A lot of writers think writing every day is the best medicine to keep your skills sharp and get yourself out of writers' block. Then there are others who believe it's best to step away for a time until an idea strikes or simply to take a mental break.
I'm in the step away house, generally for no more than a week. If I'm not feeling it, I'm just not feeling it. And let me add, I don't mean editing or reworking a scene I've already written. I can do that and it has helped me in the past. I mean writing brand spanking new material.
Generally, when I take a break, my brain can calm down (somewhat anyway) and I can unknot the jumble of thoughts and ideas tangled up in my head. I can literally visualize them unraveling and the not-so-great ideas dissolving away and the better ideas coming into clear focus. Stepping away actually keeps me from going down a bad path and then being too invested in it to get myself out.
I truly believe everyone is different in this way. What works for me undoubtedly would backfire on someone else. What makes my mind fresh, might make others even more stuck in their work.
What are your thoughts? Do you believe in writing every day? If so, how does it help you? How do know it won't take you down a bad path in your current manuscript or do you write something off topic as a mental exercise?