Then there are the times when you're stuck. Or the characters have suddenly turned cold-shoulder or they decide to do something that is completely ridiculous and you fight to reign them in. Those days suck.
Recently, I ran into several of these less-than-creative days. Each day I'd sit down and struggle or moan and stamp my feet. If I didn't write I'd feel guilty because I know I should have put something down, but I simply stalled out.
I ran to a friend and gripped how the writing was not going well. She suggested I simply take a "vacation." Yes, just take a break. Take a couple or few days and don't sit in front of a blank screen, don't try to think of any stories, don't struggle. Don't write. And don't worry about it; it'd be okay.
So I let myself back off. I read without guilt that I should have been writing instead. I enjoyed exhaustive time with my kids, I simply let go.
It didn't take long. Within a couple of days, the struggles I'd been having cleared right up. But I didn't race off to the computer yet. I forced myself, by this time, to leave off the writing for another day or two and I let the ideas, the voices, swirl around in my head until, like the little ball in a roulette game, the ideas settled down just where they were supposed to be. At that time, I raced to get myself set up to type away. And write I did, and am still doing.
I tend to fall into the push I hear from every writer I admire: write, write, write. Although I subscribe to this philosophy, I've learned that sometimes I have to allow myself a slight adjustment: write, write, write, break, write, write, write, break.
Every writer finds his or her own rhythms for good writing. I'm glad I'm working on finding my own.