Somewhere along the way, someone gave the advice that to be a “Real” writer, you have to write every day. Sure, if you’ve read *Stephen King’s book On Writing I believe he does say something along these lines. But mostly I think what he was trying to convey is that, to become a better writer you have to actually write. I know, what a concept, right? I mean, if your goal is to run a marathon you should probably start by putting in place a running routine that will build your strength and longevity so you’re ready to actually run a marathon.
Same thing goes with writing. Regardless if your goal is to write a full length novel, a short story, or poetry. If you want to get better at it, you need to practice, condition it. Stephen King goes on to share in his book that he writes every day, including his birthday. If you’ve been writing for any length of time, I think it’s safe to say, that’s impressive. No matter how determined you are, (and I like to think that I am) burnout, writer’s block and mental health condition are real things.
To write well, you also have to take care of yourself and your mind. Everyone needs a break once in a while. Take a self care day if you feel you need it and try not to feel guilty about it. Sometimes just a walk outside, a shower, meeting a friend for coffee can help without taking a full day off. Sometimes writers need a full week or a month or a year. Take the time you need. Your story and your creativity will thank you.
If you need to hear this: You’re still a “Real” writer even if you don’t write every day.
*Stephen King’s book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is actually fascinating and I highly recommend.