Conventional wisdom for writers is to write something every day. Many writers have given this advice. There are detractors, for example Cal Newport thinks this is terrible advice if you are not a full-time writer. I think I am more in the “write something every day” camp although I have failed miserably at doing that, if you discount the writing I do as part of my day job and, even if you don’t, I don’t spend as much time writing creatively as I would like to – being a content marketing person in a startup is a pretty varied job.
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.
STEPHEN KING pic.twitter.com/RyW6OI9AIR
— Jon Winokur (@AdviceToWriters) March 22, 2015
At the very least I’d like to write something for this blog every day, even if it is a pretty short post (no, this post isn’t my attempt at getting back on the horse, wagon or metaphorical saddled typewriter, if you were wondering). At the same time, I manage to procrastinate for weeks at a time despite being connected virtually all the time and being able to publish to my blog on my MacBook Air, work laptop, iPhone and iPad.
I wondered why I can’t seem to be able to write something every day (or, at least, a couple times a week) despite being technically able to do this? One excuse was that I don’t have anything to write but with a mind that doesn’t stop from the moment my daughter wakes me up until I finally close my eyes and fall asleep, that isn’t a particularly good excuse.
Another excuse that I use a little too liberally is that I am generally exhausted after a busy day at the office and my mind just wants to switch off during my commute home and then it is preoccupied with kids, dinner and winding down at night. That excuse is a little more plausible (hence why it seems to have a little more traction) but still a poor one.
I even managed to snare myself in a totally pointless, internal and paralyzing debate about which app I really wanted to write in (I have about a half a dozen options for putting text on to a virtual page) and that just frustrated me for the 45 minutes that little debate raged for.
As a side note, as ridiculous as my “app debate” was, some apps just don’t work for me at all. As useful as MS Word is for so many writers (and computer users, generally), the thought of using it more than is absolutely necessary leaves me feeling nauseous. I tried switching to LibreOffice but it didn’t move a needle for me either.
I think the bottom line is probably the “I don’t wanna’s”, also known as “laziness”.
Writing something every day remains good advice which I will continue to think about on those unproductive commutes and when two or three ideas for blog posts come to mind in the shower. I may even start doing it more frequently. It could become a thing.