Friday, June 1, 2018

June 2018 — Pros and Cons of Writing Every Day

For 2018, all the monthly topics have been submitted to me by writers and readers of this blog.

The question posed for this month is "What are the pros and cons of writing every day?"

Most writers have heard the adage that writing is a muscle—you have to write every day to build that muscle. 

Sure it's wise to set aside time to write because, as E.B. White said, "A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper."

Now, the pros and cons of writing daily is not as simple as you might think. 

Writing boils down to the psychology of self. It's desire versus commitment. It's work versus free-rein. It's the logical brain versus the creative self. And, as you may be aware from my past blog posts and the information in my guidebook, REVISION IS A PROCESS, logic will always—ALWAYS—trump creativity. And of course, life tends to sabotage the best laid plans. For instance, you intend to write for a hour on Wednesday morning. On that day you wake with a headache and fever that fogs your brain. You're too sick to write. Maybe it's something at work that trumps writing that day. Maybe it's a family problem or an errand that must be run that prevents you from writing. In the end, nothing gets written. You may even tell yourself you'll find another time to write. Then something else subverts that plan. That's when you realize you need to look inward and make a very important decision—to write or not write.

BICHOK (Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard) is a mantra many writers are told to embrace. It means making a commitment to write every day. It doesn't matter what you write, as long as you write. After all, daily writing strengthens and sharpens skills, it relieves stress, it helps articulate feelings. Writing daily also leads to developing analytical skills to puzzle things out logically and creatively.  

But BICHOK may also negatively impact a writer by giving them writer's block. When a writer cannot think of what to write, they often turn to investing in books or online resources for inspiration (writing prompts), which may or may not lead to quality writing that's marketable or to a great story.

In actuality, BICHOK is a terrible way to learn fiction writing skills or storytelling skills. Such skills cannot be adequately learned or discovered this type of trial and error. Besides, unlearning any bad writing habits developed with such trial-and-error writing will be very, very, very difficult to unlearn.

Do I advocate BICHOK or write every day? Well, I happen to be a proponent of Sol Stien who said "a writer is someone who cannot not write." If writing is in you, truly part of who you are, you'll find the time and a way to write, be it every day or by binging or by some other method that works for you. 

Capitalize on your inborn compulsion to write. Strive to understand what type of writer you are, set reasonable writing goals, and figure ways to work around life's interferences.

You are a writer who cannot not write, right?

***Next Month: July 2018 — Preplanning for NaNoWriMo (a Project Bible)


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