Working More and Working Harder is Not Always Better

I wanted to share this link to Arianna Huffington’s post:
While she’s talking about CEOs and office workers primarily in this post, I found that I could readily identify with it on account of the seriously crazy advice I’ve been hearing about writing lately. The past few weeks I’ve been listening to my favorite podcast, The Rocking Self Publishing Podcast, and Simon’s guests have been these people who were advocating these insane work schedules for writing. Eight hours a day, at least five days a week, unless of course, you’re writing a first draft, in which case, be prepared to work on it from 7 in the morning til 11 at night.
I cannot help but think there’s something wrong here. It’s not like I didn’t associate with some of the vast array of subjects they were talking about, but this thing with the long hours and churning out books like they were coming out of a clown car just didn’t sound right to me. This isn’t turning it up to 11 (to quote one of my all time favorite movies), this is turning it up to 500, then to ZERO…
NaNoWriMo pacing (50,000 words in a month), I can understand, especially for rough drafts. Doing NaNoWriMo in one day, on the other hand, I don’t believe anything useful can come out of doing something so taxing and exhausting. Oh, and another thing I have noticed these people the past couple of episodes had in common:
1) They were unmarried males.
2) They had no job other than their writing.
3) Their previous jobs were office jobs or owning their own businesses like the very ones that Arianna’s talking about in her post.
Interestingly, Arianna mentions that this culture of doing a great deal of work amounts to little more than spinning our wheels after a while, citing an article written by Michael Thomsen for Forbes:

(W)e know for a fact that nothing kills creativity, intuition and originality faster than sleep deprivation and burnout. “It may be,” writes Thomsen, “that accepting the normalcy of non-stop work is encouraging a culture of unusually bad thinking, painstakingly propped up by those charged with turning thought into real product.”

For the actual whole article, here is the link:

Needless to say, this really resonated with me as I prepare to put my book live, hopefully next week, all while listening to the advice of these self-publishing “go-getters.” Now, it’s not that I don’t understand the need to “market” and that “it’s a business, stupid.” But burning out is the quickest way to destroy creativity, which is, in my own humble opinion, the NUMBER 1 commodity one needs to be a writer!
Here is the link for RSP podcast #39:

Episode # 39 – Kindle Publishing is an Entrepreneurial Venture with Russell Blake

Again, not saying I don’t agree with some of this, but just because someone works a full time day job does NOT mean that someone aspiring to write is somehow deficient or not serious. If anything, my dedication to putting my book out there MORE than equals yours.
And here is the link for RSP podcast #40:

Episode # 40 – How to Write (a lot) More with Matt Ahlschlager

Again, though his tips on fast drafting are good to follow if you want to get a lot on, well, paper 😀 , but writing is not an extreme sport, again, just my opinion…
I usually look forward to Simon’s podcasts, so I don’t want anyone to think that I’m slamming his show or anything like that, but I did feel the need to vent!


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