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Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Simplicity

Isolate your project from everything else. Have a writing to-do list with only one thing: writing the thing you need to write. Figure out how to clear away other agenda items that are getting in the way.

Suppose you had a to-do list with 10 things.

(1) Grade papers.

(2) Go to the supermarket.

(3) Finish the article.

(4) Take a shower.

(5) Answer email.

etc...

It would be pretty easy to get everything done except for (3). You would have been busy all day, too. But being busy is not the same thing as being productive.

3 comments:

Clarissa said...

"It would be pretty easy to get everything done except for (3). You would have been busy all day, too."

-This is exactly how it usually is for me. I justify it to myself as the need to get everything else out of the day before proceeding to write with no other worries. What it is in reality is just avoidance.

I will try the method you suggested in this post on Saturday and Sunday and report the results at group on Monday.

Jonathan said...

Yes. Obviously you need your shower and coffee in the morning, but why not write for two hours after that and leave the other stuff for later?

Clarissa said...

Tried it today and failed completely.

Will try again tomorrow.

This might be just a matter of getting into a new routine where you do the writing in the morning when thoughts are fresh and the energy is still there.