One of the most popular—if not THE most popular—writing advice out there is write every day.
The idea behind this advice is simple: writing is tough, so the best way to counter that is to make it a habit by writing every day. It doesn’t matter if you only write a sentence or a whole chapter of your novel project; the fact remains that writing every day helps keeping you in the momentum.
I talked in my previous blog post about how keeping in the momentum would help you tremendously in finishing your manuscript faster. So as you might have expected, I agree to this legendary advice—to some extent.
But, as is the case with almost anything else, there is a catch.
Writing every day is ideal… if you can afford to do it.
Theoretically, there are a lot of benefit that you can get by writing every day. As I mentioned, it keeps you in the momentum; it keeps you in the “creative mode”. But let’s be real now, people. Not everyone has the luxury to write every day. No matter how ideal it might seem to do this every day, the magic eventually wears off.
I consider myself a writer. And I really do love writing fiction.
But I wouldn’t love it if I were forced to do it every single day. Or, if I were forced to do anything every single day.
Like my day job.
Realistically, though, you would have tons of other things that might make things exponentially harder for you to write every day, especially if you have a huge responsibility somewhere else.
For example, you might want to write every day. But between your very demanding day job and your newly born baby whose favorite pastime is to cry non-stop during the little hours you have to actually sleep… well you get my point.
Yes, you can still squeeze writing every day. Yes, you can write during your lunch break. Yes, you can write while singing your baby to sleep. You will just be more miserable that way.
Now, if you are currently working on a project, it might be better for you not to lose the momentum, but for every other days? I really think that you’d better off with anything other than writing.
I don’t really like to sound negative when sharing what my writing experience is like, but I can’t seem to shake off the cynical thoughts lingering on my mind whenever someone tries to preach and tell me to write every day in order to produce new books. Of course, depending on what type of writer you are, your mileage might vary by a lot. But I stand my point.
I don’t think doing too much writing—or doing too much of anything, for that matter—is going to bring you any good. And although I can’t say I’m an expert myself, I would like to share what I know and what works for me, in hopes that it might also work for you.
I believe there are two sides of a coin when it comes to creative works: the creation side and the consumption side.
Reading tons of books is just as important as writing your own. This is the same principle that makes a great chef; they also have to taste various cuisines around the world before developing their own recipes.
Another analogy that might work is actually quite ironic: a rollerball pen.
Have you ever had a pen that still has a lot of ink, but it just couldn’t lay it down on paper? I’ve heard countless advice from people saying that I left the cap open for too long, or that I haven’t used it to write for a very long time, causing the tip to dry. In this case, yes, writing with the pen regularly is a perfect idea to keep the ink flow going.
But if you haven’t noticed, another problem would emerge by doing that; eventually the ink reservoir would run dry. As important as writing with the pen is to keep it flowing well, it is also important to refill the ink once it runs dry, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to write with it at all.
That is what I meant by the two sides of the same coin.
As much as “writing” regularly is important, it is also imperative that us, as content creators, “refill our creative juices” by doing anything other than writing.
It might mean spending more time with your loved ones. it might mean catching up on your favorite TV series. It might also mean just going on a short getaway while hoping it would remedy your writer’s block.
You could revisit your other hobbies, perhaps. Sewing, singing karaoke, travelling the world, trying new food, playing video games—anything. Or if you’re like me, you would be shuffling your collection of fountain pens while keeping a consistent entry on your writer’s notebook whenever inspiration strikes after watching your favorite TV show.
Oh, did I tell you that enjoying good food is scientifically proven to boost creativity? Yes, it does.
How is that proven scientifically? Because I said so, that is. Especially if you’re eating cakes. Because cakes and sweets make everyone happy.
Yes this is a completely nonsensical, subjective, and irrelevant piece of information that I cram in this blog post just because I can.
I hope you get my point.
Writing every day is ideal; but it is not everything.
I suppose if I have to summarize my whole post into one sentence, it would be that one. It is not that I completely disagree with the statement; I even encourage other writers to write every day when they’re working on a project so they would always be in the momentum.
But as I mentioned, it is not everything.
Writing is just one facet of your life. Just like writing every day would keep you in the momentum, I believe that enjoying life as it is, and taking the time to appreciate every single thing when you are not writing, will lead to more creative discoveries.
And who knows? Those creative discoveries could very well lead to… another writing project.
(In which case, you really have to write every day on that project until it’s done. Trust me.)
Speaking of which, my good friend over at Maison Mouette Patisserie sent me a cake inspired by my recently published novel, UNSPOKEN WORDS.
I couldn’t stop to admire how amazingly talented she is. The cake has a base flavor of vanilla, and was baked to achieve a very fluffy and moist consistency, similar to what you will find on a lot of Japanese modern cakes.
However, what I consider the icing on the cake (pun intended), is the frosting.
I mean, look at that.
That is not your regular frosting. It is actually a chamomile infused, Tasmanian honey fresh cream that packs quite a flavorful punch. I knew I would fall in love with this cake the moment I took it out from the box. I mean, it smelled like Honey Star, so you know it would be good!
And how would I describe the taste?
Homey, sweet, and takes me back to my childhood.
With the intentional minimalist and rustic decor on the cake, this is truly one cake that represents everything that my book, UNSPOKEN WORDS is.
I would encourage you guys to visit her instagram account and take a look at her creations. I bet you could also ask her to make this exact same cake, because she accepts custom orders. Or perhaps if you also want to custom order a cake inspired by your own books… she might be able to do just that 😉
Maison Mouette Patisserie (Mouette)