Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Time Management Tuesday: Time Management For Writers With No Time--Meditators Don't Have Time, Either

The third in an arc inspired by Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris and Jeff Warren with Carlyle Adler

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics includes a chapter called I Don't Have Time For This. That's what we're all about here! Harris mentions some things related to time that can apply to writers, too.

What Is The Benefit Of Writing?

Meditators are often looking for particular benefits, which motivate them to meditate. Improved
concentration, for instance, or help dealing with anxiety. What benefits can writers use to motivate them?

  • Publication, of course, but that comes way down the line and often very rarely. It's not that terrific an immediate benefit.
  • Income. Same as above. Income as a serious benefit, the kind that really is life supporting money, doesn't come for a lot of writers. If it does, it probably isn't going to come for a long time.
  • Identity/Lifestyle. This is the benefit that can come early on once you're writing regularly. Writing can establish who you are and how you feel about yourself. Yes, this is kind of woo-woo. Maybe very woo-woo.

You Don't Need A Lot Of Time To Do This

Harris talks about starting with very short meditations. We've been talking here for ten years about using short units of time, also known as segmented time, for writing. 

A completed piece of writing will almost certainly take a great deal of time. But it can be time that's accumulated over days, weeks, months, years. The fact that we don't have the overall time necessary to complete something all at once, doesn't have to stop us from getting started, because little units of time get the job done.

Think In Terms Of Daily-ish

Harris writes about how people new to meditation can feel that they've failed if they can't keep up a daily practice.  We've talked here many times about how exclusionary and judgmental the write every day instruction is. Harris suggests shooting for a daily-ish meditation practice.

Writers can also work daily-ish without writing daily-ish. There's a multitude of things writers need to do, and doing them helps maintain that woo-woo writing identity I mentioned earlier--in addition to the value completing those tasks provides, of course.  

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