You might be writing like me, every day. Or you might be writing only on the weekends, when you have time off work. Or maybe in the evenings. Or maybe sporadically, an hour here, an hour there. Regardless of your writing schedule, some days you’re so distracted by life that whatever you write won’t be any good.
Learn to spot those days (or hours) and take them off instead. And by “off” I don’t mean fill them up with other tasks, no. I mean, take them off to think about your story.
Spotting these days (or hours) will take practice. I’m only learning this lesson now, and it’s been over 6 years since I started writing full-time.
How to spot them? When you write mechanically, that’s when you ought to stop. When there is no feeling at all, that’s when everything you write will have to be rewritten. You could feel down and blue, and even that is better for writing than feeling nothing at all.
The other way of looking at it is, if your thoughts and feelings are elsewhere and not on the page, that’s when you’ll know you need to stop and walk away and take time off. So much of writing is not writing but thinking.
If you’re not in it, your readers won’t be in it either.