Should a writer write every day?
Many authors will shout a resounding YES! I have no quibble with them.
I also don’t hold myself to that standard. I try to practice moderation (except where chocolate is involved). I believe it’s okay not to write for day, a week, or even a month. If I don’t rest between writing projects, my creative inkwell runs dry.
And if writing is an act of will, then storytelling is a state of mind. Both are magical, and neither perform on command. Creativity on demand feels counter-intuitive to me. Discipline is important to cultivate, but when forced, the magic can become manic.
Some days, I feel compelled to step away from my writing. The process should be a joy, not a chore. Instead, I might read books by other authors who inform and inspire me. Robert McKee’s Story. Annie Dillard’s essays. Poetry from across the ages.
One writer who restores me is Julia Cameron. The Artist’s Way arrived in my life at exactly the right time. I’ve since read four more of Julia’s books which are designed as interactive studies for creative types (which, according to Julia, is all of us).
Even when I’m not writing, I’m creating. Just because I close my laptop doesn’t mean the magic fades. It settles in a different part of my brain – kind of like a storytelling Crock-pot. There, the narrative simmers while I’m doing other stuff.
I applaud all the writers who continue to strive to write an entire novel this month. (#NaNoWriMo2016) It’s the creative equivalent of climbing K2. In a snowstorm. Without boots.
Will I be writing today? Probably. And if not, the storytelling goes on…
However we each choose to spend it, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!