Yes, I'm a rebel. There are many schools of thought about writing. Two of those schools are: write every day and don't write every day.
I graduated from the second school . . . just in case you were wondering.
So, in defense of not writing every day, I'm going to let author James Scott Bell explain the philosophy instead:
Don't write every day.
I'm a big believer in word quotas. Some of the earliest, and perhaps still the best advice I ever got, was to set a quota of words and stick to it. I used to do a daily count. But a thing called life would intrude and I'd miss a day. Or, there were times when writing seemed like playing tennis in the La Brea tar pits, and that'd be another day I'd miss.
Such days would leave me surly and hard to live with.
Then I switched to a weekly quota and have used it ever since. That way, if I miss a day, I don't beat myself up. I write a little extra on the other days. I use a spreadsheet to keep track and add up my word count for the week.
I also intentionally take one day off a week. I call it my writing sabbath. I find that taking a one-day break charges my batteries like nothing else. Sunday is the day I've chosen. On Monday I'm refreshed and ready to go. Plus, my projects have been cooking in my subconscious. The boys in the basement, as Stephen King puts it, are hard at work while I'm taking time off.
I also advocate taking a weeklong break from writing each year. Use this time to assess your career, set goals, make plans - because if you aim at nothing, there's a very good chance you'll hit it.
Okay, now for my thoughts: woo-hoo!
Oh, you want more? Geesh!!
I love this advice. I followed this advice even before I was officially given this advice. I'm ahead of the game. I'm a trend setter. Okay . . . maybe not.
Word Count - in my most recent project, I set a weekly (M - F) and a weekend (S - S) word count. There were days I couldn't meet the daily goal, but I always made up the words. Did I mention I achieved over 60,000 words in less than two weeks. This was an anomaly, btw. The words just flowed like crazy and I went with the flow.
Writing Sabbath - Tuesday is normally my writing sabbath. Why? Well, during the television season, that's NCIS night. I love NCIS. It's one of the few shows I watch.
There are writers everywhere who follow the write every day adage, and others who follow the don't write every day adage. Neither way is correct for every writer. Every writer is different. What works for one writer might not work for another writer, and vice versa.
As writers - as individuals - we need to learn what works best for us, and follow that path. Nobody but you (or me, in this case) the writer truly knows what works best for you. Nobody.
In writing, as with life, follow your heart and instinct and do what works best for you.
Note: the above italicized material comes from the September 2010 edition of Writers Digest and the article: 10 Experts Take on the Writer's Rulebook - p. 28.