When I was a young writer the highly recommended quality of an author I heard most often was to write every day; and was lead to believe that if I didn’t do this, then I was somehow unworthy of the title of writer or author. I think one of these authors’s referred to those who didn’t practice their writing craft everyday as a writing hobbyist. I started to wonder if these authors who demand that others write everyday have more time on their hands, although I’ve noticed that many are single, childless, or men.
After High School, and before I got my “first real job” that didn’t include baby-sitting, cleaning the home of a homebound hoader, helping to put a paraplegic neighbor to bed so that they could save money on the nursing service, mowing lawns or shoveling walks of the elderly, or selling my mother’s crafts door to door, I had eight to thirteen hours to write. The thirteen hours might sound bad, but I should mention that I had a bad case of insomnia during this time and was lucky to get four hours of sleep a day.
My “real job” took up most of the day and it wasn’t so easy to find the hours I wanted to spend writing, but I found ways around it. The writing everyday was still an easy task because there were no demands on my time. But when I started a family with my hubby and began helping around the ranch, writing time became non-existent. An hour here, ten minutes there. Writing mothers will recognize the pattern.
I’m certain that a consistent time to write isn’t going to happen until both girls are in school and even then it’s subject to change with my husband’s swing shift schedule. So I’ve come up with two new aims since writing everyday isn’t a feasible goal for me.
1. Keep writing. Writing is my sanctuary from the stresses of the day. Writing is where my thoughts play out on the page. Writing is an act of creation, where worlds form, where characters play and live. Writing keeps me sane.
2. Do what you can do. No one can really ask more than that of anyone. If I can’t write for a day or a week, I shouldn’t feel guilty about it. If all I can manage is ten minutes a day, then I better be ready when that ten minutes comes.
What are some writing myths you have been told that you’ve learned are not practical for you?