Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Rule for Writers


There is a lot of advice on how to be or not to be a writer. One bit I heard too many times to count is that a writer should write everyday.

It is a good idea to approach any endeavor in a disciplined way. But I wondered how a writer of primarily picture book texts, can write every single day.

Picture books are ideas, concepts, visions. The text is short. Can a writer sit down and pen a new picture book every day, day after day? Is mulling over the placement of one word considered ‘writing?’ Does revising count as writing? When the advice-givers say ‘write every day,’ do they mean any sort of writing? Letters to friends or even grocery lists?

Over time I came to understand my own writing rhythms, and assign myself quotas that made sense and worked for me.

I do not write a new paragraph of fiction everyday. I understand this advice in a way that keeps me productive.

So if I dare give advice now, I’d say- don’t be literal in understanding advice. (Though being literate is still a good thing, wink.)

3 comments:

  1. I'm posting this as a test, since I have no intention of being your sole blogpost responder, dearest Mirka. :) You said some other people are having trouble posting, so I'm checking as I do this to see if there are any strange things I do. (Yes, yes, I know I always do strange things, but in this case I mean 'helpful' strange things.)

    As for your blog's subject, I don't write everyday on my mss unless I've got a puzzle book deadline I'm working on. I think your advice--not to be literal in understanding advice--is excellent.

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  2. Evelyn, I'm posting this so that you will no longer be the sole responder, and to try to help resolve the unwanted quietude of this forum.

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  3. Oh, My. It might get lively. Thanks for the input, guys.

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