I’ve had downtime in the last week, and with downtime comes Twitter scrolling. Lots of Twitter scrolling. And in the writing world, some great wisdom keeps popping up.
Wisdom #1: The myth that you have to write every day in order to be a “true” writer is bullshit.
I think Daniel Jose Older was the first person I remember seeing call this out. It was a wakeup call for me because the “write every day” advice was everywhere. If I didn’t do that, I only counted as a hobbyist, right? But this is what I want for my life; it’s not a hobby I can set aside at any time.
Sadly, this particular round of tweets came in response to an article I won’t link to. I haven’t read any of it myself beyond the screen caps and quotes going around Twitter because some words have a way of getting under my skin and staying there, but what I see boils down to: if you don’t write every day, don’t bother to write at all.
We’re calling bullshit.
While I wait to fly, I want to take a moment to talk about “write every day.”
— Seanan McGuire (@seananmcguire) May 29, 2017
Seanan McGuire’s tweet above kicked off a thread that’s worth reading. She writes every day, but it’s not a choice and it’s not healthy. This is why I build in off-days to my writing days tally. Which, by the way, has fallen laughably by the wayside. Impending Baby coopts constant and significant brain-space. Between that and the full-time day job, I don’t have much left over for anything else.
It’s been far too easy to guilt myself over that perceived failure. Seeing this lovely nugget of Twitter-wisdom crop up repeatedly has gone a long way in helping me to forgive myself.
Wisdom #2: The myth that you have to make it alone is bullshit. So much bullshit.
Life doesn’t happen in a vacuum, so how can success happen in vacuum?
See, I’ve been thinking and stressing hard over choices that would mean big life changes. Beyond the obvious Impending Baby. Making these changes likely means relying on my support network more than I’ve yet done in my adult life.
I think we would do ourselves a lotta good as a culture if we abandoned the idea that “real” successes are achieved as individuals, alone.
— Iron Spike (@Iron_Spike) May 29, 2017
This thread? (Please, please go read the whole thing!) It tells me that’s okay.
In related news, I really need to get my hands on a copy of Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking. As a kid, I developed an aversion to asking for the things I wanted, but I’ll have to overcome that if I make the changes I truly want. I’ll be asking my network for advice and support and opportunities.
Because none of this happens in a vacuum, and a support network is there to be used.
I saw these tweets of wisdom just when I most needed them. Judging by some of the replies and comments, I’m not alone. So maybe this post will pass that along to someone else who needs them.