Bad Advice (Sydney Salter)


The most common writing advice that I really hate is to WRITE EVERY DAY. I feel like it is advice for men, not women. Definitely not moms. I can't count the number of times my writing time was crushed by a child's sudden illness, or even a teen's need to talk something out. 

I guess I could have shooed my kids away and done that writing. But now that my daughters are grown I'm glad that I didn't. 

I'm no longer a mom in the trenches (though now I rarely turn away a phone call from an adult daughter). Now I'm a care-giving daughter to aging parents. I can't count the number of times my writing time was crushed by a mom's sudden need, or even an aging mom's need to talk something out. 

I guess I could have ignored my aging parents' needs. But now that my mother-in-law is gone, I'm glad that I didn't. 

I HAVE written every day. I've won National Writing Month five times, writing every day of November. Life cooperated in those Novembers--my kids were thriving, parents doing okay. I had fun making Thanksgiving pies and getting my word counts done. 

The thing about NOT writing every day is the thinking time. I've avoided a lot of writing problems by taking the time between writing sessions to think about what I've already written, what I plan to write. I think about my characters. How to fix weaknesses creeping into my WIP. All that thinking makes writing more efficient, maybe even better. I like giving my writing some breathing room. I like taking the pressure off myself to write every day. 

I CAN write daily. I just think that my writing is better when I don't. Give yourself and your writing breathing room. That's my good advice. 

But only if it works for YOU!


  1. If I wrote every day, way more would hit the trash heap than be kept. There's an inner sense of comfort that comes with good, productive writing. Just think of how many times you wrote a check to pay a bill and thought, 'that's behind me'

  2. Thank you! The pressure to write every day can be overwhelming, and that's problematic. Room to breathe and think and plan is essential—at least in my writing process, too. Glad I'm not alone!

  3. I used to SWEAR by this advice. But the older I get, the more harm I really think it does...


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