“Write,” they all say, “just write.”
To be a writer, one has to write. And one is expected to be able to pull the very act of writing out of a hat at the drop of… erm… another… hat…
“Just write,” they all say. “Plough on through. Whether you feel like writing or not. In the face of writer’s block. When you have so many ideas you can’t choose the next one. In good times, bad times, sunshine and showers, just write!”
That’s another rule of writing I’m breaking, OK?
Sometimes all you can do is not write. Some days you even sit down with the best will in the world and all good intentions of cranking out a couple of thousand words at the very least. You have the time and the ideas.
Then the words don’t come.
Sometimes the words go on a little mini-break to the coast, dragging a suitcase full of fish-paste sandwiches and Cornettos behind them. Then you’re left sitting in front of the keyboard wordless and it’s not very long before motivation, desire and The Muse all sidle away to catch up with the words and get some ozone in their lungs. And, if I know my Muse, a couple of sneaky G&Ts.
You find yourself scraping together clunky phrases, ambiguous sentences, painfully poor prose, excessive alliteration and generally forced writing which is no fun to write or read.
So I think that sometimes it’s OK not to write. You’re still a writer.
Am I right?