Been more than two years since I’ve taken a full day off from writing

imagesI am the king of personal holidays. I have so many private anniversaries marked into my calendar that they often flip past without me noticing. And it’s not surprising that I forgot one as inherently unstable as July 6th…the anniversary of the last day–two years ago–on which I didn’t write anything.

Yes! I have gone over two full years without missing a day. Now, I’m not saying that all of those days were high quality. At least 50 of those days were days on which I only wrote 50 words. But still, these two years have been an 1.5 times more productive than the seven and a half years that preceded them. And part of that is because I never forget that there’s something I should be doing.

Yep, although I do sometimes allow myself a string of 50 word days, I’m not really a big believer in taking breaks. I’ve found that breaks aren’t really refreshing. It’s like when you go on vacation: you’re over on a beach and you’re having a good time and you’re so relaxed and happy. But when you come back, it’s instantly gone, like it never happened. That’s because you can’t really store up emotion. Sometimes really really strong emotions leave behind a shadowy wisp of themselves, attached to this memory or to that smell. But by and large, you experience them and then they’re gone.

So I don’t really think that staying away from the page “recharges my batteries.” On some particular day, I might not feel up to writing very much, but I don’t think that not writing on that day is going to make it easier to write on some other day. On the contrary, I think that the habit of not writing is easier to form than the habit of writing, and that every day on which one doesn’t produce makes it harder to produce on some subsequent day.