There’s a rather prevalent idea in the writer community that you need to write every day – and that if you don’t write every day you’re not a “real writer”. I used to believe that. I don’t anymore.
I understand it, in principle. Making writing a habit means that you don’t waste time waiting for the muse to show up. Writing every day means you have more words (even if they’re bad ones) to work with. And let’s throw in a bit of the 10,000 hour rule, too – the more time you spend writing, the closer you come to expert status (if such a thing exists).
I don’t disagree with the idea on a fundamental level, but I think it is a bit unrealistic. It bases itself on the idea of the solitary writer, in a bubble, separate from the world. It disregards the absolutely irrefutable fact that life happens. And believe me, life does happen. Illness, bereavements, moving, job stress, other commitments… it happens.
So here’s my suggestion. Rather than write every day, let’s say write every day you can. Because when your mother has just passed away, your husband is lying in the high care ward, or you’re just plain exhausted because life, telling yourself you’re not a real writer because you haven’t written today is the opposite of helpful. You make it harder for yourself to deal with what you’re dealing with, and harder to come back to writing with an open heart.
There’s not one writer in the world who hasn’t experienced some sort of upheaval in their writing life, and often that means non-writing days. Maybe one or two, maybe several. Maybe even a couple of weeks or a couple of months. But during that time you are still a writer.
So I’ve been resting this week because last week I was really full-on. I had my usual 8-5 but I was also assisting with the local dance school’s big production. It was a week (and a bit) of early mornings and late nights, buckets of stress, and very little sleep. When the exhaustion finally hit me on Monday night I decided that it was okay to take this break.
And when I start writing again (tomorrow) I, and my writing, will be all the stronger for it.
But Sage! I hear you cry. What about Silk Flower Goodbye?
Fear not, gentle reader. I received some wonderful feedback from my CP, and I’ve been chipping away at the edits just a few minutes at a time. I plan to finalise those, and my front matter, this weekend and have the final file uploaded sometime next week, so I can start looking at *GASP* paperback options.
Pre-orders are still open for the ebook and I’m strongly considering putting the price up after release, so now’s your chance to get it for a mere 1.99 USD (or equivalent in your territory). Current count is 9 and I would really love to get to 15 pre-orders.
Thanks to the lovely Robyn Sarty for mentioning Silk Flower Goodbye in her August newsletter. If you like historical fiction, you can find her at robynsarty.com
Here’s what she said:
Silk Flower Goodbye is a poignant, beautiful, honest, and at times, whimsical look at life, loss, and love.
Friend, I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Do something good for yourself today – whether that’s taking a nap, going for a long walk, or indulging in the hot beverage of your choice. Take care of yourself.