Should Writers Write Every Day? | Discussing "Bad Writing Advice" Part 1

by - September 06, 2019


Hey there, fellow writers! Today, I'm excited to begin a series titled, "Discussing 'Bad Writing Advice.'" Throughout this month, I will post each week on what some people consider to be "bad writing advice."

We'll tackle questions like, "Why is this good writing advice?", "Why is this bad writing advice?", "Is this writing advice good for all writers?", and "Is it all right if this writing advice doesn't work for me?"

And just so you know what to expect, here's the schedule for this month:

Sept. 6: Write Every Day
Sept. 13: Don't Edit While You Write
Sept. 20: Write What You Know
Sept. 27: Ignore the Negative Comments

This week, we're going to tackle this "bad writing advice":
WRITE. EVERY. DAY.
Whether you're a new writer or an experienced writer, I'm sure you've heard this advice. Write every day! It will help you become a better writer! It will save your writing career! (Okay, maybe not that extreme, but I think you get my point?)

But some writers call this "bad writing advice." So is this good writing advice? Should writers write every day?

Let's take a closer look at this argument.*

*I watched this video by Nadine Brandes on YouTube on this topic, but that is the only reference that needs citing. :)


WHY THIS IS GOOD WRITING ADVICE

The advice "write every day" encourages writers to be consistent. I know that many writers struggle with consistency. When you write every day, your brain becomes used to coming up with something creative every time you sit down to write (or so I've heardand I think it's true).

All in all, writing every day will really help you in your writing journey. If you can't practice writing a lot, how will you grow and improve as a writer?

Some writers find this fantastic advice because they can see their writing improve from month to month or even week to week.

But..."write every day" is also BAD writing advice.

How can this be bad writing advice if it's good for you...?

WHY THIS IS BAD WRITING ADVICE

Here is the main argument that people use when they disagree with the advice "write every day": Writing takes up so much of your mental energy, so if you write every day, you will be burnt out and not able to write AT ALL.

This is a good time for discouragement and frustration to come in, as well.

Is it true that writing will use up so much mental energy? Yes. Just like EVERYTHING else, writing takes up mental energy. (Of course, how much mental energy you use varies with whatever you're doing.)


IS THIS GOOD OR BAD WRITING ADVICE?

So should you push yourself to write every dayeven when you don't feel like it? Well...yes and no. When you have deadlines, sometimes you need to write more oftenwhether or not that means every single day.

Here's my encouragement to you: Don't feel like you have to write every single day. If you like writing every daylike I usually dothen go for it! But don't be afraid to take a break. Do what's best for you and for your mental health. Some writing advice doesn't fit every writer! Some writers can't write every day. Some writers love it!

If you simply can't write every day, it's TOTALLY fine! If you can write every day, that's awesome!

If you realize that writing every day is draining your mental energy faster than you can recharge, it's okay to write a few times each week! In fact, this is recommended for newer writers. As you get more advanced in your writing journey, you will be able to increase that to 4-7 days each week.


WHAT'S THE MAIN POINT BEHIND "WRITE EVERY DAY"?

Every piece of advice (hopefully) has a main point. And the main point for this advice is this: It's not about writing every dayit's about being consistent.

Consistency is what will help you grow as a writer. What consistency looks like varies from writer to writer, so if your inspiration and creativity well are getting low, take a little time to fill it back up.

It's completely fine. Don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself! You got this, friend!


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what about you?

Do you write every day? Do you wish you could? Have you heard this advice before? What are your thoughts on it?

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7 comments

  1. Great post, Julia!! I used to write every day very consistently until I began pursuing a career in the medical field. Shortly after that began (and I was burning myself out trying to do both at once) I read about how several very well-known authors simply wrote 2-3 times a week. They created best-sellers without writing every single day! That really encouraged me and I found out that it IS possible to be extremely productive by simply setting aside a couple of days. (This is how I have been writing CS - it seems to be working. lolol)
    I am really looking forward to the rest of your posts in this series! <3
    -Anita

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    1. Hi, Anita! Yes, life happens and priorities change (school, for sure!). I'm so glad this encouraged you! <3

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  2. Yay! This is gonna be a really neat series!! I used to be totally against the idea of writing every day, but once I realized it wasn't "wrong" to write every day I sorta really latched onto the idea?? I don't mind missing a few days but the consistency really helps my writing...every little bit counts!!

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    1. Yes, I totally agree, Kassie! I used to think that writing every day was super important too! Consistency is SOOO important!! :D

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  3. Yeah, I can't write every day, except of course for school :D

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    1. Hi, Zella! I know, right? School and volleyball have been occupying a lot of my time lately, so writing has been a bit of a squeeze the past few weeks. ;)

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  4. Julia, this was such a great post! I'm excited for this series!

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