Let there be writing!

Copy of book Easy to say, but sometimes not so easy to do. Why? Because life gets in the way. “A writer writes” and “Writers write every day,” are two of the rather arbitrary sayings applied to authors, but it’s not always easy to do.

At the moment I’m finding it hard to progress with my current wip, Dawn Rising, due to a close relative being seriously ill, which means my mind is occupied 24/7 with that.

I posted on my author page about not being able to write every day, at the moment, and got a rather black and white response from someone, along the lines of: A writer should write every day, no excuses. I found this rather offensive and promptly deleted the comment. To be fair, I didn’t say why I was finding it difficult to carry out my craft, but was annoyed by the implication that I was a slacker and therefore not committed to my chosen profession.

The thing to bear in mind is that a writer should write every day, if they can and not because of cliched and hackneyed sayings, or because other people think you should. After all, it’s quality, not quantity that counts. If you’re in the state of mind that I’m in now, yes you could bang out a few thousand words, but the chances are they won’t be much good.

As a writer should I use the situation I’m in as inspiration? No, it’s too personal in that it would be like taking inspiration from a raw wound.

Write because you want to, write because you need to, but never, ever be dictated to about how and when you should.

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9 Responses to “Let there be writing!”

    • Thanks girls. I’m sick of this myth that in order to be a good writer, you have to write every day. It’s nonsense, unless you have a deadline, but even that can be delayed by life events that’re impossible to get round. A lot of writers have to work, along with bringing up kids, running a house and so on.

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      • Absolutely. I’m afraid this bloody illness has pushed my writing schedule further and further back and whereas I used to write every day, even if it was just a little bit, I realise now that that simply isn’t always possible or realistic. Life DOES get in the way!

        What matters isn’t the frequency, it’s the commitment to want to continue, to think about your writing, your ideas, even if you’re not in a position to write them down. Very best wishes Kate. xx

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  1. I bet you find that you are writing every day, even if it’s just mental notes. You don’t have to be adding to your opus every day, sometimes it’s just not possible. Unless you’re a professional writer the rest of life gets in the way and sometimes you have calls on your time that you can’t ignore. If you’re not in the mood it just won’t come right, you can’t force it. But as long as you’re thinking about writing and words, that’s what counts.

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  2. Oh, I completely agree. There are times you absolutely cannot write. Sometimes taking a break is the best thing you can do for your writing. Sometimes you have work or family obligations and can’t find the emotional energy or time to write. It doesn’t make you any less of a writer. Stick to your own definition of what makes you a writer–not someone else’s.

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  3. You’re right, Sophie, illness is a big barrier to life in general, let alone something that requires a huge amount of concentration like writing. Hopefully you’ll get past that barrier very soon. xx

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