article, Uncategorized

Why Are We Too Busy to Write?

1444
Credit: Guardian.com

I’ve been reflecting on being “busy” lately. It seems whenever I catch up with friends and family and ask how they are, most reply “busy” almost automatically.

Many of them also marvel at how I “find the time” to write in between all of life’s other obligations, and I tell them it’s not a big mystery. It is just a matter of simplifying and prioritizing what matters most to you. I also had – what I believed – to be a kinda sorta conspiracy theory that we’re being constantly told we’re busy by marketing companies.

Ever notice how many ads tell you that you’re too busy to clean or make dinner? Once you focus on it, you can’t un-hear it.

Anyway, in the spirit of NanoWriMo, I wanted to share this great little article by Oliver Burkeman over on The Guardian about “shadow work”, which gives a name to this constant state of “busy” we all seem to be in.

SPOILER ALERT: it seems the promise of technology and automation backfired a bit.

What do you think? Do you always feel busy, and struggle to carve out time for writing or other creative endeavors? Let me know down in the comments.

Have a great weekend!

 

creative writing, self-publishing

#NanoWriMo2016 But Not Really

nanowrimoIt’s November 1st, and that can only mean one thing. YARD WORK!

Wait, sorry, NanoWriMo, and yard work. If you’re active on social media, chances are you equate the second-to-last calendar month with dudes growing mustaches (WordPress auto-corrected ‘moustache’) to “raise awareness”, and tons of would-be authors telling you about their frantic race to create a 50,000 word novel.

I have participated in past NanoWriMo events, but decided they really weren’t for me. It’s an admirable exercise, and although on some level it sets people up for failure (see: 20% success rate) I think it’s important to recognize “the journey” and the act of putting effort into the craft. Does that sound philosophical and lame? Probably.

This year I’ve decided to follow along with the Nano craze in parallel, and utilize all the positive energy created by the community to spur me in revising my fantasy novel. Like some sort of literary psychic vampire, I’ll feed off their goodwill to gain power as I search for misplaced commas and erase adverbs.

The reason for this is two-fold.

One, I’ve learned as much about myself as I can from NanoWriMo. It’s just not my style, and I really want to accomplish some goals before the holidays arrive and eat away at my already diminished free time.

Two, I already have enough unfinished projects active, and I don’t want to add another (of dubious quality) to the pile. I’m a finisher by nature. I absolutely hate incomplete projects lingering around, so I’m going to turn this social experiment into lemonade and put a bow on this draft that’s been hanging around for months collecting dust.

Rather than unleash 1600 words a day, I plan to edit/revise around that much per day, which will put me to the end of my edit process with room to spare in case I get distracted by Xbox or something a few times.

Are you participating in #NanoWriMo2016? If so, let me know what your plans are, and if you’re reading this on November 28th, I hope you’re almost done with that novel!