Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty When You Can’t Write Every Day

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Hey, writing blog. Long time, no see. It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Things have been crazy. 2016 has already presented several awesome things. First, there was the world premiere production of my play, THE SPINS, at Out of Box Theatre in January. I was recently hired as an adjunct creative writing professor for Southern New Hampshire University, I moved to a cool new apartment, and I’m in a new and unexpected relationship. It’s been quite an eventful start to the year.

With everything going on, though, I’ve definitely been a little slower with my writing. I do write something every day, but sometimes, I just scribble down thoughts in my journal. Every time I have a slower writing period, I tend to feel guilty that I’m not banging out 1,000 to 2,000 words every day like I do for National Novel Writing Month. I think this is a common thing for writers.

As much as I believe in writing every day and making writing a daily practice/habit, I have come to realize that we should really go easy on ourselves as writers. There is a time to be extremely productive and write 50,000+ words in a month, and there is a time to scribble down a page or two in your journal every few days. One thing we all need to keep in mind is that there are no “rules”. Every writer has a different journey. Some people start writing when they are seven, and some people don’t start until they are 67. Some people write hundreds of novels in their lives, and some people write one or two. Neither one of these paths are wrong, and neither one is better than the other.

I wanted to write this post to remind you that next time your life is full and you are spending more time living and less time writing, don’t beat yourself up. Chances are, you are having experiences that will later inform your writing, and that is a wonderful thing.

One way to make sure your writing muscles don’t atrophy whenever you are going through eventful times is to keep a journal. Even if you are just writing a few pages in your journal every few days or every week, you’re still practicing the art of expressing yourself. If you don’t keep a journal, maybe spend a little more time crafting a social media post or an e-mail. Look at the ways you use writing in your everyday life, and really use them as a chance to practice your craft. Even if you’re working on a long Facebook post instead of the Great American Novel, you’re still writing something, and there are never any wasted words. Every moment you spend writing makes you a better writer.

So next time you find yourself unable to write every day because life is happening, don’t beat yourself up. Give yourself permission to live fully and presently in the moment. I’m sure you will find a way to write about it later.

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