I was at a gathering of writers last night (Portlanders, we meet every last Monday of the month for Literary Libations, join us) and Angela Sanders, an accomplished mystery writer who is doing very well with her books (can you say number one on all Kindle sales?) was talking about her career.
Angela talked about how she does very little social media, sends one newsletter out a month (subscribe here, its definitely worth it), and beyond that, "I write every day."
Because–that's the most important thing.
As often as humanly possible.
And yes, while writing in a journal, or writing a blog post, or ad copy for your next class, or whatever, is all terribly important, when we talk about writing every day, we're talking about writing on that project of yours. You know the one–the novel that keeps you awake at night. The one where the characters keep doing things that delight you. The one you have in your head. Or hopefully in a collection of notes carefully stored somewhere.
So, how important is it to write every day?
Well, I think its every thing. Every damn thing. I do. I believe that writing every day is what we should all strive for.
But people scowl at me when I say this. They throw things, like rotten apples, at me. They yell and scream. Okay, maybe they don't really, but I can see by the look in their eyes that they are wishing they could. Because they really don't want to write every freaking day.
And that is what it really boils down to. Whether or not you actually want to write.
I'm sorry, but that's the plain, hard truth of the matter. (And for the record, I'm lecturing myself here as much as anybody.) Once, years ago, I read something that bears on this. I believe it was in a Julia Cameron book. She said something to the effect that if a man is in love with you, no matter if he's the busiest executive in the world, he'll find time to call you.
So, ahem. If you're in love with your writing (and you should be) you will freaking find time to do it, even a little, even if you're just thinking about it, every day.
And here's a little tip to help you do it every day:
At the above-mentioned Happy Hour wherein we discussed every aspect of writing, one of my most favorite writers (and human beings) in the whole world piped up and said she'd been writing every day.
Gasp. This required a huge gulp of wine to process. Because Jenni, (who is likely reading this and rolling her eyes) has not written for months. This has been the cause of much consternation and hand-wringing between my biz partner Debbie and I, because Jenni is a damn good writer, writing a really fun mystery.
So to hear her announce that she was now writing regularly again was amazing. And we found out her secret, which is…..
Write for ten minutes a day.
C'mon, everyone can find ten minutes. And the bigger trick to this is that once you start writing, you often look up and realize that an hour, not ten minutes has gone by and you've really not felt like stopping.
So, the moral of the story is that, yes, I do think every one should write every day if at all possible and that really, everything will fall into place for us all if we just write as often as possible.
Please share what you think in the comments!
Image by Jem.