First drafts have exactly one job: to exist.
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The number one nemesis to any writer struggling to get that draft written is your inner editor. She's got a grating voice and constantly nags you about your grammar, your sentence structures, your plot development. "Change this. Fix that. Make it better."
One of my favorite writing quotes is from William Faulkner:
I only write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning.
I love this quote mainly because it emphasizes that waiting for inspiration is not the way to get things done. But it also promotes a common piece of advice in the writing world: Write every day.
Like much writing advice, the "write every day" mantra is often lauded as the be-all-end-all. And like most writing advice, that is simply not the case. Although I am a proponent of writing every day in many contexts, I do recognize that the advice is not perfect for every writer in every situation. Whether writing every day is a good idea depends on the individual and can change for each individual.
Although I generally find writing every day to seriously boost my productivity, there are times that I need to slow down or (gasp) take a break. So remembering that all writing advice has positives and negatives, let's take a moment to look at the pros and cons of writing every day so you can decide whether it's the best idea for you at this specific stage in your writing journey.
"I'm not a real writer."
Sounds familiar, right? Anyone who has spent time writing or in the company of writers have likely said this or heard someone else say it. "I'm not good enough to call myself a writer. I'm not published. I'm not like [insert name of famous author here]."
According to Merriam-Webster, "The term 'impostor syndrome' can be traced to a 1978 article by the American psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, 'The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention.'"
A quote from their article: