J. H. MONCRIEFF has an interesting and valid view of the advice we so often hear: writers write. We do write, EXCEPT WHEN WE DON’T. Sometimes life gets in the way. When my mother passed away in 1988, it was almost a year before I could return to the computer and write anything worthy of reading. Turning to the present, I find I have not written anything beyond brief Facebook posts over the last three days because I’ve been getting ready for Thanksgiving–buying groceries, preparing make-ahead dishes, and cleaning house. There are other times, too, when my fingers are idle: when I’m thinking about a project or blocking it out in my head, when I’m traveling to appear at conferences or schools, and when I’m doing research. I think these idle times are restorative. They allow us time to process what we’ve learned about our craft and enable us to return to the keyboard or pad with renewed vigor. I don’t fret when I go a day or several without writing anything of importance; the fact is that even when my fingers are not banging out words and sentences, my mind is never far from writing. I call it Writing in Absentia.
If you’d like to read Moncrieff’s thoughts on this topic, you can at this link: http://www.jhmoncrieff.com/writers-we-need-to-stop-saying-this/.