I’ve written a lot about writing on here. And I’ve written a lot about the dangers of holding too fast to one type of writing. Now, in general, I do think that a slow and steady stream of words is the best way to go. Writing every day, for a moderate amount of words, is vastly superior than trying to force out a huge amount of words when you possibly have time later.
This is just a plain psychological truth. It’s very easy to say, “Ah, I have to write 500 words today, but I’ll do that on Saturday.” In your head you’ve mentally checked that box off; it’s done as you’ve allocated it to a forward date. But then Saturday rolls around and suddenly all of the words you’ve postponed are due and you have 5,000 words to get through. You fail, and the negating of all of that week’s work is crushing. Very few minds would come out of that experience thinking, “Well, I wrote X number of words on Saturday, and that is good.” Most would say, “I owed 5,000 words and I only wrote X. I have failed.” And frankly that sucks.
So, yeah, writing a bit every day is usually for the best. Plus, a lot of stories will come out like that. You won’t know exactly what to write every day. Not at all. But a few days, maybe a couple of weeks of floundering will occur, and then suddenly you understand what you’re trying to say. You can see the story there, you’ve been writing the wrong scenes or focusing on the wrong place, but you get it, and you get it because you pushed through for those days when you had no real idea what you were writing.
But you know what? Some stories DO NOT come out like that. They come out in pieces and chips and you only see shadows of what you need and instead of characters you hear theme songs and its a complete clusterfuck. Shit starts popping up at random intervals and you have zero idea how it fits together and it’s just…woah.
My current book is like that, and I’ve been trying to be a good little writer and get my words in every day. But I’m at a point where, frankly, I’m willing to say fuck that shit.
There’s a piece of advice that is always floating around along the lines of: “A writer writes…always.”
Or: “A writer writes every day.”
I hate that advice. I hate hearing it and I hate when people say it to me like it means something. And keep in mind that I just went over the undeniable value of keeping to a disciplined writing schedule.
You know who writes every day? Sociopaths.
I mean Jesus. Who the fuck writes stories every day? And why would you want to be one of those people? After awhile, I mean after a few decades of writing every day, doesn’t it start to look less like diligent writing and more like a pathological need to make up stories so that you can impose your will on some part of the world?
Plus what is “writing?”
I text lots of people every day. Is that writing? I journal most days and I always scribble some story idea down somewhere. Is that writing? I do that every day. Do I have to have an internal impulse to shut out the world on a daily basis and visit my fantasies or else it doesn’t count?
So fuck it.
I’m writing this book however this book needs to be written. I’m writing with music on really really loudly and in pen for some parts and I’ll write the beginning six times because who cares and this thing isn’t following any maps.
We’re going all the way to eleven.
I hate rules.
I hate guidelines.
Sometimes structure is a platform to build upon, but sometimes it’s just a cage.
Amen and hallelujah.
That is all.