You see, I try to take weekends off -- in the same way that other professionals take weekends off, and for exactly the same reason. Writing is difficult; it drains the brain faster than almost anything else. Working with editors and clients to revise and improve your writing is also challenging, stressful, draining, etc. (insert your own word, dear reader).
I'm a big fan of rest, which doesn't mean I'm lazy. I enjoy the work writing represents. After NFL players have been pounding on each other on Sunday, they spend all day Monday resting at home. Only they don't call it rest, they call it recovery. They sleep, drink fluids, eat well, and spend time with family.
Now I'm not saying that writers have the same need for recovery as NFL linebackers, but I am saying that rest is a benefit for all people who toil with brawn or brain, including wordsmiths.
I write five days a week, teaching in the mornings and then writing in the afternoons. When Friday evening comes around, and I've finished my 5th article (on weeks when I don't teach, I might write ten articles), I love the idea of NOT writing for the weekend. Mostly, I take weekends off.
Yes, I will do research during the weekend. If I'm on the bus or a subway train, I've been known to read research materials related to articles I'll be writing the upcoming week. While this could be considered "writing-related," it isn't exactly writing. Research is more fun -- you are learning new things and evaluating how you might organize what you've learned and share it with your readers. But writing is the hard work.
Anyway, what I'm championing here is taking some time away from writing to recharge your proverbial batteries and maintain motivation. If I wrote every single day, 30 days a month, I'd be utterly worn down and slightly miserable. That's just me. If you can write every day, and do it well, then I admire your work endurance but don't think I can emulate it.
To answer the question that prompted this post -- should you write every day? No, I don't recommend it. But every writer will find his or her own limits and ways of working. Just because Stephen King or John Updike wrote every day doesn't mean you have to. Taking a break from writing once in a while is okay, in my humble opinion.
How about you, dear reader? Are you able to write every day, and do you think it's a good or bad idea? Comment below . . .