Whenever you ask someone for writing advice, one of the most commonly given pieces of advice is to write every day. Write every day, they say, and you will make the most progress, and hone your skill the fastest, and get better results.
I say that’s a load of phooey.
PHOOEY, I TELL YOU.
There is some truth to the “write every day” scheme. It is true that when you write every day, you will see quick results and will probably finish your project sooner. It is true that if you practice something every day, you improve quicker.
Projects like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) were designed to help you and motivate you to write every single day. NaNoWriMo urges you to write 50,000 words in one month – a solid 1,667 words a day. It is crazy, but doable – I’ve done it several times. Sure, you may be ripe for a mental institution when the month’s over, but you do have a first draft on your hands. A very rough and very imperfect first draft, but a draft nonetheless. NaNoWriMo tells you to bind your inner editor and silence them with duct tape – don’t think too much, just write. Just write and things will work out in the end. It doesn’t give you time for writer’s block; you just write and see what happens. And it does work; I once started a story I had no clear vision on, and by the end of the month I had a partial draft and had a much better idea of what I wanted to do with my story. My story ended up surprising me.
But writing every day doesn’t work for everyone. I’ve loved doing NaNo, but I always feel like I need to go into hibernation after two weeks. It turns writing into something I have to do instead of something I want to do and that sucks the fun out of it. It burns me out really quickly and I won’t pen another word for the next few months. My creativity will be as dead as a dodo.
Every writer is different. Some people thrive under setting themselves a daily goal; others do better to just sit down every once in a while and let it all out. If you’re able to write a first draft within a week, chances are the writing community will hate you a little, but all the more kudos to you. If you write one book a year, that’s freaking awesome, dude. If you’re more the type to write a book every three years, than that’s also great! Don’t let others rush you. Write in your own time, at your own pace. Whatever works for you.
Because even if you write a book every three years, that’s still more than all those other people out there who write zero books every three years.
Writing every day definitely has some benefits to it, but don’t let anyone rush you into it.
Find your own pace.
Find what works for you.