Don’t Write Every Day. [NaPoWriMo #20]

Don’t Write Every Day

Writing is terrible.
Nobody should do it.
It’s hard
and nobody reads what you write
and 95% of what you write is going to be trash.
That’s just math.

But if you have to write
don’t write every day.
If you read books on writing
they will say to write every day.
But don’t do it.
It’s a trap.

Writing every day
reduces your output
to a thin pink slurry
of awful diarrhea.

I do it
because I want this blog
to be successful.
But you’ll notice
the quality
diminishes.

I get away with it
because I’m extremely self-critical
in my writing.
People seem to like
when I talk shit
about my own work.
But that doesn’t make it good.

Write when you feel inspired.
Write when you don’t want to.
Write when something cool happens.
Write when you have a revelation.
But don’t write every day.
You will feel dirty for the awful things you produce.

18 thoughts on “Don’t Write Every Day. [NaPoWriMo #20]

  1. The only person I’ve heard who pulled this off successfully was Ric Williams. He read every poem he wrote for a month at a reading I hosted at Stars Coffee in 2005–half of them were good or better–none of them really sucked. But usually one sees evidence of onanism. Perfect example of someone with a huge body of not very edited work that never should have seen print (though of course some of his work is pretty brilliant) is Allen Ginsberg.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This seems especially good advice for those who keep a writing blog where there is an incentive to regularly churn something, anything, out lest you lose your hard earned followers

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your poem made me laugh. Thank you for that. It also reminded me of an advanced version of a poem written by one of my students many years ago. “Beans, the magical fruit” was the subject of his poem. My student was very proud of his work and of the sounds his body was able to make after lunch-the hour I was so fortunate to have him. 😆

    Writing is a sanctuary, an escape away from the world and back to myself. I am not able to immerse myself in this sacred space every day. Sometimes the less inspiring, but necessary details of life need attending to. Like work, cleaning, or looking for toilet paper. Even during those days, when inspired thoughts rise up and need to be heard, I turn to a journal and scribble some words. Life has enough to-dos and deadlines; I prefer an unfolding and unrushed pace of writing poetry. Even if the lines spill out, it is nice when the words can simmer and I can revisit, until the poem feels (mostly) done. ✌️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fully agree, this is especially important if you keep a poetry blog where there is an incentive to churn something, anything out lest you lose your hard earned followers.

    Like

    1. The point of this post is so people have a counter narrative besides the usual pap which says it’s best to write every day.
      I’ve seen tons of my friends get bogged down in a guilt spiral. They never write because they feel guilty they’re not writing enough. I’m calling bullshit on that thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

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