An earlier post was titled “Write Every Day.” This advice was a bit hyperbolic. It was designed to garner attention and encourage aspiring writers to pursue writing diligently and take the craft seriously. Even so, it is far from an absolute law or inflexible rule.
The points are:
- write regularly
- write when you don’t feel like it
For some that may dictate writing every day. For others it may mean establishing a schedule that works for them.
When I began exercising, I elected to do so seven days a week. It wasn’t long before exercising became a drudgery that I could scarcely endure. Wisely, I decided to take one day off a week, pursuing my discipline for six days and resting the seventh. (You might assume that Sunday was chosen to be my day off, but it was not. I skip Saturday, as that is a day when I am generally more active anyway and apt to give myself a workout through physical labors.)
The same applies to writing. It might be unwise and counterproductive to push yourself to write every day, sans breaks. You might be further ahead to regularly schedule a day off.
While some writers do report writing every day, only taking a break at the completion of a project, others take one day off a week or only work weekdays. Others, with many demands on their lives, can only write on the weekends.
The point is to figure out what is reasonable for you, what works for you, and what is sustainable. Then make a schedule—and stick to it. If you don’t, you will likely never meet your goals as a writer.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.