One Argument for Writing Every Day

 

by Tonya R. Moore

Recently, writers all over the Internet got outraged over an article declaring that unless you write every day, you’re not a real writer. I don’t share this article’s sentiment however, I do believe that if you can carve out the time and summon the wherewithal to write every day, you should.

Writing is worthwhile enough to warrant the time and effort it takes to write every day.

 

Write Every day for Love

Most of us who write, write out of love, not some twisted sense of obligation. Those of us who write out of a genuine love for writing need to write. Writing is how we stay sane. Writing is how we exorcise the madness brewing within us. We need it like water. Like a junkie needs a hit.

We must be careful not to let this need go unfulfilled.

In his book Zen in the Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury wrote:

If you did not write every day, the poisons would accumulate and you would begin to die or act crazy, or both.

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. For writing allows just the proper recipes of truth, life, reality as you can eat, drink, and digest without hyperventilating and flopping like a dead fish in your bed. I have learned on my journeys that if I let a day go by without writing, I grow uneasy. Two days and I am in tremor. Three and I suspect lunacy.

And I’ll tell you something. Sometimes. I go days without writing, weeks even but you know what? The whole time, I feel as if something is terribly amiss and the world doesn’t quite make sense. You may say, of course, there’s little about the world that makes sense these days but you know what? When I write it down, whatever I write helps me to put things into perspective. I can take a step back and release that tense breath I didn’t realize I’ve been holding. The world is no longer askew. Do you know that feeling?

So, why not give it a try? Write the world down. Breathe. Everyday.

 

Making Writing Daily a Habit

Writing is a habit that flourishes when nurtured. As with any skill, the more you write, the better you get at it. It’s that simple. I’m not saying make it your obligation to write X number of words every day. It’s fine to have a goal like that. Admirable even. But that’s not what I’m trying to encourage you to do.

What I have in mind is more like this:

Say you get up every day and you sit in front of your computer or stare at your notebook or phone and you write one word. On some days that one word turns into a sentence and then another and then another. It becomes an idea that morphs into a deluge of words. Some days though, it doesn’t turn into anything but that one word.

I’m saying that’s okay because with that one word, you’ve already lit a fire somewhere deep inside in your mind and the wheels are starting to turn. It might not turn into a substantial idea that same day but it might by the next day, or the next week, or so forth. It’s sort of like planting a seed and patiently watering it every day until it becomes a sapling which becomes an awesome tree that eventually blossoms.

 

To Each Their Own

The next time some upstart comes around and suggests that it’s their way or the highway, don’t get your panties all in a twist. Think about what they have to say. Sure, there are going to be some major flaws in their argument but I suspect the real reason it’s a bitter pill to swallow is that there is some truth in what they have to say.

Every writer is entitled to their own process. If you want to get up every morning and tackle writing like it’s some cumbersome chore, well, the thought of that breaks my heart and I suspect you’ve perhaps adopted the wrong vocation but guess what? That’s entirely up to you. If you get out of bed in the mornings and go all gung ho like a mountain climber tackling K2, I say yay! Go for it! Conquer that mountain! If you go at it all happy go lucky like a two-legged centaur learning to prancercize, I say hurray… you damn weirdo. Do your thing!

Struggle. Triumph. Mess around. Do it every day if you, if you can. Don’t hold it in inside like a pressure cooker about to explode unless that happens to be your process and you make it your prerogative to let those typing fingers dance amid that awesome explosion. Whatever you do, don’t let it destroy you and do yourself a favor. Don’t just turn the heat off and let it fizzle out to nothing.

For a writer, writing is how we live. Writing is the only mechanism we have at our disposal to prove to ourselves that we exist. So live!  But live on your terms.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

Writers are always working and growing, whether we’re scribbling or not. Whether we’re aware of it, or not.

Like Ray Bradbury wrote:

Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. Th landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.

Now, it’s your turn. Jump!

 

 

 

Guest post contributed by Tonya R. Moore. Tonya is a Jamaican born, science fiction, horror, and urban fantasy writer from Bradenton, Florida. 

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39 thoughts on “One Argument for Writing Every Day”

  1. Love this post, the last Ray Bradbury quote is wonderful and so true. I find morning pages are a big help for me because – I can check off the I’ve written something box. The work I’m happy with comes harder and if it does not arrive at all.. . I just give myself a break and then start again the next day.

    Like

  2. I “try” my best to write every morning. I don’t always succeed. And I can go a week or so, but I’m always happy to “get back to it.” I just don’t care about those quotes that tell me what I can and shouldn’t do. Wallace Stevens didn’t write for months and then hammer out some of the greatest American poetry while down in Key West on vacation. So, hey. whose to say? We all follow our muse the best way we can. I absolutely agree with your well stated advice to live on our own terms. Good advice!
    Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the article. I write everyday for one reason, and one reason only. It lives in me. If I don’t, it’s the same thing as forgetting to pray, or have my coffee, or giving my wife a kiss.

    Without it, my day just isn’t complete.

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  4. I write as often as I have time, sometimes that’s every day and sometimes only every week but I love it and writing makes me happy, plus it helps me practise my English as that is my second language 🙂

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  5. “Most of us who write, write out of love, not some twisted sense of obligation. Those of us who write out of a genuine love for writing need to write. Writing is how we stay sane. Writing is how we exorcise the madness brewing within us. We need it like water. Like a junkie needs a hit.”

    This put it quite perfectly. Thank you for the great article.

    Like

  6. I do what’s best for me. No one knows another person’s life and schedule and this seems to be targeted more towards those who are able to write full-time. Many of us have full-time jobs and don’t have the time or energy to write every day. A sapling watered every day can wind up waterlogged. In other words, you can end up just sitting in front of your computer or pad and paper overwhelmed and not really accomplishing anything.

    Do what’s best for you and your lifestyle.

    Like

  7. Reblogged this on newauthoronline and commented:
    I agree with Tonya that in order to be a writer, one does not have to write every day. It is, however good to get into the habit of trying to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) each day, even if one produces little (or nothing) during some of those days.

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  8. Thank you for an inspiring post! I’m feeling rather pleased with myself just now as I’ve been hopeless in the past at following a consistent writing routine, but I’m now finding that working on a daily writing time is bringing me such happiness. It’s like getting an extra daily dose of Serotonin! I’m not too bothered about how many words I get written – it’s enough just to do something constructive, even if it’s just making notes or coming up with some plot twists.

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  9. While I agree with feeling the need to write everyday, I notice that even on days that I don’t wrote there’s wheels turning in my head.

    There’s hardly any respite from writing or thinking of writing is there?

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  10. I enjoyed your post. I am trying to post just about daily to hone my style and find my voice. i am in a good space which is new for me because 20years ago i wrote prolifically because i had so much angst

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  11. Very well said! I am new to writing and found it was something I needed to deal with a big loss in life, and now that I am hooked – I need to write. Sometimes its every day, sometimes there are gaps, but the need remains. 🙂

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  12. To who ever said that if you don’t write everyday then you are not a writer, it is like saying that if you don’t save life everyday than you are not a doctor. Although I think it is a good practice, everyone needs a time off from what they are doing and their routine. Even doctors go on vacations, so writers can do the same. It is to replenish the batteries and not getting burned – even passion can burn.

    Good article, /thumbs up

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  13. “Those of us who write out of a genuine love for writing need to write. Writing is how we stay sane. Writing is how we exorcise the madness brewing within us. We need it like water. Like a junkie needs a hit.”— I’m finding this to be absolute truth for me. It’s Dharma. I write and I stop thinking really, like a meditative process. I mostly could care less if I even have an audience as the writing itself is healing. Writing transforms me.
    Thank you for this post.

    Like

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