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highlyirritable
08-13-2009, 02:30 AM
Do you think a writer should write every day? Even when there is something really important going on, like a "Sex and the City" marathon on HBO , or the refrigerator needs cleaning?

I hear constantly that one should write daily, and although I struggle with this, I do attempt at least 15 minutes at the keyboard each day. Some days it works out great, while other days see results no more sophisticated than a list of things to do instead of write.

My blog has helped a bit. People email and ask where I am if there is more than a 2 or 3 day absence. It's an odd feeling to have people asking for more - at once both gratifying and suffocating.

But how critical do you consider daily keyboard (or pen and paper) time?

Lisa Cox
08-13-2009, 02:38 AM
Well I can't speak for everyone, but for me it's very important to write every day. Otherwise I run the risk of one day turning into two, and so on.

Norton
08-13-2009, 02:39 AM
Do you think a writer should write every day?

I don't think so.

RoseColoredSkies
08-13-2009, 02:47 AM
I usually try to but haven't had a heck of a lot of success of late. Perhaps its because I was in the middle of a move but I'm hoping to get myself back on track.

I really do need to get back in the habit writing a set amount of words a day (even if its something tiny like 1k).

Izz
08-13-2009, 02:55 AM
If you want to be a successful writer who understands your craft you need to develop good writing habits.

Writing daily can be a good way to develop those habits.

Juliette Wade
08-13-2009, 02:56 AM
I think every day - but I don't write every day. Because of my family obligations, I don't usually write on weekends at all. It's important to get into a pattern where you feel your momentum isn't falling off, but that can be relatively flexible.

scarletpeaches
08-13-2009, 02:58 AM
I write every day or I start making excuses as to why I should leave it 'til tomorrow...and tomorrow...and tomorrow...creeps in this petty pace from day to day...

Alan Yee
08-13-2009, 03:06 AM
I honestly don't write every day for various reasons, especially during the school year. I do write when I can, though. I think the important thing is to write regularly.

Wordwrestler
08-13-2009, 03:07 AM
I write in spurts, and I'm fairly productive (not as productive as others here). For the past five years, I've gotten at least one new novel done per year, while tinkering around with other ideas, revising old stuff, etc. I can go several weeks without writing, but usually I write several days per week.

This is partly because I have other obligations and partly because I like to give my brain a writing break and read for enjoyment, read about the industry, or just live for a while.

I think if I had a problem with not finishing my work, it might be unwise to take long breaks. Also, if I had fewer commitments outside of writing, I'm sure I'd write almost every day. So far this works for me, and I'm happy with the balance in my life.

Rez78
08-13-2009, 03:10 AM
I don't think it's that big of a deal if you miss a day or two of writing. It would be nice, really, to have the time and discipline to have a sit down and write something proper for our WIP projects in a daily basis.

I always have a notebook with me to have something to jot or doodle something on. While it helps capture ideas on the go, it's no substitute for a proper writing session.

For me, frequency in writing has had a less than stellar outcome so I just tend to go with the flow and write when I feel like writing. But then again, my livelihood doesn't depend on it. I'm sure my attitude would differ if I was earning a living as a full-time writer - in which case: Time to hustle baby!

For some people, I'm sure the daily writing comes more out of their need to get it out of their system.

I used to feel guilty when I didn't write/draw something everyday but you can't force it.

Ken
08-13-2009, 03:10 AM
... I've always felt that writing should be approached like a p/t job at minimum, equating to 21 hours per week or 3 hours per day. I've never had much talent or ability, though, so others may need to put in much less time to achieve their own goals.

McMich
08-13-2009, 03:11 AM
Writing every day would be a dream, but with a job and 2mo old baby, it is not reality. I would, if I could! At least I am thinking about ideas every day if Iam not writing.

Juliette Wade
08-13-2009, 03:19 AM
McMich, that is precisely where I have been! It will get better. I actually bought a cordless keyboard and raised the magnification on my computer so I could write while nursing...

Aggy B.
08-13-2009, 06:41 AM
I write more when I write every day (even when I'm actually spending less time total). But I also take breaks for a day or two off when I feel myself starting to wear down. (Lately that's been a lot because I'm just slogging along. Not bored, just feeling the weight of how many words I've written, how many left to write on the WIP.)

However, if I can't write for at least thirty minutes uninterrupted I find it's almost useless. It takes me about ten minutes to get into a groove so the really productive time starts after the "warm up." And, currently, I find that once I move past about three or four hours productivity starts to slump again. My goal is usually about two hours because it gives me enough time to warm up, get something done and then stop before exhaustion sets in. I try for this every day and it's made a huge difference in how much I produce and how much I complete.

I think some people benefit from setting weekly goals because their work habits/abilities are different and they can write for eight hours and be more productive than if they break the time up into smaller chunks.

Try a little bit of both and see where you wind up. :)

Cybernaught
08-13-2009, 06:43 AM
I write every day, even if it's only a paragraph or a sentence. Gotta keep exercising the brain. If you're serious about writing, you will make the time to write. I can easily see where you can take such a chunk of time by nixing your "Sex and the City" marathon.

Ruth2
08-13-2009, 06:44 AM
I try to write every day. I try to make sure I'm writing by 3 pm. If I can start earlier, then it's gravy on the cake... er, roast beef.

If I don't write every day, I fall into the trap of extending my one day vacation into two, then three, then a week.... and then a month. So I write. Every day.

bsolah
08-13-2009, 06:48 AM
I think it's understandable if writers don't and can't write each and every day. Life gets in the way, especially if you work or have other commitments. If you can't write everyday, I don't think it helps to beat yourself up over it.

But if you have the time, and it's only being spent watching TV, perhaps you need to work on your discipline if you want to succeed.

Also, I think writing each day, if that is what you can and choose to do, doesn't have to only include fiction or your WIP. I blog and try to blog most days. This has helped me immensely in maintaining a habit of writing, even if it is just a short post or some random thoughts.

aadams73
08-13-2009, 07:03 AM
It's important for me to write daily, otherwise I lose the thread. Writing is my job, my fun, my habit. Making time to write every day is not a hardship for me--it's a necessity.

Riley
08-13-2009, 07:12 AM
Do you think a writer should write every day? Even when there is something really important going on, like a "Sex and the City" marathon on HBO , or the refrigerator needs cleaning?

[. . .]

But how critical do you consider daily keyboard (or pen and paper) time?

Note: all of this is just my personal opinion.

Writing daily is critical. I've always told people aim for at least thirty minutes, even if you have to divide it up. If you want to get work finished more quickly, then work--really work--at least an hour a day. Typically, I would write for as many as four hours a day on weekdays, six on weekends and holidays, but it's a pretty heavy workload if you have many other responsibilities to attend to.

I think time isn't the most efficient way to gage your progress. Use wordcount. Even if you're writing some piddly article, use your wordcount. Establish a word goal you can handle. I'm fond of 2000 words personally, because it's not a difficult goal to reach if you type fairly quickly and you know where you're going. 1000 words is okay, I think, if you don't have a lot of time, but anything less and you might lose your momentum and momentum does have its place in writing.

Write at least five days a week, seven if you can, but don't be too hard on yourself if something comes up. Skipping a day or two of writing generally never hurt. Plus, "Sex and the City" is worth it. ;)

The Lonely One
08-13-2009, 07:24 AM
Do you think a writer should write every day? Even when there is something really important going on, like a "Sex and the City" marathon on HBO , or the refrigerator needs cleaning?

I hear constantly that one should write daily, and although I struggle with this, I do attempt at least 15 minutes at the keyboard each day. Some days it works out great, while other days see results no more sophisticated than a list of things to do instead of write.

My blog has helped a bit. People email and ask where I am if there is more than a 2 or 3 day absence. It's an odd feeling to have people asking for more - at once both gratifying and suffocating.

But how critical do you consider daily keyboard (or pen and paper) time?

It's doubly important when the refrigerator needs cleaning.

Libbie
08-13-2009, 07:47 AM
Do you think a writer should write every day? Even when there is something really important going on, like a "Sex and the City" marathon on HBO , or the refrigerator needs cleaning?

I think it's vital to write *almost* every day. Taking a day or two per week off is fine, and possibly necessary for most folks so they can recharge the creative batteries. But you must write most days, I think, in order to stay in practice.

I write every day for about ten or twelve days, and then have a couple of days of non-writing. I don't let myself get distracted by stuff, though, and use that as an excuse not to write. I plan non-writing days a few days in advance. On a writing day, I can still do things like clean the fridge and watch Bullshit (which I prefer over Sex And The City, thankyouverymuch.) But I have to get my writing in first, or once I'm done.

Discipline makes talent.


My blog has helped a bit. People email and ask where I am if there is more than a 2 or 3 day absence. It's an odd feeling to have people asking for more - at once both gratifying and suffocating.

But how critical do you consider daily keyboard (or pen and paper) time?

You're not a writer if you don't write. Sorry, but you can't call yourself one if you're not actually doing. Personally, I don't consider fifteen minutes enough time to really get into the flow and produce something worthwhile, but you could certainly be different from me. (It's been known to happen before, that others are different from me. ;) )

And personally, I do not consider blogging to be writing time. For me, as a fiction writer, writing time = working on fiction for a minimum of 2000 words. Sometimes I hit 2000 words in about half an hour; usually it takes about an hour to an hour and a half. Sometimes I'm on a roll and I get up to 5000 words or more during a single writing session.

I work full-time at a physically demanding job, often walking to and/or from work (it's an hour-and-a-half walk), and I'm married with pets and a home to care for. It's very easy to find excuses to not write. I'm often extremely tired after a day at work. But I don't have a right to call myself a writer if I am not writing on a near-daily basis. So I make the time for it. I do what it takes. It's allowed me to get 90,000-plus words down in about eleven weeks, in spite of my busy life and my demanding career.

So ask yourself: Do you want to have a spotless fridge and watch a TV show, or do you want to feel legitimate when you tell people you're a writer? :D

Edited to clarify: I think it's important to write frequently and to write seriously (i.e. more than 15 minutes, if you can't get into a good flow in so short a time, as most folks can't) because it's practice. You develop skills by practicing them. You can't become good at something if you don't put the time in. I know painters who paint every day. I know musicians who practice every day. I know fiber artists who spin and dye every day. I know carpenters who build gorgeous furniture every day. Or nearly every day, anyway. Like any other craft or art, if you don't work at it with regularity and focus, you're not going to go far.

finnisempty
08-13-2009, 08:48 AM
I don't know if it counts or not I usually write everyday in my journal. It's not much I just reflect and write down my plans for the day.

bsolah
08-13-2009, 08:57 AM
finnisempty, some people don't count that but I think developing a journaling habit or blogging habit is a very good habit to to get into. It allows you to use your basic writing muscles on a regular basis.

Smish
08-13-2009, 09:11 AM
I think you have to make writing a priority. If you can write every day, that's certainly best. If you cannot write every day, then I think it's important to have some sort of routine or schedule -- and stick to it.

Wayne K
08-13-2009, 09:21 AM
"When you find what is important in life, push everything else aside" I forget who said that.


He meant everything but beer, right?

Wayne K
08-13-2009, 09:24 AM
I lnow, this isn't the drunk thread. But hear me out. If I've learned anything since I got back from the liquor store it's this: If you love to write, then do it. Don't hurt yourself, and don't hurt anyone else in the course, and you'll be happy.

Libbie
08-13-2009, 09:51 AM
finnisempty, some people don't count that but I think developing a journaling habit or blogging habit is a very good habit to to get into. It allows you to use your basic writing muscles on a regular basis.

It's a great habit to get into, but I sympathize with the people (and I am one) who don't count that toward writing. Yes, it's writing, but it's not getting work done on the craft of writing fiction. As we all know, a lot goes into fiction that doesn't typically go into journaling or blogging. Creating worlds, creating characters, and writing specifically for readers rather than for one's self. These are all very important skills to have if one wants to be a serious fiction writer, methinks.

cooeedownunder
08-13-2009, 09:59 AM
I can't help but write at least something everday.

Wordwrestler
08-13-2009, 11:32 AM
It's a great habit to get into, but I sympathize with the people (and I am one) who don't count that toward writing. Yes, it's writing, but it's not getting work done on the craft of writing fiction. As we all know, a lot goes into fiction that doesn't typically go into journaling or blogging. Creating worlds, creating characters, and writing specifically for readers rather than for one's self. These are all very important skills to have if one wants to be a serious fiction writer, methinks.

I agree. There are different skills involved in writing fiction. Unless I were working on a memoir, I wouldn't consider journaling to count toward working on my craft. I also don't include letter and e-mail writing, list-making and planning, or writing posts on internet forums. I don't even consider writing poetry or essays to count toward my goal in improving as a novelist. These just require different skills.

bsolah
08-13-2009, 11:37 AM
Well considering this thread is in the 'Basic Writing Questions' forum, writers here trying develop a habit may not necessarily be writing novels, or indeed any kind of fiction.

I agree that if you need to write regularly in your own medium, whether it be fiction, journalism, poetry etc. but I also think a general habit of producing words in whatever form is useful and is something that has helped me write fiction more regularly.

Idkwiaowiw
08-13-2009, 11:39 AM
For me, if I don't write every day, I start to loose it. I just kind of NEED it, for the sake of my sanity

Wordwrestler
08-13-2009, 11:52 AM
Well considering this thread is in the 'Basic Writing Questions' forum, writers here trying develop a habit may not necessarily be writing novels, or indeed any kind of fiction.

I agree that if you need to write regularly in your own medium, whether it be fiction, journalism, poetry etc. but I also think a general habit of producing words in whatever form is useful and is something that has helped me write fiction more regularly.

Good point. Please note, though, that I mentioned what I consider writing time, for me, based on my current skill level and goals.

I do think, though, that once a writer has reached a point where she knows what she wants to write (at least for the near future) the best practice for that is to actually do it.

Wordwrestler
08-13-2009, 11:55 AM
For me, if I don't write every day, I start to loose it. I just kind of NEED it, for the sake of my sanity

I go through certain periods like this, when I'm really into a WIP, but I don't feel like this all the time.

The Rav
08-13-2009, 12:09 PM
I think it's more important to set goals about how often you want to write. If that means everyday for you, great! Your writing will do nothing but flourish because of it. If, however, your life just doesn't work out to allow you to write that often, sit down and decide how often a realistic goal for you would be. Personally, I make it a goal to sit down and write six times a week, though I do try and sit down to get words on the page that seventh day, too, when possible. So whatever works for you, but stick with it! :D

bettielee
08-13-2009, 12:51 PM
I must write every day, or I just go all to pieces, and it gets harder and harder to get back into it. In other words, the less I write, the less i write. The more I write, the more I write.

BriMaresh
08-13-2009, 12:54 PM
I never set out to write every day, but it's what I do, whether I try to or not. I find that I'm irritated on the days when I don't get around to writing, personally, so it's almost required for me.

I'm not a huge believer in write every day in a serious fashion, but it is good practice, and most people swear by it, so give it a swing. If it's not suited for you, work out another schedule for yourself (like an hour a day three days a week, or thirty minutes a day five days a week).

LOG
08-13-2009, 01:30 PM
I try to, but I often fail.

JamieMT
08-13-2009, 10:22 PM
At least two days a week, my blog posts *are* fiction, so I do count those posts as "writing". :-) But I still work to get at least 250 words on my novel draft done, even on those days. I try to write at least 5 times per week, 250 wd minimum. That doesn't seem like much, but it all ads up, and I can usually talk myself into writing when that's the goal, even if I'm completely exhausted from the day.

I miss days sometimes, just like everyone else. But I always feel better when I make daily progress, no matter how small.

highlyirritable
08-13-2009, 11:05 PM
Thank you for saying this Bsolah. I am primarily an article/essay writer myself, and only dabble in very short fiction.

john barnes on toast
08-13-2009, 11:15 PM
Living is an equally important practice as writing.

Spend all your time cooped up with a typewriter and what are you going to find to write about? Writing?

scarletpeaches
08-14-2009, 02:11 AM
People who have a routine and write regularly are not 'cooped up with a typewriter'. They're organised and disciplined, both of which are commendable qualities.

Libbie
08-14-2009, 02:15 AM
People who have a routine and write regularly are not 'cooped up with a typewriter'. They're organised and disciplined, both of which are commendable qualities.

Right.

I get my time in each day, but I certainly don't feel that I'm socially deprived, nor am I ignorant of the world because I have discipline and dedication to my craft.

scarletpeaches
08-14-2009, 02:21 AM
Yes. For instance, I am reliably informed that you had a luncheon the other day during which three ambulances, four cop cars and a taser came into play.

If that's not socialising, well then I don't know what the hell is!

thethinker42
08-14-2009, 02:38 AM
Yes. For instance, I am reliably informed that you had a luncheon the other day during which three ambulances, four cop cars and a taser came into play.

If that's not socialising, well then I don't know what the hell is!

That's not entirely accurate. There were only two ambulances, but there were three tasers and a cattle prod. Plus the S.W.A.T. team.

thethinker42
08-14-2009, 02:45 AM
Living is an equally important practice as writing.

Spend all your time cooped up with a typewriter and what are you going to find to write about? Writing?

The two aren't mutually exclusive. Writing every day =/= spending all your time cooped up with a typewriter. And I say this as someone who spends 8+ hours a day at the computer (I spend as much time at my computer as most people spend at their full-time jobs, since it IS my full-time job). Writing daily - especially if it's only for a couple of hours - hardly precludes getting out and doing other things.

People who have a routine and write regularly are not 'cooped up with a typewriter'. They're organised and disciplined, both of which are commendable qualities.

Right.

I get my time in each day, but I certainly don't feel that I'm socially deprived, nor am I ignorant of the world because I have discipline and dedication to my craft.

Both QFT. Discipline is, I believe, the one thing that separates the men from the boys in this craft. It's not talent, it's not writer's block or lack thereof, it's not some secret magic bullet...it's DISCIPLINE.

Wordwrestler
08-14-2009, 02:56 AM
People who have a routine and write regularly are not 'cooped up with a typewriter'. They're organised and disciplined, both of which are commendable qualities.

Excellent point.

Yet I have known people who truly have no lives and wonder why they have a shortage of ideas/ fuel for their writing.

Real life experience and imagination are equally valuable when it comes to the creative or idea aspect of building stories. Some of us lean more on one than the other, and it varies from story to story as well, but to be truly lacking in either one can be a real obstacle.

The Lonely One
08-14-2009, 03:28 AM
I keep telling myself, and others, that no thing is so important in my life as my family that I cannot walk away from it if my life requires it.

Writing is one of those things. I want to think writing is not the one thing that defines me, that I am (and everyone, for that matter, is) more dynamic than this.

But despite this I keep wanting to shove writing into my life, even in time slots and situations it doesn't belong.

Damn fate.

ChaosTitan
08-14-2009, 04:25 AM
Both QFT. Discipline is, I believe, the one thing that separates the men from the boys in this craft. It's not talent, it's not writer's block or lack thereof, it's not some secret magic bullet...it's DISCIPLINE.

YES.

One simply cannot make it as a professional, published writer without learning and practicing discipline on a daily basis.

Writing every single day is an admirable goal, but it isn't always practical for some people. I'll admit openly I don't write every single day--some days, I need a mental health break. Some days, there is just no time to settle down and produce anything of worth.

But writing regularly is very, very important. It doesn't matter when, but make it a habit! Monday through Friday, every night between 10 and 11pm. Saturday afternoons, from 1pm through 5pm, every single week. Every day for an hour, no matter when you can eek out the time. Figure out what works for your schedule and do it.

WendyNYC
08-14-2009, 04:33 AM
I try to write 5 days a week, weekends off. I don't like having to think about when I can slip away to write when I'm spending time with my husband and kids. Although if I'm under a deadline or behind with revisions, I'll write every day to get it done.

Izz
08-14-2009, 08:50 AM
Right.

I get my time in each day, but I certainly don't feel that I'm socially deprived, nor am I ignorant of the world because I have discipline and dedication to my craft.QFT.

I'm currently road-tripping from Vancouver to Alaska, and then will be driving down to San Francisco, but i'm still making a wee bit of time to write each day.

Caledonia Lass
08-14-2009, 09:18 AM
I think personally (and I'm sure it has already been said) that the time you devote to writing is just as varying as anything else. People who are devoted to their craft and are able to write every single day have earned my respect. However, writing every single day just isn't for me. I don't think that people who write every day are socially deprived, ignorant or even gluttons for punishment. XD I think they just have a higher dedication to writing. People have varying priorities, things that are more important to them than other things. But if someone doesn't write everyday and they are published and successful, we shouldn't hold that against them and say, "They just don't know their craft!". It is sort of like being prejudiced. "Oh well, they don't write every day, I don't want to read their books." or "Well how do they expect to get published if they don't write every day?".

At any rate, I don't write every day simply because there are times when my home life demands more attention. Then there are days that, after writing for a while, I need to stop and hammer out some details. Sometimes I need to stop thinking about it all together for it to work out for me. If I stress about it too much, I worry myself into a frenzy and then I stop writing for long periods of time.

I believe you should set your own writing pace. Sometimes if you try to emulate someone else in your field, you'll feel even worse if you somehow don't live up to their standards.

bsolah
08-14-2009, 09:28 AM
I believe you should set your own writing pace. Sometimes if you try to emulate someone else in your field, you'll feel even worse if you somehow don't live up to their standards.

QFT

ClaudiaGray
08-14-2009, 09:33 AM
The main thing is to write regularly, which I define as (a) enough to make steady, meaningful progress on your WIP and (b) enough that you never ask yourself where you'll find time to write, b/c it's an established part of your life. For some people, that has to be daily; for others, it doesn't. Only you can figure out which category you belong to.

john barnes on toast
08-14-2009, 02:44 PM
People who have a routine and write regularly are not 'cooped up with a typewriter'. They're organised and disciplined, both of which are commendable qualities.

True, but I could sense this thread going down that unedifying path whereby writers discuss the dedication to their craft as though it were a competition.

I have to write every day
I have to write every hour
I literally can't breathe without holding a moleskine notebook to my heart.

Firstly I don't really buy it, and secondly it presents an intimidating barrier for aspirant writers who feel they could never equal such lofty standards.

I write most days, but not every day. Sometimes there's something else to do. Sometimes I just don't feel like it. I don't worry about, or feel inadequate.

Exir
08-14-2009, 03:25 PM
I write enough so that I don't atrophy and turn out a reasonable amount of non-crap.

nitaworm
08-14-2009, 03:34 PM
I don't believe you have to write daily. I don't because I need time to ponder things. I'll write consistently until I get to a point where I have to think things through. However, it doesn't usually take me long. In between projects (I can usually only last a week) I start to build the next story firmly in my mind before I actually write anything. I develop a basic outline and slowly pick apart each part. Once I have it completed, then I allow myself to actually start writing.

So I believe that you have to do what works for you. If you are not writing, you should do things to learn about writing. Like beta read someone else's work, send out more queries, improve your website, take a writing class, learn how to better market yourself or your book. Constantly seek to improve ways to exercise your passion in writing.

Now, in general, I do write everyday. I write on FB, emails, chat rooms and here (a lot - this place rocks!)

The Lonely One
08-14-2009, 06:35 PM
I write enough so that I don't atrophy and turn out a reasonable amount of non-crap.

I think that's the key to the whole deal: Make sure you're having a proper workout given your current strength.

scarletpeaches
08-14-2009, 06:39 PM
If I may...

I think when it comes to exercising your writing muscles, playing to your current strengths means you stagnate.

Play to a strength that's just beyond your own. That way, you'll continually improve.

The Lonely One
08-14-2009, 06:44 PM
If I may...

I think when it comes to exercising your writing muscles, playing to your current strengths means you stagnate.

Play to a strength that's just beyond your own. That way, you'll continually improve.

Yes, I agree with you, SP :)

By current strength I mean (to over-extend the metaphor...) working out in a way that will improve your muscles healthily. Reaching beyond your strength but not unreasonably. In the way a personal trainer might recommend. Eating healthy (reading/visiting AW) is also a must.

DeleyanLee
08-14-2009, 06:45 PM
Do you think a writer should write every day?

<snip>

But how critical do you consider daily keyboard (or pen and paper) time?

I do think it's important to write every day. I don't think it's important to get words onto paper or phosphor every day.

To me, writing is SO much more than just getting the words down. When I'm puzzling out the story, figuring out character motivations, how to word this description, whether or not this idea will actually make a good story--that's all writing.

Getting the words down is just the last step in story creation, but nowhere close to the entire job.

But I could be strange. I like being strange. :D

Libbie
08-14-2009, 08:37 PM
Excellent point.

Yet I have known people who truly have no lives and wonder why they have a shortage of ideas/ fuel for their writing.

Real life experience and imagination are equally valuable when it comes to the creative or idea aspect of building stories. Some of us lean more on one than the other, and it varies from story to story as well, but to be truly lacking in either one can be a real obstacle.

I hear you there. It's important to be in touch with the world if you want to write good fiction (or good anything else.)

Having a disciplined routine doesn't mean you devote all of your free time to writing. :) Fortunately. I'd go nuts.

Libbie
08-14-2009, 08:44 PM
I have to write every day
I have to write every hour
I literally can't breathe without holding a moleskine notebook to my heart.

Firstly I don't really buy it, and secondly it presents an intimidating barrier for aspirant writers who feel they could never equal such lofty standards.

I see what you mean. I don't buy that "I MUST write at all times or I'll keel over and die dramatically with the back of my hand held to my pale brow!" thing, either.

And I can see how the idea that you must make discipline a priority in your life might be intimidating to newbies, but it's the truth. Wherever writing will fit into your schedule, you need to do it with regularity and focus. If that's too intimidating, then newbies don't need to aspire to be professionals. It's perfectly valid to write for fun, or to write on the side and just get a few things published here and there throughout one's life.

But I also don't see the sense in sugar-coating anything for aspirant writers. If you want to be a professional writer, you need to know that eventually you'll need to be the kind of person who can put professional dedication behind your craft. Writers aren't people who clutch moleskine notebooks to their hearts and drift through the sewers crying. They're people who sit down every day -- or at least with a defined and disciplined routine, if not every day -- and work at their job.

I write most days, but not every day. Sometimes there's something else to do. Sometimes I just don't feel like it. I don't worry about, or feel inadequate.

Good. You shouldn't feel inadequate so long as you're being disciplined. I don't write every single day. Yesterday I was so tired that I knew if I tried to write it would just frustrate me. I allow myself to write total crap when I need to just get through, but I can only do that with a happy heart when I'm not about to fall over from exhaustion. so I watched a movie and went to bed early instead. I felt fine about that. Tonight, I'm going to write two awesome chapters to make up for lost time. That's how my routine and my discipline work for me. Your mileage may vary. :D

The Lonely One
08-14-2009, 08:50 PM
Writers aren't people who clutch moleskine notebooks to their hearts and drift through the sewers crying.


*hides moleskine notebook and returns to surface.

DMarie84
08-14-2009, 09:22 PM
It's important to write everyday.

Can't say that I follow my own advice though. :tongue

I've been getting better and writing at least four times a week. Not great, but better than where I was at.

MichStephens
08-19-2009, 12:09 AM
I don't write daily, but I do make myself write regularly. When I start a new project I schedule tentative deadlines for myself to help stay on track. These deadlines include rough drafts, characterization, etc.

Unless I have about forty-five mins to an hour to sit down and write, I won't produce anything helpful to myself or my WIP. Fifteen minutes just doesn't cut it.

TereLiz
08-19-2009, 01:21 AM
Embarrassed to say I haven't made much progress on my WiP since I came back from vacation at the beginning of this month. Although I was revising a different project to begin another round of querying, I haven't written much more than scene goals for the WiP.

Now my story is suffering for it, and I can't seem to get myself back into that "zone" I was in before.

So not only does writing as often as you can improve your skills as a writer, it helps to keep you on track with your writing projects. While I am a huge advocate of letting a finished draft "breathe" for a while, I feel it can be extremely detrimental to the creative process to leave a WiP alone too long.

Leave an unfinished work alone too long and it's more likely to remain unfinished.

veinglory
08-19-2009, 01:41 AM
It may be important to some people to write every day, but it isn't to me. There are no universal rules.

Mythical Tiger
08-19-2009, 07:53 AM
I think it's important, but I don't. Not long ago I just got through not writing for a month. Because I wasn't writing I got uninterested in my WIP. I would sit down and tell myself I'm going to write. I never do. But now I'm recovering:D. I'm finally getting through my hurtle. *cheers*




~Sam

Ruv Draba
08-20-2009, 08:09 PM
Writing time isn't as important as thinking time. Spend two or three hours every day thinking like a writer. If you have something to write, spend some of those hours writing it.

Tangi1981
08-21-2009, 01:28 AM
I also don't write every day but I try to as often as possible. I try to write at least every second day. I glad to hear I'm not the only one who doesn't write every day.

groovyville
08-21-2009, 01:50 AM
I let my thoughts tell me when to write most of the time (wow doesn't that sound psychotic)

Anyway, for poetry, I wait for the inspiration to come to me (which happens every other day or so and sometimes every day, it depends on how my week is going).

For my WIPs, I wait for inspiration, or the nagging inside my head. If I haven't written in a while, I feel a tug to work on them, so then I do. And if I'm really excited about working on my WIP on any given day, then I usually do. (especially if a great idea hits me) But I usually do a lot of thinking and coming up with stuff outside of writing stuff down (that I do almost every day).

I tried the whole "write every day till you go nuts" thing, but it drained me too much and made my writing sound very forced and dry after a while, so now instead of me leading my writing, I'm letting my writing lead me. I write better stuff when I do it that way. (it also keeps me very sane and keeps me from talking to myself too much, which was a weird habit I started to develop after I was writing every minute of my free time for a while)

Arthur Jaz
08-21-2009, 02:33 AM
I don't write every day. But I think about writing every day. Often while at work at my office job I'm also contemplating whether my WIP needs an extra scene in the current chapter, if a character needs to be revamped, or even if the book should be told in third person rather than first.

But in my writing log I haven't accounted for the thinking process, so it looks like I sometimes abandon it completely for days at a time.

This most recent backing-off time has come up because (as you can see from my signature) I have two novels going: my focus has divided between the two and, well, gotten a bit muddled. It's the first time I've tried doing two at once. I may not be the kind of writer who can do two at once. I'm realizing that.

The thinking process is vital to a writer. It even works for me when I'm reading someone else's book. I'm constantly thinking of how I might phrase a sentence differently, or what bits of text seem to work the best.

AlvySinger
08-21-2009, 07:10 AM
While I always found it much easier to write stuff when I done it on a daily basis(rather than 7 things in one day and the rest of the week off, as I've done all this year), there is the counter argument of you getting stuck into the one style if you write too often.
It happened Brian O'Nolan(Flann O'Brien) where he spent 20 years writing for the Irish Times after his books failed to gather much attention, by the time his reputation had grown, he was unable to fully break free from his column's persona.

...that's obviously an extreme though.

Darzian
08-21-2009, 08:14 AM
Do you think a writer should write every day?

Yes.

MGraybosch
08-21-2009, 10:49 AM
Do you think a writer should write every day?

I think it's important to at least try. I don't write every day myself; I sometimes have days where all I do is read over the first draft and look for defects that need to be corrected in the second, but it's still better than saying, "Oh, well, I got writer's block today".

bsolah
08-23-2009, 07:42 AM
I've just seen fantasy/sci-fi writer, China Mieville speak at the Melbourne Writers Festival this year and in one of his sessions he was asked about this writing routine business and he said his own pattern was up and down, that he'd go for weeks without writing and then weeks with writing 15 hours a day, but he said people's patterns and routines could vary, there was no hard and fast rule.

He then went on to mention Stephen King and his suggestion to write every day and he thought that this has created a lot of angst and guilt amongst writers for not writing every day when it might not be necessary. I really agree with the idea that guilt and angst is a real problem with this insistence to write every day.

veinglory
08-23-2009, 07:59 AM
A writer has to discover what works for them, and do that.

MGraybosch
08-23-2009, 08:26 AM
I really agree with the idea that guilt and angst is a real problem with this insistence to write every day.

It has been in my case. Luckily, my wife is more sensible and is capable of hitting me upside the head and reminding me that there's always tomorrow.

Resource Writer
08-23-2009, 08:29 AM
Great question!

You must be a good writer if people are asking about your blog entries.

It's important to write daily because as a writer it needs to be second nature to well...write. For us, it's just as important as eating, drinking, or sleeping especially if we're aspiring to do this on a professional basis. As far as figuring out what to write, just think about your emotions, your job, people around you, etc. Get creative and realize that you're surronded by inspiration on a daily basis. It's up to you to decide which thing, issue, or situation you will choose to write about for that day.

Hope this helps.

Scotia
08-25-2009, 09:56 AM
Some big changes have come to pass in my life and I am so excited to finally be able to focus on writing. Wyntermoon told me about this forum and I'm thrilled to be reading/learning so much already.

Every day is going to be my goal!

Scotia

Matt Willard
08-26-2009, 01:04 AM
Writing often is good, but I agree with bsolah-don't stress if you can't write every day. Just do it often, and make sure you love the craft. Find what path works for you-that's a solid philosophy to follow in this affair.

celticroots
08-26-2009, 05:42 AM
I try to write everyday for at least thirty mintues. If I don't, one day of not writing will turn into two, and then to three. It's not going so well, though, with school starting up again and trying to juggle voice lessons. I feel it's important to write everyday, but don't beat yourself up about it if more serious things get in the way.