It makes the rounds of writing-related blogs every now and then, and NaNo season seems to be one of the preferred times for bloggers to share the concept for anyone who somehow hasn’t been informed yet:
There is no excuse for not writing every single day!
‘It doesn’t matter what is happening in your life,’ we are told. ‘If you want to call yourself a Real Writer, you had better learn to set aside a time every day (the same time, if you’re really serious about it) for nothing but writing. It doesn’t matter if you’re ill; that’s an excuse, and there are no excuses. Having pneumonia doesn’t keep your hands from working, does it?’
On some days, my hands really won’t work properly. I have fibromyalgia (yes, I’ve heard it before: ‘men can’t get fibro because eighty percent of the people diagnosed with it are women’), and sometimes I get a severe flare-up. If I can’t pick up an empty coffee mug or a paperback book, I can’t spend even half an hour typing. If my nerves are malfunctioning so much that petting my cat hurts, I should not be trying to tap my fingers against hard plastic squares. On those days, I do other things that are necessary for writing, such as reading up on topics that relate to what I’m writing about. This isn’t writing, however, so according to the “no excuses!” school of thought, I’m still being a lazy bastard and ought to just give up, stop pretending to be a writer and go get a job at Walmart (because yeah, that’s gonna happen — not. I can’t walk without a cane sometimes, and I look too healthy to be hired as their token ‘real disabled person — see how charitable we are to have hired this guy,’ but of course I can stock shelves or work a register when I can’t type due to pain…).
True story: My clone is only now recovering from having non-infectious pneumonia (not caused by a germ, but his lungs filled up with fluid anyway), and when a doctor checked his blood oxygen level, it was dipping to only eighty-four percent when he exhaled. Less oxygen to the brain means less ability to think. He was not capable of writing while he was sick; he was barely capable of speaking. I don’t know about you, but I consider that a pretty good reason not to be writing.
I’m gonna share a hypothesis with you: Some people truly believe every writer must writer every day, but some… Some are only telling us this because they want to ‘sabotage the competition’ (which is ridiculous, but whatever). If they can convince a fellow writer that not writing every single day on a set schedule means that person is not a Real Writer and ought to give up entirely, that’s one more ‘rival’ out of the way.
My own belief on what makes for good writing practice is this: Do whatever works for you. If you don’t know what that is, try a few different approaches to figure it out. If you do know what works best for you, keep doing it. Ignore those other people, the ones who want to tell you the ‘only way’ to be a writer. They don’t live in your life or in your head, so they have no idea how you think and how you create.
(Today I’m in just enough pain to make me cranky and irritated with people who tell me that being in pain means I’m lazy and stupid and bad. There are several reasons why I avoid face-to-face contact with most humans; this is one of them. Get off my lawn! I will try to post something amusing or at least lighthearted next time. Or maybe finally get around to that promised post about immortal/unaging characters. Tomorrow is Tuesday, after all.)