at home. Sleep. Bleh. We find where we can fit time. We do what works.