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.)


  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.

  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.

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