Here’s a question I hate: “Do you write every day?” No, in fact. No I don’t write every day.
Sorry to all of the writing books/blogs/cartoons/tweets/famous people out there that say you can only be a writer if you write every day. I don’t. And I’m a writer. I have a mug to prove it.
Now here’s a question I can get behind: “Do you do something writerly every day?” Yes! Yes I absolutely do!
Who cares that this particular question involves a made up word? Guess what? That’s part of being a writer! (Just ask Shakespeare. He made up tons of words)
Here is a list of things that count as “writerly.”
*Writing, in all its many forms (journaling, blogging, tweeting, poeming, etc)
*Talking to other writers about the craft of writing
*Noticing interesting things about life and thinking, “That could work in a story.”
*Thinking about the plot of your current work
*Thinking about the plots of your past work
*Making up words (see *writerly and *poeming)
*Saying a pun and noticing it’s a pun
*Internally correcting your co-workers’ grammar
*Contrasting the “voice” of a truck commercial with that of a cereal commercial
*Buying a book
*Going to the library
Yes, at some point you actually do have to write your novel. But not every day.
Certainly not on days that you wake up before the sun to a babbling toddler and run out to get a hair cut before hubby goes to work then think about a new musical for your book then meet a writer friend for coffee (which you actually take back to your HOUSE since your toddler won’t do coffee shops and the library is closed) and shuttle car-less people to and from places which ends up to be a fiasco and try for an afternoon nap which DOESN’T WORK so you watch Daniel Tiger and fall asleep before a big meeting during which said toddler pukes on the nursery worker.
Not on days like that. On days like that, you get to look at your day and say, “Look at all the writerly things I did! I thought about a new musical for my book! And met a writer friend for coffee! And perhaps there will be a shuttling fiasco in a book some day! I even tried to go to the library! My day was jam-packed with writerly things. My mind is at ease. I am still a writer.”
Moral of the story: Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day (or a few!) of writing. Just don’t.
What things are on your writerly list?