How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living. Each day is the same, so you remember the series afterward as a blurred and powerful pattern.
I love taking the train, even if it would make sense to fly. Trains are like ideal mobile offices. You have a view, the ability to walk and go out to lunch, but your away from your daily routine and interruptions.
Then today I read this on The Wire, so I guess I’m not alone:
Amtrak has begun offering “writers’ residencies” to, well, writers – long roundtrip rides aboard Amtrak trains dedicated solely for the purpose of writing.
After New York City-based writer Jessica Gross took the first ”test-run” residency, traveling from NYC to Chicago and back, Amtrak confirmed that it is indeed planning to turn the writers’ residencies into an established, long-term program, sending writers on trains throughout its network of routes.
First, let’s get it out of the way: The Wire is 100 percent on board with this idea. Pun intended, because we’re writers. We love writing, and we love trains, and we love them both together.
Video Posted on Updated on
Fantastic interview with science fiction writer Ray Bradbury who discusses his work, not as scifi, but as modern retellings of fairy tales.
I took a new job on January 1 and I’ve been concerned about my writing habits. I’m now a department chair, and I have a lot going on–so much so that meetings, faculty and student issues have all been coming in the way of my writing and intellectual life.
This isn’t a surprise.
In fact, most of my colleagues are amazed that I continue to try to write at all. I have good reason for wanting to keep up my writing. I finished an amazing novel writing workshop last fall, and now that I know what I need to do to fix my work, I’m read to get going. But I need serious motivation to counteract everything that is pulling for my time and attention.
I’ve been looking for an app that will allow me to focus more on writing for short bursts and keep me from straying to social media and my email. I use 750words.com every day, and I love it. But it doesn’t have any feature to keep me focused, just a statistical meter that will let me know how many distractions I’ve had in one day.
Then tonight I found Write or Die.
It’s a writing application that will give you a jolt if you let your mind stray for too long. I’d encourage you to give the web version a try (writeordie.com). The “consequence mode” will turn the screen bright read and start alarming if you stop writing for more than 10 seconds. In Kamikaze mode you stop typing and your writing slowly disappears, character by character.
I decided it was the perfect motivator, so I took the option for the educator discount and downloaded it. I was really excited to get started, but once downloaded I haven’t been able to get the program to start. At all.
I have no idea what the problem is; my Mac software is all up to date. In any case, I’ve written to the software developer and hope to have a fix soon. In the meantime, I’m writing a blog post and wishing I had one less distraction.
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Fantastic overview of how one can develop their creativity. The video (about 35 minutes) is worth you time. Creativity is not an ability (like IQ), it is a way of being. It is something that can be developed.
- Space (“You can’t become playful, and therefore creative, if you’re under your usual pressures.”)
- Time (“It’s not enough to create space; you have to create your space for a specific period of time.”)
- Patience (“Giving your mind as long as possible to come up with something original,” and learning to tolerate the discomfort of pondering time and indecision.”)
- Confidence (“Nothing will stop you being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake.”)
- Humor (“The main evolutionary significance of humor is that it gets up from the closed mode to the open mode quicker than anything else.”)