The Problem with Writing Every Day

We’ve all heard the advice that you need to write every day to be a writer, but is it true?

Yes… and no.

Writing every day builds your skills. Not only does it progresses your work WIP, but it also forms a writing habit that will skyrocket your productively. What’s even better is that you don’t have to write a lot! Writing as little as 200 words per day, 365 days in a row, will produce a 73,000-word book in one year. Or at the very least—create a large dent in an epic tale or trilogy.

Where the no to this yes comes in is when every day writing burns you out.

You can’t be creative all the time, no matter how much you want to be. Life gets in the way. The muse takes a vacation. Everything you put on the page is so bad that you seriously consider giving up writing altogether. You can’t write like that. You shouldn’t write like that.

Taking a break from writing is a must for your own well being, and to let the work breathe. The words need to settle, and you need time to gather a new perspective on them. Regularly skip writing on Sundays. Avoid the mid-week hump and find something else to do on a Wednesday. If you can’t give up the words every day, take a half day once a week. You could even try going on vacation with someone else’s book to read, and give working on your own a break.

Writing is cathartic and fulfilling. It’s also boring, menial, and filled with so much self-doubt it’s a wonder that anyone writes at all—let alone daily. And it’s those days, where forcing yourself to write because ‘the rules’ say you should, that will wear you down. Make it a no for writing every day when that happens. Stop writing for as long as you need, and then make sure you come back to it. Because the only problem worse than writing every day—is not writing at all.

— K.M. Allan

18 thoughts on “The Problem with Writing Every Day

  1. Rules are meant to be broken. Some days are great writing days. Some days, you think you can’t write but, once you start, it’s actually okay. And then there are the days you simply. cannot. write. Thanks for this post—we do have to give ourselves permission to have a day off. 😊

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    1. Thanks, M 😊. I used to feel bad for missing a day, now I know it’s all about balance. I’ve also been writing most days for so long now that I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I didn’t write or doing something writing related.

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  2. Well said. I try to write everyday but some days the well is dry and I have to wait for it to replenish. And there are some stories that just need time to germinate. I recently started a short story that was inspired by an incident that happened in my life over a decade ago.

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  3. I usually take the weekends off, unless I’m on a roll. And on weekdays I alternate between writing my novels and working on my blog – which has nothing to do with writing, it’s a food blog! I find that what works for me, what helps me is constantly being creative, unless I’m on a slump. But because my mind is always turning, I find that I have ideas for cooking, or for styling food and photographing it, for writing a blog post or for my novels. I’m constantly working on some sort of creative endeavour, but not always the same, and that helps me keep my creative juices flowing, so when I get in a slump I can always turn to some other creative outlet – be it a writing slump, a cooking one, a blogging one.

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    1. That sounds like the perfect way to keep yourself creative but without the burnout. I will also work on writing every day if I’m in the creative zone, but I don’t force myself to write if it’s not working (anymore). It just leads to frustration. Love the concept of doing something else creative on those kind of days.


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