Why I Don’t Write Every Day

A lot of writers say they write every day. Some set daily goals, and some, weekly. A few may tell you to skip the weekends, but the idea is the same: write something every day. While the technique might work for them, it doesn’t work for me. Here is why it doesn’t:

Mostly, my full-time work takes the precedence over anything that relates to my non-work time activity. I do pen down thoughts that strike me during my work time. But, I don’t build on them at my work desk. I re-read the drafts and build on them later. This also means, for close to half of my writing effort, I am away from the keyboard.

Yes, I Don’t Write Every Day

I get why some of you might not agree with me: after all, I am a writer. If I were a wrestler, wouldn’t I invest time practicing and building muscles every day? I second the logic. But, writing doesn’t earn me my bread. My job does. I may be a writer at heart, but I am much more than just that. I play many roles, only one of which involves writing.

There is another reason: I’ve found that by not writing, I help my writing to be more productive. Yes, you read it right.

When I am not writing, I:

  • Create a list of what and how to write
  • Edit existing first cuts
  • Improve the flow of the story
  • Invest time in other activities, like photography
  • Read
  • Refine the plot
  • Reorganize the site
  • Structure the content of a post
  • Think about my composition

Either of this if I am not working on a fiction plot. I cannot push myself to create something every day even if that means wasting my readers’ valuable time.

The Flip Side of the Story

I agree that writing every day helps. If you are new to writing, noting down something and looking at it in days that follow helps you in improving your writing. Science proves that if you continue to repeat what you do, you sooner or later get better at it. Spending even as less as 15-30 minutes every day can improve your writing. This sounds logical.

Still, it fails to account for one thing: passion. The origin of this logic is that you train your brain to work into and follow a pattern until that becomes either a habit or a regular task on your work calendar. But, can you train your brain to generate passion? From where do you generate the self-motivation for you to give your best? The flaw here is that it is not practical for those who are not earning their bread out of the writing effort.

Most people write every day because they wish to get better at it. It makes sense for them to invest a part of their daily schedule toward perfecting this art. I am more bothered about the pleasure of writing than the result it generates. I do edit my work, but I am least interested in the ripples it creates in the mental ocean of creativity of others.

Summary

The primary purpose of rules—like writing every day—is to help us become more efficient. But, if the rules hinder the very path that leads us to raised efficiency levels, we must break them. Good writing, as I conclude, is not a destination, but a journey. Enjoy it while it lasts.

About Suyog Ketkar

He is a certified technical communicator. He believes that writing continues to be an easy-to-do-but-difficult-to-master job. In his work time, he proudly dons the “enabler” cape. In his non-work time, he dons many hats including one of a super-busy father.
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6 Responses to Why I Don’t Write Every Day

  1. Jheelam says:

    This is kinda refreshing. Most of the ‘writing daily’ brigade tend regurgitate the old stuff in new bottle.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Everything you listed as “not-writing” activities, I include as part of writing. 🙂 But I agree that there are a lot of facets to this craft, and we each need to find our own way of working. Happy Writing to you!

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    • Suyog Ketkar says:

      You are right, Diana, about the non-writing activities being a part of the writing process. It is only that “writing every day” isn’t easy. You cannot generate ideas every day. At times, you have to flow with the flow.
      Thanks for stopping by; glad to have a reader like you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. architsharma says:

    Certainly agree that writing need preparation . Passion is great but make people feel valued, write what makes sense… Even if it’s not daily blogging

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    • Suyog Ketkar says:

      I see where you are coming from, Archit. It does matter a lot when you know that people like to read and appreciate what you write. I am glad you stopped by. Keep writing your replies.

      Like

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