I’m probably not as busy as most of you on here, but recent obligations have been eating away at my writing time.
And these surprise attacks come from all angles too. Maybe a mentee needs an entire day’s worth of guidance. Or maybe the weeds have grown uncontrollably in the garden. Or maybe it’s work on the weekends.
Either way, my adult life is an insatiable blob that only has an appetite for my leisure time. And thus I’ve found myself having to sneak in little pockets of writing time throughout the day instead of having a dedicated hour like I’m used to.
But that’s a small problem for me, right? After all, I did put up this post about micro-writing, so all I need to do is just write, right?
As it turns out, it’s not the writing that’s the problem. It’s attention.
I’ve always been indifferent to lower-than-average pay, especially when it comes to freelance writing. The people in my local writer’s group aren’t as blasé about it, however.
“You should stick to your principles,” they’d say. “Value your writing and someday others will too.”
They have a hatred for writers who take on low-paying gigs, as if that were the reason for dwindling market rates.
Wanna know what I think though? I think that every writer has their own path to pave. If it’s by waiting for a client to miraculously offer you the perfect rates and terms, then more power to you. But some writers resort to places like Fiverr, and they shouldn’t be ridiculed by their choice either.
What do doughnuts, sex, and cocaine have in common? They’re pretty danged pleasurable, that’s what.
How about the post-workout high, acing the exams you’ve been studying hard for, and finishing the first draft of your novel? Awesome too, right?
Most of us would lump all of the above under happiness, and rightfully so, but there is a certain distinction between the two (which we’ll be exploring shortly).
We’ve all heard this before: delayed gratification is better than instant gratification. But why? Why is snorting coke off a stripper’s bum not as good as eating salad and working out?
And that, ladies and gentlemen, brings us to the question of pleasure versus gratification.
I’ve never been one for materialism. Car? Been using a decade-old jalopy for the longest time. Home? Don’t own one. Clothes? They’re just 90% black tees. My mobile phones have also been hand-me-downs for as long as I can remember.
I’ve never understood shopaholics either. Just what do people get from buying things for the sake of it? But then I found pens. Then I knew what it meant to want things, even though it didn’t make sense most of the time.
Now I understand what shopping means. Most importantly, I’ve learned the lessons on materialism and how it applies to all of us.
So you’ve probably heard of morning pages.
I mean, you can’t mention books like On Writing, Bird By Bird, and The War Of Art without including The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. And in it lies one of the most helpful ways to unlock your creativity, and that’s the morning pages.
In a nutshell, this the practice of filling up three A4 pages (Cameron uses letter-sized, but let’s keep things simple) longhand before starting your day.
I’d started morning pages a few years back and I loved it. But that practice slowly evolved into normal journalling, something I thought would function the same.
Only after picking it up again did I realise how wrong I was. Morning pages wasn’t something I could simply replace with journalling, no matter how long my entries were. The entire mindset going into it was different.