This Week (Beginning 7/23)

 Reading

Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg and Bait and Switch by Barbara Ehrenreich. Both non-fiction. In Goldberg’s book, I continually go back to it just as a reminder about what I should be doing. I think I’ll have this book forever, or at least until I have the whole thing memorized. Bait and Switch… I didn’t feel it lived up to what I expected. I’ve read quite a bit of Ehrenreich’s writing…She’s still witty with this dry sense of humor, but there’s an uncomfortable edge to this writing that sounds caustic. It feels judgmental. I’m going to move on to her next book, because I think I may like that one better.

Started reading We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin and I have a copy of Borges collected works on the desk. Will be on it soon.

Writing

Two. I’m still working on it. Worked out some plot problems, but it’s going slow.

Movies

I’ve been watching old Twilight Zone and Outer Limits shows. I love these things. They remind of writing a short story. It’s quick, weird and sweet with a twist.

Cool Moments

A new book cover for Day Gazing and finished my book cover for Two.

Random thoughts

The internet and television are addicting; or perhaps more appropriate, entertainment is addicting. We hate boredom, therefore we constantly strive for some kind of busyness.

What we choose is usually some form of entertainment. Part of the consumptive culture we come from I guess. We (Americans) seek relief from boredom and prefer not to have to work for it. The internet provides what we want, which is probably the reason for it’s success. Instant communication and instant gratification of what we believe we need.

For a writer, (I’m speaking for myself) this probably is not a good thing. I’m always seeking distractions and it takes some discipline to get myself to sit, think and write. If I don’t exercise that discipline, I’m all over the place with the television on, surfing the internet and attempting to concentrate on a book I’m reading.

Little gets done.

When I allow myself the boredom, turn off the wireless, keep the television off, I do begin seeking other things. Those other things tend to be reading and writing. My ability to focus increases exponentially on the ideas that I’m attempting to work out.

I can’t say I don’t enjoy the internet or cable television. When it becomes a distracting from life and limiting the individual by keeping them from the things they need to do for themselves, that’s a problem.

We only have twenty-four hours in a day and when I think that I can waste a good five hours doing nothing but surfing around the internet, checking email, pretending to research to justify my reason for surfing, that’s a problem too.

Five hours of writing time would net me at least a thousand words. Multiply that by five days.

I’m going to make a commitment to myself. Between the hours of 11am and 6pm, no internet and no television. I will do this for one month to see how it goes. If this plan nets me some benefit I’ll keep it up.

I’m gritting my teeth on this, because I really like to check my email in the middle of the day…

The goal is to get more writing and more research/reading done. I’ll answer emails, complete blog posts, etc. in the mornings or in the evening.

Wish me luck.

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