I’ve seen some garbage advice floating around on the interwebs that talks about how if you don’t write everyday, you might as well give up on the entire thing and retire to a nice monastery, where you spend you’re life contemplating your failures as the next great novelist. This, fortunately for busy people everywhere, is utter nonsense.
Let me tell you a secret. All these sites that are fostered for giving you the “perfect formula” to writing success are wrong. There is no magic equation of writing x hours a day and achieving the greatness of infinity and adoring love of the masses. These people want to sell you things and feed off your anxiety. And along the way, after article after article telling you you’re doing it wrong, you get convinced that if you just write a little more, you find all the success you could ever need.
Ignore the hell out of this terrible, terrible advice.
The truth of the matter is that sometimes people who write eight hours a day never see success, and those who manage two hours a week sell bestsellers. Practice makes you suck a little less, sure, but the essence of writing isn’t in how many hours a day you spend at it. It’s whether you have the passion to come to it over and over again, after long absences, around busy days, whether your characters won’t shut up, whether you have a story you need to get out, and whether or not it makes your heart sing when you do it. If you can’t write every single day, fine. Don’t. Write when you feel inspired, so that your story isn’t a basket of suck. Write when you can focus completely. Write at your pace. Don’t write if you’re not feeling it. Come at it when your brain is engaged, when you feel fresh and present. Cater to yourself; love what you have to offer in those moments and realize it’s good enough.
The key to writing successfully is listening to yourself. It’s in doing what fits your brain, your schedule, and your heart. I promise you that if you miss a day it’s not going to be the destruction of your budding writing career. It’s a grain of sand on a great big beach. You’ll be fine. Your screenplay, or novel, or poem, or whatever will be fine. Don’t pressure yourself, have structure if you need it, be honest with yourself and your characters, and keep your passion. Everything else is just personal preference.
You’ve got this. Keep writing.