It’s Art, Not A Dietary Regimen

Sometimes writing can feel like a chore.

It goes on the to-do list, jostling with errands and deadlines, scrabbling to make it through the battle royale of a modern workday.

On these days, when it just feels like another task to check off, you know what I do?

I don’t write. I go and read instead, or nap, if it’s that kind of day.

Forcing the writing never helps. You will not grind yourself into writing your best stuff. You will not have bright flashes of inspiration when you’re in execution mode.

Creativity flows in an ancient way — when there has been rain to feed it. It’s not like modern plumbing that just comes on when we demand it.

I’ve been thinking about this since reading an endearingly combative interview from Brandon Taylor, who has just published a new collection of short stories this week:

“You write when you write and you don’t when you don’t. Nothing to be gained from trying to min/max your way to creating art. It’s art, not a dietary regimen.”

Give your creativity a little room to breathe. Let it off its carefully arranged schedule, and trust it to come back to you when it’s ready.