Tag Archives | writing schedules

What About Not Writing?

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about creativity with a purpose.  As usual, I banged the drum for writing on a regular basis.  (This is a familiar subject matter for me, as attested to by these posts, too: Getting Up at 5 AM, Techniques for Writing Flow, and Ah, But Here's the Rub, to name only a few.  I can't help it, its what I do!)

For me, and many writers I know, it simply works better to find some time to write very day, or as close to it as possible.  The reasons are many, but mostly boil down to one word: momentum.  Like the proverbial rock rolling down a hill and going faster and faster, your writing will gather speed if you attend to it regularly.  If you don't, there's a lot of time wasted on catch-up, such as trying to remember what the last name of your character is, or in what chapter the murder occurred.  Things like that.

But recently I found some notes from an old MFA lecture (I'm doing a massive purge of papers in my office).  The topic of said lecture was when to write and when to not write.  I was shocked at the not writing part.  But then I remembered a conversation I had recently with my friend and fellow novel goddess Katy, and she said that she goes long stretches without writing.  The nature of her job (for the above-mentioned MFA program) is such that it is difficult to commit to writing on a regular basis.  What she does is go off on intensive week-long writing retreats in which she accomplishes huge spurts of writing. 

So I've been wondering about the whole not writing thing.  I am always afraid that if I don't write, maybe one of these days I simply won't return to it, which is not bloody likely considering it is the single most consistent obsession of my life.  But still, these things I fear do stop me.

Anyone care to make a better case for not writing than I have?

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