What’s the worst piece of writing advice you’ve ever got?

Mine was to write every day.

I blame Hemingway.

At first glance, writing every day makes sense.

You get more words in, hit your targets faster, and move on to the next task.

It feels productive.

You’re getting somewhere.


But is it any good?

Scientific American reports that, ‘Research on naps, meditation, nature walks and the habits of exceptional artists and athletes reveals how mental breaks increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories and encourage creativity.’

Here’s another way of looking at it.

Let’s say you’re thinking about a problem.

You’ve went over all the angles.

It doesn’t matter how hard you try, the answer just doesn’t come.

Then you go for a run, have a shower, or just tidy the house… and the answer pops up.

What’s happening here?

I think it’s to do with the process of digesting an idea.

I think it works a bit like this.

You have a problem.

You talk to yourself about it. Lots of inner chatting.

You let it digest.

Then wait….



The answer floats to the surface.

It’s the ‘process of digestion’ that gives you the insight.

You can’t force it.

That’s why you often have the answer in the morning when you first wake up.

Somehow, you’ve been digesting it all night.

It’s the same with writing.

If you write non-stop, it stops you from getting the perspective you need to critique your work.

The word count might be impressive, but that’s about it.

Of course, what works for one person doesn’t always work for another.

PSDo you write every day? If not, how often?

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