So, I thought I'd continue the theme of "not every rule/process/technique is right for everyone."
(well, okay, a lot of times) writers say to other writers, "Don't worry
about that messy writing right now. Just keep going and you can fix it
"Writers should write every day."
need to practice writing. It doesn't matter what - just jot down
stream-of-consciousness stuff or whatever - it's the practice that
"Writers should keep journals."
But you know what?
That advice just doesn't work for me.
Trust me, I've tried all those things.
Like my post about character development exercises, I feel strongly that every writer is different.
What works for one doesn't work for everyone.
I think it's important to try new ways of doing things, but to ultimately find your groove and your style.
I can't just "keep going" on a piece and "worry about it later." I need to tidy up as I go along. That's the way I work.
I hate, loathe and despise writing for the sake of writing.
I write when I have something worthwhile to write that feels good writing.
I don't want to "practice" by writing crapola that means nothing to me.
kind of writing does absolutely nothing to help me as a writer; it only
frustrates me and makes me want to watch Judge Judy reruns or vacuum my
closet floors instead.
AND - I don't feel that I have to write every day.
Some days I need to think about writing.
Thinking about writing is part of the process of writing. My BEST writing is a product of much thought.
And some days I need to watch Judge Judy reruns.
That's my style. That's what works best for me.
As for journaling? I've tried it.
bought the most beautiful journals you ever saw - leather ones and
satin ones and embroidered ones. I even have some I got in Italy with
buttery soft leather covers and little straps that wrap around them and
Those journals end up saying stuff like: "Dang, today I ate way too many potato chips." Or "Got this adorable jacket on sale at Nordstrom. Woohoo!"
Maybe it's because I'm just shallow like that, but journaling does NOTHING for my "real" writing.
So my tip is this:
to advice from other writers. Learn what processes/exercises/habits
work for them - especially writers whose work you admire.
Try those processes/exercises/habits.
Then decide what works best for YOU.
If that means writing every day, then by all means, do it.
If that means journaling, do it.
If that means writing only when you have something you want and need to write about, do it.
If that means watching Judge Judy reruns, do it.
And my final thought?
If you don't write every day, I say:
P.S. to teachers:
Keep in mind that some of the tips I offer here won't necessarily apply
to youngsters. Most of my tips are intended primarily for my fellow
grown-up writers who write for children. I understand that 4th graders
may very well benefit from journaling, for instance. And fifth graders
may need to write every day. And sixth graders probably need to practice writing by just writing "stuff".
But like many things in life, the "rules" that apply to children don't always apply to adults, and vice versa.
Sometimes kids need to just "do as I say and not as I do" until they are "fully cooked" enough to do it their own way, right?
There - that's my disclaimer.