Do We Have To Write Every Day?

Written by A Guest Author | December 14, 2015

Written by Mori Glaser

Many writers say it’s essential to write every day – anything, even a few words for a few minutes.

I see how this conventional wisdom can help launch a project or keep an existing one moving along, especially when there is a deadline. Certainly long pieces of writing such as novels or series of stories need constant nurturing to keep them emerging onto the page.

However, as a poet I often discourage myself with banalities when I sit down to write without a focus, and end up berating myself for not writing well enough. I know people who say they write better when they need to produce a piece for a workshop; meeting with other writers certainly helps me get going and continue on my way, but personally I find that any creative writing I do under pressure almost invariably flops.

Finding a Flow of Words

Words that get me writing a poem or flash fiction piece that’s actually worth keeping just don’t emerge unless I get into writing mode first.

I write better when I have an idea – a first line, a title, a new (at least for me) angle. I write best of all when I wake up with a few words in my head and get them down on paper to flesh out during the hours, days or weeks that follow.

Sometimes I find my flow by carrying on with my life until images start to emerge. I know that raw emotions can prompt poetry really effectively, but it can also be worth giving them time to mellow and develop into something more.

Recently I spent a very intense time with family and friends for a whole month and didn’t write one word. The following month I was busy assimilating my feelings and my memories of all the other times I’d spent with those special people, and I didn’t write anything apart from a few lines during a poetry workshop. The month after that I started several poems, which have formed a series that I’m adding to as I have time to distill and filter my emotions and experiences through different images and contexts, instead of just writing them the way they happened.

Read Good Writing Every Day

I often find the right kind of focus for writing after reading other people’s poetry, or any kind of good writing. So one piece of wisdom that works well for me is to read good writing every day.

Write When You’re Ready 

Writing every day seems to work well for many people – but for those of us who don’t feel comfortable or productive with that particular conventional wisdom, there’s a different approach: write when you’re ready and see whether you write better.

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Bio: Born in Britain, Mori Glaser moved to Israel 30 years ago. She has blogged and written material for non-profits. Her poetry and flash fiction appears in journals including Writers Hub; Persimmon Tree; Crack the Spine; A Quiet Courage; Akashic Books Thursdaze web series; arc-24 (Israel Association of Writers in English).