Writing Every Day

Why do writers like Stephen King say a best practice is to “write every day”?

I think I know…  My family and I were sick last week, and between taking care of the kids and feeling ill myself, not much writing was accomplished.  So when I sat down with my latest manuscript this week, I had to reread whole sections and get back into the swing of things.  Even after just a week of not writing I felt rusty. But then as soon as I had spent a day in front of the computer, the words were flowing again.  In fact, they were flowing so fast that I woke up multiple times in the middle of the night with phrases bursting out of my head.  (I have a notebook and pen on my nightstand for such occurances.)

So the question is….can someone forget how to write?  Or is it like riding a bicycle where once you’ve learned, you’ll always know how to get the words to tumble out?  And if you stop writing for a long stretch of time (say longer than a week), will you be more reluctant to get back on the saddle?

I think to a certain extent that’s true.  When I first started writing whole books in 2006, I was slow.  The words didn’t come as easily as they do now.  Since I’ve been writing so often between then and now, I’ve gotten better at the craft.  So I do think that by writing every day, you keep your brain limber and poignant vocabulary at the forefront of your fingertips.

What is your take?  Does taking a day off from writing help you stay destressed/make time for other aspects of your life or does it ultimately hurt your ability to churn out good material?

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