Okay, so hear me out for a second. I got this idea, naturally, in the shower.
The way I see it, there are two types of people when it comes to hair-washing. Those who can go a couple days between washes…and those who can’t.
I used to be one of those who can’t. My hair’s really thin, so every morning when I woke up, no matter what time I washed my hair the day before, it looked like it was practically pasted to my scalp with oil.
It wasn’t until this past November that I decided to change that. I’d already started slowly swapping out my usual hygiene products for their all-natural counterparts. I’d switched deodorants, make-up, soap (this had quite the positive effect on my eczema, but that’s another story), and the next logical step was shampoo. So I ordered a five shampoo set from Morrocco Method that I now love.
But buying five different all-natural, Paleo approved shampoos at once is not cheap. I wanted to keep using the shampoos the way they suggest, but I also wanted to make it last as long as I possibly could to save money. Hence the decision to start washing my hair every other day with it. I’d had friends who could do it and never had a problem with oily hair.
It was a long journey while my scalp adjusted to less frequent washing with several days when my hair was so oily I looked like I’d just stepped out of the shower in the middle of my workday. Now, seven months later, I wash my hair twice a week. My showers are shorter, and the best part is that I’m still not even halfway through the shampoo I bought back in November. One small win for Shannon, one giant victory for her savings account!
What was I talking about? Oh, right. Hair and writing.
So like I said, two kinds of hair-washers. Those who wash every day or those who wait until their hair is spilling more oil than BP.
The way I see it, the same is true for writing. There are those of us who somehow manage to write every single day, usually out of routine and practice to keep their mind and creativity fresh–to keep their “hair clean”, if you will.
Then there’s the rest of us who wish we could write every day, but without the necessary motivation and inspiration, all we end up with is wasted words and wasted time that we end up erasing and rewriting several days later when the creative juices are finally pouring forth, so really why waste the effort? I am one of these writers. I’ve tried the everyday thing, realizing I produce absolute drivel when I’m not inspired. I cannot force good prose when my imagination refuses to cooperate.
But when it does cooperate, when I’m really on a roll, I can shell out thousands of words in a single day. (My best so far is about ten thousand.) I spent over a year on one book, then wrote it’s sequel in less than two months. I wrote half of one book in a week and now still have yet to finish it two years later.
So there you have it, the difference between everyday “hair washers” and the rest of us, though I’m pretty sure we can all agree on one thing. No matter how often we wash our hair, we all wish we could look as cool as Emma Stone when we do.
Okay, all kidding aside now. The reason for all this hair and writing talk…I tried recently to do the daily mandatory word count thing. And let’s just say it did not last. Like no more than a couple days. I’d decided it was no big deal, I’m just not that kind of writer. But then I kept coming across these articles about treating writing like a job and how the writing-whenever-you-want-to thing doesn’t work when you’ve got editors and deadlines and a sequel to work on.
So I guess I’m wondering if there are any writers out there who could give me some advice. Have any of you managed to avoid the daily writing routine while still meeting your editor’s deadlines? Are all these articles right in saying I need to get into a daily routine, no matter how less than forthcoming Lady Inspiration is at the time? Or am I doomed no matter what I do because deadlines just plain ole suck?
I know my blog doesn’t reach a lot of people now, so if you’re a writer with some advice to give, as a new writer I’d really appreciate it. Or if you’re not a writer yourself but you know someone who is and has dealt with this question before, feel free to send this post their way. Or even if you found this post humorous (or not) and just want to drop a line in the comments below, any and all thoughts are welcome.
Hope to hear from you!
2 thoughts on “Writing is like washing your hair…”
Hi Shannon, What a fun and accurate comparison. Like you I’m a not every day washer/writer, but like to think that whatever works, works. And when the time comes that deadlines matter, we will make it work!
I feel like the days where the words just pour out of me make up for the days when I’m too busy with other stuff or simply uninspired.