If I Don’t Write Every Day, Am I Still a Writer?
The first thing that we have to understand on this journey of becoming together is that there are no absolutes. Yes, as a member of this community you will receive insight, instruction, and guidance on becoming your best writer. But the key here is, YOUR. We are all different. We will all go on to do different things with our careers, so first and foremost, we have to establish that all advice is to be taken with a perspective that there are no absolutes.
The short answer to the question posed is that you are surely still a writer even if you don’t write every day. But let me tell you why I think it’s really important. There is not a craft on this Earth that does not require practice. And the more you practice, in my estimation, the better you become. When writers talk about struggling with their voice, I believe it’s because they haven’t spent enough time writing. As you do write more often, you simply hear it. I know what I sound like in words because of the amount that I write.
Outside of the practice, writing has literally become a form of spiritual awakening for me. I write every day because I think my mind would literally explode if I didn’t. Having the ability to write helps me understand myself, the world around me, my emotions, and so much more. Writing every day does not always entail finishing 10 book pages or a 1,000-word blog post. For me, writing every day means writing my prayers and writing some of my morning thoughts, challenges, aspirations, affirmations or whatever is on my heart to write that morning. It literally sets the tone for my day.
Prior to making a morning routine, I felt completely out of whack throughout my day. I was unable to really focus on the tasks in front of me, I was all over the place emotionally. The daily practice of writing not only helps me to develop, but it helps me to function.
With that, I am gentle with myself when I do not get to write. Some mornings I am hustling out of the door or I may be traveling. Whatever the case may be. In this journey, we also have to learn to be gentle with ourselves even with the schedules and processes that we put into place.
I’m obsessed with writing. I love it. I love finding new inspiration. I listen closely to conversations, stow away scenes from my favorite films, I write words and phrases that move me. Why wouldn’t I want to do it every single day? It’s not always writing for my business. Sometimes it’s a phrase, a line, a title, a thought. But when people urge you to write every day, it’s because if this is something that you’re pursuing it should indeed be a priority. Do you think Lebron can play the way he does taking weeks on end off from getting in the gym? NOPE. So in order to stay in our creative mode, I find that writing as often as possible is good for our writing prowess.
Be careful who you let define the word writer for you. You will come across many definitions. But one thing I have found is that careers in the arts are for the mentally strong. These are not conventional paths and there are a lot of opinions on what’s “good” and the right or wrong way to do things. I’ve fallen victim to what I considered a “good” writer to be and then in a moment I realized that what I brought to the table was 100% me. My work is for who my work is for and not anyone else. Always remember that. There are tricks and tools that many of the greats have used, but only you get to define what makes you a writer.
So what’s holding you back from being able to write every day? Here are a few things that you may want to try to get into the habit.
- Buying a guided journal. I think all the time. So I literally am rarely short on things to write about. But, I still have some workbooks and prompts that I can work from if I am ever at a loss.
- Set 30-minute timers. You have probably heard me say this over and over if you follow my work. I know we are all busy, but there are not many people that can convince me if you are not Beyonce, that you don’t have 30 minutes in your day that you can set aside to write. We all waste time somewhere. Try using 30 of those minutes to write something down.
- Take a course or workshop. There is something about another person’s mind that can really help open up yours. Try a workshop, you may be able to uncover things that you never thought you would.
- Wake up earlier. I was wandering out of the bed like 30 minutes before I had to work at some point. So counterproductive. Getting up a little earlier gave me the time to actually carve out more writing time before getting my day started.
- Stay Ready. I am always gathering ideas no matter where I am. Whether it’s in a notebook or on your phone, when the inspiration comes, don’t miss it.
- Remember why you’re writing. I think this is so key. Is writing your hobby? Okay, well great, maybe you don’t need to be as consistent. Is writing what you hope to make a career? Then remember your why to motivate you to write every day. Make sure that it aligns with your goals. That book is not going to write itself. So what changes are you going to make to ensure that it gets done?