Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Writing Every Day

I seldom write every day.  I have too many other things I'm interested, not counting family and friends.  I do write five days per week, and, when deadlines press, six days per week.  This said, I can write seven days per week, and have for extended periods.  Because I don't write seven days per week, I seldom comment when I hear other writers say they can't write every day.  Sometimes they have reason, be it bad health, or a sixty hour per week job, along with a family that needs time, though I know writers who live under these circumstances and still write every day.

Here's the problem.  Over the last few months, I've encountered more than a dozen writers who say the can't write every day because it's too hard. Or because they can't be creative that often.  Or because it makes writing seem too much like work.  They all have plenty of spare time each day, but they just can't write that often.  (Work seems to be the worst four letter word in the world now.  the F-bomb is no longer even a firecracker, but "work" is a horrible work.)

Well, fine.  As I said, I write only five days per week.  Inquiry, however, showed these writers don't write five days per week.  Or even three days per week, on anything like a regular basis.  They. Just. Can't. Do. It.

I've decided I no longer want to hear it.  If you happen to be one of these writers, yes, you can write seven days per week.  Or five, as I do.  But you can write seven days per week, and so can I.  The difference is I don't pretend I can't.  I don't care if it makes writing seem like work.  When you decided to be a writer, decided you wanted to sell what you write, writing became work.  That's just how it is.  Work is not a dirty word.  Work is a blessed word, the way we live, the way we prosper, the way we build, the way we survive.

Writing should be fun.  This does not mean it isn't work.  This does not mean there won't be times when it takes everything you have in you to sit down and be creative when you're sick, or dead tired, or depressed.  It does mean that the day it also stops being fun, you're thinking about all the wrong things when you're sitting there writing.  It means you're think about rejections, or the odds of ever selling anything, or any one of a hundred other things.  It means you are not thinking about the one thing that matters, which is simply telling a story.  When telling a story stops being fun, uninstall your word processor and find another way of filling your time.

And when work becomes something you don't want to do, don't enjoy, just give up on everything.  You're either lazy or pampered.  Work does not mean bad, and hard does not mean bad.  If you only want to write as a hobby, by all means, laze away.  When, however, you decide you want to be a writer, want to sell what you write, stop whining.  At least to me.  You've got it easy.  Half the world would kill to have it half as easy.  Most of the other half would at least maim, if not kill.

If you don't want to write every day, then don't.  If you don't want to write at all, then quit.  No one will miss you or your writing.  Either way, stop trying to tell me about it.  I'm not going to help you justify your laziness, your pampered life, your disappointment, or anything else.  If this were an easy business, anyone could do it.  How much fun would that be?  It isn't easy, it work, it's hard, it's frustrating, it's disappointing, just like everything else that's a business.  And selling your writing is ALWAYS a business.  So get over it.  Sit down and write, or do not expect me to nod my head and agree with your sad, sad story.  I'm not going to do it.

Sincerely,

James A. Ritchie

9 comments:

  1. Spending five hours once a week on a working project isn't nearly as valuable as spending one hour per day for five days straight.

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  2. Thank you, James. I usually follow your advice (mostly from the AW forums) and enjoyed this nugget.

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  3. I am clapping. I am standing up. I am clapping more. YES!!!

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  4. I too love writing and it is my passion. It make us out of our tensions and stresses. Writing gives us relaxation. We should definitely find times to write.
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  5. Thought I'd pop over from AW to check out your blog and found a great post. Bravo! I could say I'm a lion tamer but if I don't do it, guess what? I'm not really a lion tamer.

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  6. I too have a blog I don't keep up. Well, it was fun while it lasted, eh?

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  7. I also have not enough strength to write every day so I understand you very well. I often use auxiliaries such as essay master. The first time I wanted to do everything myself but now I can not force myself to do this because I use auxiliary sites.

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