Informing anybody, “This is how you walk up the mountain” is excellent, as long as the path stays steady for everybody and is not, state, already cleaned out and now serving as an unsafe trek laden with bees and tigers. Writing advice is often offered with this SACRED TABLET CARVED BY GOD HANDED TO AUTHOR FROM ON-HIGH ambiance, as if its Gospel Good News rather of, say, a proclamation of preference marinaded in a salty broth of survivorship bias.
Writers as individuals and as a community are often, perhaps even constantly, in discussion with themselves which neighborhood about the nature of writing. The primary Badminton birdie that is whacked about comes in the type of composing suggestions– do this, do not do that, certainly dont do that other thing, never this, always that, holy fuck you did what, and so on etc.
So! That leads us to the concern du jour, which Ive seen walking around social media a bit–.
Should you compose every day?
So, compose every day if you wish to, and it feels best to do so.
At that time, I had to compose every day. There came a point, after transitioning from freelancing to novel-writing, where writing every day was burning me the fuck out. People desire to tell you how to compose since it helps to inform them how they write. The objective is to write when you can compose, and like I stated, push where you can push.
And when they dont, you change. You course-correct.
It worked, obviously, till it didnt.
Writing guidance is often given with this SACRED TABLET CARVED BY GOD HANDED TO AUTHOR FROM ON-HIGH vibe, as if its Gospel Good News instead of, say, a proclamation of preference marinated in a salted broth of survivorship bias.
Go write. If you wan na.
Without shame or difficult sensation. With generosity to yourself.
When I run, as I stated, I run 3 times a week. Unless I do not. And if I dont, I forgive myself and proceed to the week after, when hopefully I do (and so far, have, outdoors winter). If there comes a time I cant, I still will not kick myself– Ill attempt to see why the schedule isnt working, and what needs to change about it. Since things work up until they do not.
At that time, I needed to write every day. Not simply to keep up with word count, but likewise because it was beneficial to me. Dare I state, vital that I did so. Vital due to the fact that I actually needed to construct that muscle which schedule. It stopped me from falling behind on the work, but it also assisted me enter a rhythm with that work. To some degree, it was like one finishes with workout: as a runner, and with the weather condition getting warmer, I will run three times a week, even if I dont wish to. As long as Im not hurt, Ill run. If it draws and I hate it, even. I run.
Here, let me inform it by doing this:.
Being available in 2021 …
For a time during this pandemic I wasnt composing much. (Read: at all.) Part of that was down to the reality I had a great deal of modifying to do (which, yes, is part of composing, undoubtedly; see how I currently dinged myself on that one?). Part of it was, well, we were in a pandemic. In a year of violence. In an election year. It was tough to get going. All my processes had taken a beating. We d all taken a beating– and I state that as an individual of fantastic privilege. I got back to it. I pressed. Not hard. Just a little here and there. Its like physical therapy: you wont arrive if you do not apply, however you also cant exert so tough you break the thing youre attempting to fix. You never want to break yourself. And yet the work is the work. Which is to say, often you likewise need to recognize that holding yourself to some high-yet-reasonable requirements is itself a taste of compassion. To rely on yourself, to say, I can fucking do this, is a favor from you to you. Often, generosity is eating the ice cream. Other times, generosity is knowing you cant constantly consume the ice cream. Balance and moderation.
Maybe you cant– possibly you work, or have a family, and its simply not an option. The goal is to compose when you can write, and like I stated, push where you can push. Thats it. Theres no response. Theres no equation with missing variables, resolved when you address for X. Its just attempting a lot of stuff, failing at a few of it, and being successful sometimes. You zero on what works for you today, while acknowledging it might extremely well change for tomorrow. All while discovering the Goldilocks just-rightness of working hard on your own, and being kind to yourself.
Thats writing, to me, a lot of the times. Discovering that sweet area between self-accountability and self-forgiveness. Theres effective magic found when wandering that interstitial surface, and you just get there by reaching a different element of yourself:.
Who you are and what you compose and even more, how you write, is something literally no one else can tell you. Should you write every day? Maybe itll do the one till it does the other, because things work … up until they do not.
” Ah-ha,” you say, “Im getting what youre setting. Your all-caps snark has made it clear to me that I, a writer, absolutely do not require to compose every day. Got it. Boom. Done.”.
I do not know what you need to do, is the point.
That worked for me for a very long time.
( Only a Sith offers in absolutes, I state, definitely.).
So it was with composing.
Things work up until they dont.
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When I was a Young Writer, Wet Around The Neck (which is not a saying, I dont believe, however I like it and Im opting for it), I didnt know what the fuck I was doing. The act of writing was great, but where I fell down was the discipline of it. I became a self-employed writer and I had deadlines out the small and big colon, and to establish both discipline and skill, I wrote every day.
Writing advice, and the conversation around is, is constantly to help you crystalize and contextualize your own way of doing things. And often, its there to challenge them. I was a pantser at the start of my profession until I recognized I had to– needed to!– be a plotter to get a book done. But Wanderers was a book I composed without an outline. Was Dust & & Grim, Book of Accidents, and Wayward. I was a pantser, then a plotter, then a pantser. None of this is irreversible. Im not irreversible. My works will alter and how I approach them will change, too.
People wish to inform you how to compose since it helps to tell them how they write. It validates for them that they are on the course of great, and it succeeded, will continue to succeed, and if you do differently, then what does that state about them? However thats hollow. Thats coming out of a location of worry and vulnerability. They want to inform you how to compose due to the fact that theyre afraid they do not know how, themselves. By speaking suggestions aloud as “rules” they codify it and control it, but accidentally, they might be providing you bad guidance. And it might be harmful suggestions if internalized as The One True Way, particularly when tangled up with a variety of mental diseases like depression, anxiety, or ADHD.
There came a point, after transitioning from freelancing to novel-writing, where composing every day was burning me the fuck out. I was writing, what, 4 or five books a year? I recognized what had occurred and over time I changed how I wrote books.
Because thats in some cases the suggestions, right? Compose every day. Butt in chair. Every damn day. Put words to paper. And after that it goes further– if you do not write every day, are you really even an author at all? Or are you just a poseur, a trifler, an imposteur masquerading as a propeur autheurrrr. WHAT IF YOU DONT WRITE EVERY DAY, WILL YOU DIE, YOULL PROBABLY DIE, YOULL FALL INTO THE ABYSS OF WORDLESSNESS, YOU FOOL, YOU ABSOLUTE FOOL.
Or do not.