I spent the first couple of years of my writing life just writing whenever I felt like it or had a few hours in the evenings. I'd go for days at a time when I didn't write anything, then go for days at a time when I wrote tons.
But writing is like exercise: if you only do it once in a while, you're not really going to get the same results as if you do it every day. Writing when I felt like it led to a lot of rough or half-written and partially-polished manuscripts.
Recently, I've committed to writing something every day. Not always a lot of something - sometimes just a line or two on an envelope, then crossed out and revised over and over on that same envelope until it's perfect - but every day, I write something, or I revise something, or I do both.
Even when I've got a mountain of dishes to wash.
Even when I don't feel inspired.
Even when I'm so exhausted that one blink lasts for five minutes.
I turn on the computer, or I get some paper, and I write.
And after a few minutes of this, I find that I am no longer tired, or distracted, or uninspired.
I see now why so many authors tell us unpublished writers to treat writing like a job. Because exercising that writing muscle of sitting down every day and focusing your mind on one thing - your story - develops the muscle, until getting into the flow becomes easy and natural. Just like lifting a 5-lb weight for 40 reps every day will develop that muscle until lifting the weight becomes an easy job, writing every day has, for me, made it easier to write.
But I know there are published authors out there who will disagree, so I want to know what you guys are doing, and if it's working.
Do you write every day, or only when you're inspired? What works for you?