8 Understandable Reasons Why I Can’t Write Daily

And you probably can’t either

Every time I come across an article with writing advice, I see the same bossy directive: You must write daily! These words are always drenched in judgment, like the author already knows I don’t write daily and thinks I’m being stubborn about it.

Well, I just refuse to hear that advice, and I continue on with my daily habit of mostly not writing. I also keep reading more articles, looking for the non-judgy one I know must be out there — the one that says:

“Write when you can, if you’re in the mood and not too busy, during those sparse times when all your laundry is done and you had a snack and you’re not bleeding and you already called your mom to catch up for an hour and then had her pass off the phone to your dad for five minutes and after all that you still don’t have a migraine.”

But I can’t seem to find that article. I think this will have to be that article for you and me and all of us because sometimes you can’t write daily. Sometimes you’re armpits deep in any number of more urgent tasks. Here are some completely valid reasons why I can’t write every day, and maybe why you can’t either:

I spilled/broke/destroyed something and I need to clean it up

This can really throw off my day. One time, I simply opened the fridge door for a late night snack and when I closed it, a full bottle of wine fell from the Heavens, or more specifically, the top of the fridge where I guess it shouldn’t have been. It hit the marble countertop and smashed into billions of boozy little daggers. I spent the better part of the next six months cleaning this mess. Even on the 20th vacuuming I’d still hear that prickly rattle of glass shards being sucked up. And that was just one incident. I create a mess of this magnitude once a week. I’m sure you do, too.

I kind of have a headache

Right now, it’s faint. But there’s no telling which way this thing could go. When this happens, I find it best to turn off the lights and lay in bed. During this time, I might slip into a deep but slightly headachy slumber, not waking until a day or two later, and I think that’s fine. I’m not one to question my body’s needs.

I can only be creative when my apartment is spotless

I’m a moderately clean person, unless I want to do some writing, in which case I need to find and destroy every bit of dirt under my jurisdiction before I can even open a notebook. I’m talking the kind of cleaning where I need to take out my ladder because I’m getting all those hard to reach spots. But all this cleaning can be demanding on the mind and body, so I usually need a nap afterward. And sometimes when I wake up from this nap, I no longer feel like writing. But I hardly feel bad about it because my apartment looks amazing.

I broke the internet and I need it

When a Kardashian breaks the internet, she blows up on Twitter and reasserts her fame. When I break the internet, the only person who notices is my roommate, and she just seems disappointed in me. I know I could write the old-fashioned way of my ancestors, with pen and parchment by candlelight. But I tend to work myself into such a frenzy trying to fix the internet (read: pressing the wrong button on the internet box and restoring it to factory settings), it leaves me in no mood to write.

I couldn’t possibly form a valuable opinion or thought until I’ve seen all 180 episodes of The Golden Girls

And honestly, I don’t I want to read anything by anyone else who hasn’t. How many episodes of The Golden Girls do you think Stephen King has seen? I bet none. That’s why I don’t read Stephen King.

I want to learn how to code/speak German/make scones from scratch

Look — I’m a woman of many ambitions. I can’t be expected to prioritize any one dream. If one day I wake up and decide it’s imperative I learn woodworking or how to identify North American bird calls, I don’t think I should feel guilty about shelving other ambitions. I will write when I’m ready, and I really think I’ll be ready once I can fluently spreche Deutsch.

All my plants are on the brink of death (again) and I need to make things right

When others depend on you as their life source, whether it be children, dogs, or succulents, you can’t fill your days with selfish whims. Don’t you think I’d love to write every morning? Of course I would, but I can’t. I have a brown, wilting orchid from Trader Joe’s that needs me.

I injured myself

It could be an over-clipped cuticle, or perhaps I fell down again while vacuuming. Maybe I just stepped on a rogue shard of glass from The Great Wine Bottle Shatter of 2015. Regardless, I’m in no shape for creative pursuits— at least not until I’ve finished bleeding.

So there you have it. With this colorful range of roadblocks, it’s a wonder anyone ever writes at all. In fact, this post took me four years to complete.

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