A while ago, I made a commitment to write and submit a piece to a publication every single day. Even now, when I’m on vacation.
It’s going great so far.
The relaxed state induced by the vacation paired with being with nature most of the time really gets my creative juice free-flowing.
Now I’ve read a lot of articles here in Medium — written by many pro writers — that suggest writing and publishing everyday if I want to make it big. I’m doing exactly that. So, great! I’m on the right track.
Then I came across some stories from other writers about the frustration of not being able to write and get the creativity going. Inspiration seems to elude some people at some points sooner or later.
Then came the day where I didn’t submit anything for a day after quite a long streak of daily submission.
It wasn’t for the lack of inspiration. The piece was already half way done.
I feel like a discussion on the topic of writing everyday is called for.
I was halfway. On my way to the finish line when I had to stop. I just couldn’t go on anymore.
It was the ‘The No-Phone Rule’ piece that just got published 2 days ago.
Retelling the story, putting it word by word on the page was dredging up all the crazy emotions I had up to the surface.
I felt myself drowning with every word I spelled out in my screen.
Then during one of my little writing breaks, I had a little argument with my boyfriend. I was having a mini anxiety attack.
I could have finished the piece. I could force myself to sit and just replay the horrible scenes I had to go through in my head.
But it would have destroyed me.
I would have been buried so deep it would take me some time to dig myself back up again.
So I chose to close my laptop. I left my words hanging in the air.
I refuse to make myself walk through hell just so that I can publish or submit one story everyday.
I finished the piece the day after. It was still a bit upsetting but not as much as if I would have forced myself to finish it the day before.
I gave myself the time to breath.
The time-out I took for myself has definitely helped me produce a better, more heart-felt piece.
I feel what I write. I play the scene in my head and put it in words, feeling what I had felt back then as I tell my story. The feeling makes a lot of difference.
I stopped when it got too much and continued when I felt better. I took the hurt, the sadness in tinier, chewable pieces.
So, should you write everyday?
Yes. Absolutely. Writing is just like everything else in life. The more you practice, the better you become.
But should you force yourself to write everyday? Even when you feel like you’ve hit your low?
Well, you know yourself better.
Will you crash when you finish your piece? Is the story worth the crash? How much time would you need to recover?
No one can answer that for you. No one but you.
But here’s my takeaway from the experience I had:
It’s okay not to write everyday. It’s okay not to publish everyday.
When you hit that low point in your writing, just remember to ask yourself as I always do:
What’s the reason I’m writing? Why did I start in the first place?
It always put me back on track.