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STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

SCARS book cover

Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself--before it's too late.

Awards: #1 in the Top 10 ALA Quick Picks, ALA's Rainbow List, a Governor General Literary Award Finalist, Staff Pick for Teaching Tolerance.

Yes, it's my own arm on the cover of SCARS.

HUNTED book cover

Caitlyn, a telepath in a world where having any paranormal power at all can kill her, must decide between saving herself or saving the world.

Awards: A finalist for the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award.

PARALLEL VISIONS book cover

Kate sees visions of the future--but only when she has an asthma attack. When she "sees" her sister being beaten, and a schoolmate killing herself, Kate must trigger more attacks--but that could kill her.

Awards: 2013 Gold Winner, Wise Bear Digital Awards, YA Paranormal category.

STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

See Previous Book

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Do You Have to Write Every Day to Be a Real Writer?

by Cheryl Rainfield, 2003

Do you have to write every day to be a real or serious writer? The short answer is no--not in my opinion, any way. The longer answer is that it all depends on what works best for you, and how honest you are with yourself about that. I've seen so many books and articles state that you have to write every day to be a "real" writer--but I think that's people trying to force what works for them (and maybe even for a majority of writers)onto all writers. Writing every day, no matter what you feel or how your writing is going, works for some writers--but not every one.

Since learning how to write better is left up to the writer to discover on their own, through books, articles, workshops, and classes, unlike other artists where the techniques and lessons are assumed necessary, I think we grasp onto rules about writing as if they are the only way to write. But all rules need to be weighed as to how they fit the individual writer, most especially when those rules are about how we write. Every writer has a slightly--or greatly--different way of writing, and of getting down to writing, that works for them.

I don't write every day. I know if I forced myself to, my writing on those days would be dry and awkward, a withered version of my usual writing. And I would lose the enjoyment that keeps me going. Days that I force myself to write interrupt the natural rhythm of my books and the cohesiveness of the whole.

I know my own rhythm. I have days, weeks, even months when I don't write. Yet even when I'm not actually putting words down on paper, I'm still working on my writing--on a subconscious level. My writing is shifted around and story pieces are worked out, even though I'm not consciously aware of it. My creativity is charged back up. And when I sit down to write again, my writing flows full and fierce, and I write passionately, for long hours, everything fitting together easily, clicking into place.

I take my writing seriously. I am driven. I often feel off-balance when I'm not writing, but I know I need the breaks I take from it. That's the way I work best. The question is, how do you work? Do you know your own patterns, your rhythms? Do you need to write every day, even if only a few pages? Or do you need to write until it feels right to stop, then give yourself permission to take a break and recharge, letting your subconscious do some of the work? Only you can know. Just make sure you don't use anything as an excuse not to write, or as a way to hold off the fear that sometimes comes before writing. Listen to what feels right for you, and ignore the advice of other well-meaning writers, including myself, when that advice doesn't fit you. We each have our own way of writing, our own rhythm, that works best for us. Allowing ourselves to work with that rhythm, and to keep on writing--that's what being a writer is all about.

©Cheryl Rainfield, 2003

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If you like this article, you may post it on your website or use it in your print publication, as long as you provide a link back to my site (http://www.CherylRainfield.com), and credit me. I'd also really like to know where you put my article, but you don't have to let me know in order to use it.