Short answer: No.
If you still have a few minutes, here’s the long answer.
There are a lot of quotes around saying that a writer must write every day. Michael Connelly: “Write every day, even if it’s just a paragraph.” Ray Bradbury: “You must write every single day of your life. . . ” Robert McKee: “Write every day, line by line, page by page, hour by hour.” Articles purporting to be habits of highly successful writers usually include this bit of advice.
But it is WRONG.
|NO. BAD PINTEREST.|
Writers–like humans–come in all types.
There are writers who cannot survive without writing every day. They keep slips of paper in their pockets and pens in their hair and sometimes they wake in the night and write in their journal, which is on their nightstand, open to a fresh page.
There are writers who have been into photography recently but when go on a road trip with friends, they livetweet the experience and then Storify it on the spotty wifi at the last motel before home. Then after they unpack, they take up knitting.
There are writers who just recently heard the word “NaNoWriMo” and googled it and thought “Huh. Why not me?”
There are writers who have grueling work schedules and come home to families that need feeding and have no time to wash their hair, but while they’re standing over the stove making some delicious mac n’ cheese, a thought moves in and makes a home behind one ear and eventually starts to expand into all the rooms in the head. Then one day that writer gets fired and they spend their first week freaking out and the next week helping that idea move to paper.
There are writers who find it impossible to get out of bed on very dark days, much less drag themselves three feet to the computer, but on the good days, they write hilarious stories and make their readers laugh and laugh.
This is not an exhaustive list of writers. There is no one way to be a writer. And the ways a writer writes may change over time. Frankly, I think it’s a very privileged to say that a writer must write every day, because not every writer can. Of course a highly successful (i.e. HIGHLY PAID) writer is more likely to be able to write every day. But you don’t stop being a writer when you put down your pen.
So, no. Writers don’t have to write every day. Imaginations can be boundless, time is still limited. Writers write. . . eventually.