You don’t have to write every day

Perhaps the most frequent advice I’ve heard about writing is “write every day.” In past years, I’ve tried to follow the gospel, resolving to write daily, and occasionally succeeding for short periods of time.

But I’ve come to think beginning writers need to hear a different kind of advice. They’ve got plenty of insecurities–they don’t need prescriptions they can easily fail at.

If I could work on my novel every day, I would–not just because doing so would help me finish the novel or make me a better writer, but because I love writing fiction. But I have a full time job and a family, and many days I don’t have the time or energy to write.

Let me boil down my philosophy: You don’t have to write every day. You just have to write.

The people who preach about writing every day are saying that you shouldn’t just talk about writing the great American novel or whatever it is you want to write. You should do it. And I agree. But writers have to figure out for themselves how to make time for writing.

More on that challenge later.

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