I’ve written before about how annoying I find the (not so?) subtle pressure writers face to be writing daily to be considered "real writers." But I do believe in the power and necessity of writing consistently, which in my world comes down to scheduling ideally both Short and Long writing sessions each week.
Here are the 3 most important reasons why I believe this to be true:
Whether you write in short forms like stories, essays and poems, or in longer forms like the novel or memoir, writing each week means that you immediately recall where you last left off and can start up again in your next session without needing quite as much time to re-enter the world of your current work. What’s great about that is that it can make your Short Time writing sessions even more productive.
If you are able to structure your life to secure writing time for yourself each and every week, you will maintain that live connection to your writing even when you’re not writing. You’ll find yourself having ideas constantly and writing paragraphs in your head in the car or the shower that you have to pause to write down so they’re not lost. This happens to me all the time! I now keep a notebook in the bathroom for when I get out of the shower (yes, it gets a little damp sometimes!) and if I’m in car I will pull over and make a quick voice recording on my phone.
This is absolutely critical. If you let yourself set aside writing this week, it’s that much easier to set it aside the next week, and then you can look up weeks or months later to find you feel disconnected and out of sorts with your self-identity as a writer. Sometimes this manifests itself as restlessness or boredom, or can also feel like melancholy.
If you’re a writer, you’ll find yourself feeling more in tune with your true self when you’re writing consistently – set the writing aside for very long and you could find yourself facing a full-blown existential crisis. The only way back to you is the way back to the page.
These are the 3 most important reasons I believe writers need to structure their lives to be able to write consistently. Maybe it’s a busy season at work and you can only manage a Short Time session this week, or maybe you are away on a family vacation for a week – life happens!
But continuing to follow the pull back to the page is more important than we acknowledge sometimes and I encourage you to plan out your writing time each week so that you're not letting too much time go by before you sit down to write again.
If you haven’t yet downloaded a copy of my Writer’s Weekly Planner, where I explain in detail my take on Short Time and Long Time writing sessions and how you can plan these to sustain your writing practice, you can download a copy at the link above.