A Writer Writes

If you’ve been following Twitter much in the last few days you’ve probably seen this article by Stephen Hunter saying that a writer has to write very day or quit now. It’s a great idea in theory, but what about the real world.

Full disclosure: When I wrote my first novel I wrote every day. For the next seven, I didn’t. The idea of building the habit of writing is important, but saying you have to write every day or you’re an utter failure who shouldn’t bother continuing is unrealistic.

After two months of not skipping a single day working on my most recent novel, I skipped a day last week. We had to spend the night in the emergency room because my partner was having breathing troubles. Spending the night with her was more important than writing every day.

I finished the book, still at the hospital, two days later.

You have to make allowances for life.

If you ask me, the only two things you have to do are you have to write, and you have to finish things. It can be a novel, an article, or even a blog post. What it is doesn’t matter. What matters is that you write it, write regularly, and you get things finished.

Expecting people to meet unrealistic goals is ridiculous.

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