One of the things I’ve discovered since beginning my Creative Writing degree is that you do not need to write every day to be successful. One of the most daunting things to new writers is this pressure to produce writing quickly or to practice Every! Single! Day! so that they can rapidly improve. Here are the top 5 reasons I do not write every day:
- I get tired of hearing my own voice: This is a big one. I’m a big introvert– I draw most of my energy from quiet and alone time doing something creative and fun for myself. To everyone who can write everyday, kudos to you! I get into this utterly exhausted state where I get so tired of hearing my own voice that when I sit down to write, I can’t even get a word out that doesn’t feel annoying or cliche.
- Sometimes I am not inspired: This is so okay!! There is a common misconception that in order to combat writers’ block we should always write even when (especially when) we don’t feel like it. This isn’t the case! If you aren’t feeling inspired you don’t have to force it!
- Writing when I’m not in the mood can hinder growth: Particularly for beginners, if you don’t feel like writing and you force yourself to do it, you could begin to hate it. This is a problem that I ran into when I first started blogging– I read in so many articles and books that if I didn’t post regular content I wouldn’t have followers. To an extent, this is true. But when I was really forcing myself to sit down and write, I would stare at a blank screen for an hour and then get up and leave because I hated the pressure!
- It’s time consuming: This is an honest reason. And none of that “if you love it, you’ll make time for it” stuff. It’s true– I will always find time for the things most important for me, but some days are busier than others! I go to work for 8 hours and then have class and then you expect me to sit down and spend some previously allotted time writing without falling asleep in my journal? It’s simply unrealistic for my (and many others’) life.
- I do what I love when I love to do it: Everyone has their own preference for when they like to create art. A friend of mine wakes up at sunrise just to be inspired by the birds and the mountains in the morning light. I was once told by Rita Dove that she enjoys writing in the middle of the night. I enjoy writing around midnight, preferably with music playing. But I can’t create that atmosphere for myself every night, I can’t stay up that late every night. We (you and me), as co-creators in this life, create our art when it is most appealing. And that should remain special, allowed, and encouraged.
Ultimately, of course, your writing practice is up to you. I just know that for me, when I have a deadline or a requirement, I won’t write one single thing worth keeping. It is okay to not write everyday. Putting pressure on yourself to create when you don’t feel like creating is a personal kind of torture that is simply unneeded.