|Photo credit: Victoria Nevland on Flickr|
There are a lot of posts floating around on the internet on the importance of writing consistently, including posts from yours truly. But there are also a lot of posts out there implying you’re not a real writer if you don’t write every day, and I want to dispel that myth right now.
Or, you know, at least help dispel it.
Let me start this post again.
Hi, my name is Ava, and I’m a binge writer.
When working on a project, I sink into hyperfocus mode. If I’m first drafting, I write every day, and usually aim for around 2,000 words a day. If I’m revising, I revise every day possible, sometimes for only an hour if I’ve had a really tiring day, but many times for huge chunks of the day, when I have the time. When I’m not writing, or revising, or plotting, when I’m in class, or working on something else, or walking around town, my mind is elsewhere. It buzzes with whispers from the story, with scenes I’m working on or revising, with characters, and potential plot possibilities, and snarky lines of dialogue, and emotion emotion emotion. When I’m with people, I’m there, but I’m not.
For however long I’m focused on the project, I’m living in the world of my book.
This means I tend to get through stages quickly. I’m a definite fast-drafter, and average about three weeks when first drafting (regardless of length—the longest first draft in recent memory, which ended up around 83k, I finished in sixteen days). Out of the last couple rounds of revision I’ve done, I averaged about fifteen days per revision round (though I’ve been known to finish heavy revisions in a week, when I have time to block out entire days).
It also means when I finish, I usually emerge pretty tired and definitely in need of a break. Sometimes this lasts a few days. Sometimes a few weeks. Sometimes more than a month.
During that time, besides blog posts like this one, I don’t write. I don’t revise. I don’t work on a project.
What I’m trying to say is, if I’m not working on a project, I don’t write every day. And I force myself not to feel bad about it, because I need those breaks so I don’t burn out. I need some time to let my brain rest, and sit back, read, catch up on Hulu, and relax. I need some mental health days so I don’t run myself into the ground.
Writing every single day, 365 days of the year, is not a requirement of being a writer.
You know what is a requirement? Taking care of yourself. Physically, mentally, emotionally—it’s all important, because in order to create your best, you need to be your best.
So do your best to write consistently and keep the momentum when you can. But don’t forget to take care of yourself in the process.
Are you a binge writer?
"In order to create your best, you need to be your best." (Click to tweet)
Writer @Ava_Jae says it's not a requirement to write every day. What do you think? (Click to tweet)