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?