I read an article yesterday in an industry magazine that got me a bit riled up. The article was pretty militant about telling writers how to write. The theme was that writers must write every day, because it’s their job. You mustn’t coddle your muse! It was a one-size-fits-all approach, and I honestly didn’t make it all the way through because I felt like I was getting my butt chewed.
Do I write every day? No
Do I do something every day that moves my writing forward? Absolutely
Just because I’m not putting words on paper every day doesn’t mean I’m not working. I’m a plotter. If I were to sit down at the keyboard and try to start writing a book without doing my prep work first, I would be dead in the water. I know. I’ve tried. My brain just doesn’t work that way. On top of that, there are all kinds of other things authors need to do this days: keep up their website, engage in social media, create a marketing plan, work with designers on covers, go to conferences, go to book signings, put together contests, and a hundred other things to keep them in touch with their readers.
So when it comes to writing, each author has to find their own approach. That’s what they “must” do. Just because Nora writes every day doesn’t mean that I have to. Not everybody does their job the same way. Once I get into my story, I do tend to write every day because the words just need to get out. But I cringe when someone gives advice to new writers saying that they need to chain themselves to their laptops if they want to be in the business.
If you’re a writer or a plumber or a school teacher or a computer programmer, find what works for you. Filter through all the chaff of information that’s thrown at you and determine what is helpful and what is harmful. Once you’ve got it sorted out, jump in with both feet. Don’t mess around and play spider solitaire. Don’t judge others who don’t follow the same process as you. Just find your groove and rock it out.