I equally want and don’t want a dog. It’s super annoying, really.
I see all the people who live in my apartment complex with dogs, and how happy they look (unless it’s really cold out and their dog is taking forever to do its business) and all I can think is, man, I want to be like them.
But then I think about all the spontaneous trips I take, and my long hours at work, and I just can’t bring myself to do it. I like my freedom too much. I don’t always come home right after work and if I had a dog, I would need to do that or it would pee everywhere.
So in the end, I don’t get a dog, and I know it’s the right decision (for now, at least).
I feel the same way about writing sometimes.
I’ve written a post in the past about not writing every day, and I still stand by that. If I wrote every day I would start to resent it. As Amy Poehler so wisely says in her new book Yes Please, “good for [you], not for me.”
Yes, many people will say you HAVE to write every day. And yes, many people will find that great advice. Their fingers will fall off with all the words they’ve typed every day, and they’ll have dozens of agents requesting pages, and life will be grand and filled with advances and book signings. But other people, probably a lot fewer than the many, just can’t do it. I fall into this lonely category. I need at least a one day break in my week or else I’ll have a mental breakdown.
Plus, I work full-time AND am very active physically (I run and do aerial multiple times a week). I cook, I clean, I read, I keep up with my favorite TV shows (sort of, not really) and yes, I write. But if I did it every day I would shut down. At least once a week I hibernate and try to do nothing productive.
However, I do believe that if you don’t use it, you lose it. It’s like running or speaking a foreign language. If you stopping running for weeks or months, you’ll slowly lose your endurance. If you haven’t spoken Polish in over a year, you’ll avoid saying “dobranoc, babcia” to your grandmother, because you can’t remember for the life of you if it needs to be conjugated or not.
And so that being said, write a lot on the days you do write, and on the days you don’t, don’t. Don’t feel bad about it either. There’s not one universal way that writing works for everyone. We all have our own quirks with how we work best, and if that’s with a break every so many days, you take that break and you enjoy it.