Saturday, August 25, 2007

Life First!

At times I get a little irritated reading some writer’s blogs. I don’t write everyday – at least not on a manuscript or story because occasionally I lose the passion for a project or I just have so many other things going on in my life that need my attention I don’t have time to write. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this.

I don’t write to pay my bills. I write because I want too – because I have things I want to say that lend themselves to paper rather than words. But not writing every day or pushing myself when I’m not motivated doesn’t mean I’m not a writer. It means I have a life.

My life is not an interruption to my writing. It’s what fuels my writing, provides me with a perspective and keeps everything flowing and fresh. I need to take breaks to tend to the rest of my life so it doesn’t overwhelm me and stifle my writing.

For those who can write everyday, I say great! More power to you but don’t judge me because I can’t. We’re all different. That’s what makes the world interesting, fascinating, frustrating and mundane.

For me, life first!


SzélsőFa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SzélsőFa said...

Hello, Anti-wife, (I'm re-entering my comment for there were too many typos in it.

Thanks for commenting on my thecoppermoonproject site. What you have said resonats with a saying I've read (I don't know who said it...)
it goes along something like:
'never compose anything until the non-composing of it becomes a positive nuisance for you' - this is one of my guidelines when writing.

I don't always stick to it, but still... I think it is a very important observation.

John Elder Robison said...

I can understand how you don't want to be judged for not writing every day. Did that happen? Are you posting this entry from some dark hellish hole where you're confined for the weekend?

I don't write every day, either. But I did go out and get a haircut, so if I get locked up for not writing it won't fall in my face.

Well, anyway, if you're locked in a cage somewhere over this . . . I didn't have anything to do with it.

Lisa said...

I'm chiming in my support and agreement, for what it's worth. Declarations of "the way" to do anything are typically nonsense. For as many writers and artists there are, there are just as many processes. I have a full time job and a personal life too and some days I write a lot, some days I write a little, some days I edit and revise and some days I don't write at all, although I'm always thinking about some aspect of it. I tried keeping to a minimum daily word count for a short time once and found it was a creativity killer.

Bernita said...

"Write every day" is a guide, not a law.
And contains the usual understood, if unspoken, caveats.

And definitely not a santimonious stick to beat up on someone by declaring they are "not REAL writers."
I wonder sometimes if those who manage to write every single day are (1) lying, or (2)have never has a genuine domestic crisis.
Certainly they are more organized than I.

Church Lady said...

On June 26, Camp Invention ended, and the boys were home with Mommy full-time. They go to school tomorrow, Aug 27. I haven't written anything new in those two months. I've edited and critiqued, and write short entries for EE's blog (which aren't good anymore. He used to post my stuff. I can tell I'm rusty now.)

I am beating myself up a bit. It's hard not to. But....I have been reading. One book a week, and taking mental notes on style and execution.

For example, I read a Lee Child book (Without Fail). It sucked. It sucked royally. His writing sucks, did I say that? That makes me happy, because now I'm at a point where I can analyze what makes good writing or not.

If you can't write, then read. If you can't read, then blog and stay active with other writers. And live your life!!! That's where the material comes from!!


sex scenes at starbucks said...

I admire that you don't have to write every day to keep writing. For me, it's a bit like working out. If I do it three times per week, every workout is difficult to start and complete. If I do it five or six times a week, it's habit. I'm intimidated enough when I sit down to write, so I have make it a habit just to endure the humiliation and fear of failure.

The Anti-Wife said...

That makes very good sense. I think I'm going to adopt that as one of my guidelines too. Thanks!

Only a cage of my own making! Getting ready for all those interviews I see!

I agree. There is no one way that can work for everyone. We all have to decide what works best for our style and our lives. Thanks for stopping by and come again.

The Anti-Wife said...

I think it must be a combination of both. If they are writing every day, what kind of work are they producing? You can't be on top of your game every day of your life.

Great points all! It really is interesting to read some books and see all the passive voice, adverbs and other things Miss Snark would run to the Gin for.

The Anti-Wife said...

I don't know how you do it and survive. There are some days I can't even get to the blog and I'm not married with kids. I admire people who can plug along no matter what, but it's definitely not me.

Merry Jelinek said...

I don't blog everyday, I go in fits and starts mostly, though I notice when I'm very active there's active discussion and when I leave off for a long while not much happens in the comments.

I don't write everyday, either - though my wip is simmering when I'm not writing or editing. Like you, I don't think there's a set rule. Some authors take years to push out one novel, others are unbelievable in the amount of good writing they produce.

When I was actively freelancing, I wrote every day but I hated what I was writing. I'd rather work on my fiction with no visible paycheck than spend all of my writing time not enjoying myself.

The Anti-Wife said...

Ideas are always bouncing off the walls in my mind. Even when I'm not actively writing, I always carry paper and pen around just to jot down thoughts as they occur, or to make a note of something that moved me.

mcewen said...

Has someone been giving you grief to provoke this post?

But too right. We are all very different. I certainly need to write every day but more usually it's nocturnal! [they're at the park at the moment.]
Best wishes

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Some people call it plugging along. Health care professionals call it obsessive/compulsive disorder.

Anonymous said...

I would hope these other sites didn't mean any offense. Writing almost always feels like work (well, long projects, at least), and sometimes folks try to motivate each other to get it moving. It's probably well intentioned.

In any event, a natural flow is best. Totally forcing it will come out feeling just that way: forced.