Thursday, January 21, 2010

Keeping Time

I'm in Budapest this morning, having arrived late last night. So this morning's post is going to be a short one; in fact, it will essentially be a transcription from my notebook.

Here's how the inspiration struck me. After a departmental strategy seminar, now on the bus on my way to pick my son up from school, I was thinking about "the problem" that a well-planned writing process solves. There are in fact two potential problems. First, some people have trouble finding time to write, i.e., they are kept from writing by other presures or a simple lack of discipline (sitting down in front of the machine every day). But there is also a second group of people, who are actually able to set time aside for writing, and do close the door, shut out the world, and set their mind to writing. But their writing never gets anywhere because they need to learn how to use their time.

The insight that struck me was that, here as elsewhere, the rule "use it or lose it" applies. Those who can initially find time to write, but who then don't make good use of it, will slowly find themselves distracted by other tasks. One day they find themselves without time to write at all.

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