I have heard the advice of ‘write every day’ over and over again. I’ve learned for me that doesn’t mean that I have to actually put words onto a page every day. Writing every day can also mean the creating that goes on in my mind.
There are times when it’s just impossible to get more than a quick note jotted down. That doesn’t mean that I’m not forming words, paragraphs and story ideas in my mind every day. In fact sometimes letting the words and ideas just float around in a jumble until they settle into a cohesive form is better.
I’ve had times when I have a shadow of an idea and if I try to force it all down at once it feels premature. I get stuck with the words that are set in front of my eyes rather than listening to the entire thing. The nuances often get missed if I rush it onto the page.
Instead, I try to write down only the strongest images and notes; the ones that I have to get out with a sense of urgency, and write until that urgency is spent. Then I walk away from the page and go do other things for a while. Meanwhile the story drifts around at the edge of my attention. Later, when I sit down again, the words and story have a more solid form and the words flow again.
I think the ‘writing every day rule’ can be expanded into ‘keep writing on your mind every day’.