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:
This post is a bit of an update and a bit of a reminder about something that I talk about all the time: priorities.
If you scroll back through my blog, you'll notice that the last post was March of this year. Ideally, I like to post once a week, at the bare minimum, so over two months without a post is definitely not what I'm shooting for.
So Tori, where have you been?
I believe that we make things happen through the actions we take. Sometimes those actions are big—huge risks that either pay off or don't—but sometimes it's the smallest actions that have the biggest impact. We choose our paths through the seemingly insignificant decisions we make every day. Do we choose to spend an hour writing or working out, or do we spend that hour watching television? Do we get enough sleep at night? Or do we down a couple cups of coffee and hope that's enough?
All these small choices will eventually determine our futures. But today, I want to talk about just one choice:
Picking up our toys.
Writers have to be extremely persistent, ridiculously stubborn, and just a little bit stupid. Writers experience more rejection than most people do—or could handle. Writers either develop thick skin, stop submitting, or take up drinking.
I believe that the toughness it takes to keep putting yourself out there, and being rejected, over and over is a learned skill. We're not born with emotional armor, but we develop it because the writing is more important. We make a conscious decision to prioritize our aspirations above our emotional comfort.
If you have a writer friend in your life, you've bought them so many books, pens, and notebooks that the Barnes & Noble employees know to watch for you around the holidays. Maybe you've even braved Black Friday crowds to find your writerly loved one the perfect gift. (If so, hats off to you.)
This year, let's make things easier. As much as writers love the perfect pen/paper combination, there's one thing they want way more: to be published. This year, help your writer friend take an important step toward publication with professional editing.
I've put together a few editing gift packages. Simply prepay for the editing, and your friend will be ready to take their writing to the next level. When you purchase a package, I'll send you a customized PDF gift card. You can email the PDF to your writerly loved one, or you can print it out and wrap it up nice and pretty. (If you want to be that person, nest it inside three—or twelve—wrapped boxes.)
These prepaid gifts have no expiration date. Your friend can redeem them anytime! And if you know your writer would want something different than the packages listed below, shoot me an email and we'll create a customized package just for them.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to claim your gift package!
Today, I'm brushing the cobwebs off this blog. I didn't intend to take a break from blogging, but it's been a very stressful few months, both good and bad. The CliffsNotes version...
When things get hectic, sacrifices have to be made. And sometimes it comes down to remembering to breathe and put one foot in front of the other. My clients always come first, and I'm sorry to say that this blog, my YouTube channel, and my own writing have been a few of the casualties.
I'd like to say that's all changing, but I've got a while to go before life begins to level out.
This July, I'm participating in Camp NaNoWriMo. But unlike most, I didn't set a word count goal.
If you're not familiar with Camp NaNoWriMo, it's just like November's National Novel Writing Month, except instead of setting their sights on 50,000 words over the course of the month, participants set their own goals. They may want to write 20k words—or 80k. It's all up to the writer.
This July, my novel is not my main focus, for a few reasons. I'm spending a lot of time building my business. I'm in the early stages of house hunting. I'm spending more time in the woods, hiking and backpacking (which has been a huge contribution toward my continued sanity). I'm also querying a previous work. And I'm taking care of a new puppy and spending as much time as possible with him.
Oh, you haven't seen pictures? You must not follow me on Twitter.
We're all afraid of something. Sometimes those fears are rational, and sometimes they're not. But I think we can all agree that our fears hold us back. We become so afraid of what might go wrong, we don't chase all the amazing things that could go right. Writers and artists, in particular, can easily get tripped up by our fears—of rejection, failure, not measuring up to our standards or someone else's. Sometimes getting over a fear is a slow process. And sometimes you just have to count to three and do it.
Query Swap Twitter Event Coming June 1, 2017