More from Margaret

I thought you’d get a kick out of this:

In her Masterclass, Margaret Atwood says, “I think it’s a good idea, especially when you’re younger, to keep your hand in by writing something every day. So I recommend it. But, it’s another of those recommendations that I, myself, have been unable to follow.”.

Atwood doesn’t write daily and she seems to be doing just fine, thank you very much. (I bet she doesn’t miss too many days though.)

So why do I think that writing every day is so important? If a Master like Atwood doesn’t do it, why should we? It’s simply this: it turns writing into a habit.

When we’re starting out, we have everything to learn. We have everything to develop. Our proficiency as storytellers is pretty poor. Not because we lack the ability, but because we lack the experience. Remember the 10,000 hour rule? If we write every day we churn through those 10,000 hours much faster than if we only write once a week or merely every now and then. As it is, even with daily practice 10,000 hours equates to approximately 10 years.

If we read Atwood’s words without thinking about them, we might fool ourselves into believing we can achieve her level of skill with an I-write-when-the-Muse-strikes attitude. We risk forgetting that she’s been publishing for nearly 60 years, and writing for much longer than that.

About the author 

Valerie Francis

Valerie Francis is a bestselling author, literary editor, and podcaster with a passion for stories by, for and about women.

Each month, Valerie recommends books from literature’s best female authors. Selections come from every genre because women write, and read, in every genre. The Women’s Fiction category offers up some terrific novels, but these days there’s a strong female presence in thriller, horror, crime, and other genres traditionally dominated by male writers. No matter what the publishing companies may think, in the 21st Century, Women’s Fiction is whatever we want it to be.

stories for women, by women, and about women