I've read that many writers use this advice, and give it themselves. But should you really?
Certainly writing to a routine helps as it keeps your mind focused and your fingers flexed. But not all of us can write every single day. We have various obstacles in our way; work commitments, family, lifestyle choices, I'm sure you can think of others. So does it hurt not to write every day?
No. Writing when you can will help keep your prose tight, refined and concise. You want every word to count when you don't know for certain the next time you will put pen to pad, or type away on your keyboard. One thing I've learned is we don't always have to be at a workstation to be writing, not for fiction anyway. We live our worlds in our minds through the day in our work places, or doing chores around the house/garden. It never leaves us, or it doesn't me. I write in my mind whilst showering, washing the car and such, so when I do find the time to sit at my desk, I know what I want to write, and set to it. It may not always be exactly what my mind's eye pictured me writing, word for word should I not have had my notepad handy, but this doesn't matter. It will be better.
Not writing every day will train you to become a quicker writer too. You should find yourself being able to write far more in one sitting purely because you aren't sure when you will have the opportunity again.
On a sort of flip side. Does writing every day have to mean writing your fiction/non-fiction book?
No. You could write in other ways on the days you just don't want to commit to writing the book. For instance take up writing in blogs. You become a better writer for it. You will find yourself thinking more thoroughly the words you type as you type for you know it is an instant thing and people will read your musings soon after you hit 'Publish'.
This can only be a good thing. Why? Well, it will aid your book writing, or rather the book editing process, as you will find you have less grammar errors to correct. And less editing is always a bonus... right.
So write every day if you can, but don't despair if you can't. You are writing when you can, and this can only enhance your craft skills.
On re-reading my Writing page I discovered that I have a message in there that cannot be stressed enough. This is that after you have written your story, be it; book, novella, short story, or poem even, and have gone through it, editing it until you are sick in your head with it, you must LET IT REST. Then go through it again, and again if necessary before sending it off to your publisher/editor/agent, or like me uploading onto createspace and the like.
Why am I saying it here and now, because I have re-read my printed books after I had clicked 'publish', and yes this is after I had received the books in the post and read them through before doing so, and months after publishing I still see mistakes I should have picked up on before putting it out to the public.
LETTING IT REST will allow you to come back to it and read it as if you are the reader, not the writer, and iron out those little things you weren't able to see because you were too close to it so soon after writing the idea on pages.
What do you do whilst you are LETTING IT REST? Write something else. This will allow your mind to become so engrossed in a new story, you will forget about the previous one and every word you used in it. Ergo, when you do go back to it you will read every word anew and know every word is in its rightful place.
How long do you LET IT REST? As long as it takes to forget about it. If for example you have written a novel of 90,000 words, write a few short stories, or at least three good length chapters of another book. This really depends how long it takes you to forget what you've been working on. Experiment until you find the answer.
LET THEM REST!
Charles F Bond is writer of fantasy and paranormal fiction. He wishes you much merriment in the pursuit of good reading.
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