A few months ago I read something that Jane Trombley wrote in one of her articles and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since.
She wrote something along the lines of:
If you skip two days of writing a week, you’re skipping fifteen weeks of writing.
I try to work on my novel(s) every day of the week, but there are some weeks where I skip one, two, three, four, oh yeah, sometimes I skip a whole week of writing when I am not feeling good flow in a project or if my self-doubt about it creeps in and roosts.
But what Jane said really freaked me out and got to thinking about how much writing time I am actually missing.
If I skip writing one day a week, that’s fifty-two days of not writing.
If I skip two days a week, that’s 104 days without writing, which is almost fifteen weeks.
That’s right, skipping just two days per week of writing is like not writing for THREE MONTHS out of the year.
So I asked myself, what writer does this?
Me, I’ve been doing this.
But not anymore.
Jane, thank you for waking me up to what I’ve been missing out on.
For someone who wants to make a living writing, between publishing books and writing articles here on Medium and hopefully elsewhere on the internet or in print, I can’t afford to miss a single day.
Heck, I can’t afford to miss one second of time writing when I could be writing.
Not when there is so much time to be wasted, and so many opportunities to write that are being missed.
I think about all the television shows I watch.
Sometimes I zone out in front of the TV for four or five hours a night after everyone else goes to bed — that is precious time that I could be writing.
Then, there are all the books I read.
I read multiple books at a time, so I always have something going, but I’m not always finishing what I start.
Maybe I should be putting that reading time to better use and actually FINISH what I start to make it worth it, and to learn something from each story I take on to read with my precious time.
I have enough time to write if I really wanted to sieze it all.
If I wanted to give up TV and an hour of reading a day, that would be five or six more hours EVERY DAY that I could put into my writing.
I could write more articles — one every day!
I could write more words on my manuscripts, thousands a day, cranking out novels like those people who actually crank out novels and publish them.
They’re probably not watching as much TV.
Someone might even have reminded them that taking two days off a week is like taking three months off, and when you look at it that way, what good “writer” would willingly think to themselves:
“Okay, I’m done for now, I’ll come back to all this in three months.”
Between trying to write more articles for Medium and working on my NaNoWriMo novel each day this month, I have a new appreciation for what my life looks like the more I write, and guess what? It’s a beautiful thing.
I have found that I am happier than I’ve been in a long time, and I feel a huge sense of accomplishment each day I am able to publish something here AND make significant work on my novel.
I don’t believe for a second (ha!) that we all don’t have enough time to go after our dreams.
If writing is what you want to do, you have to make time for writing.
You don’t have time to skip days.
Because just like words, every hour of every day adds up, and if we don’t show up to bring our words to the page, we’re going to be one of those writers who take three months off per year.
I don’t want to know what it’s like to be that person, anymore.
I am going to write every day.
And certainly, you should, too.