Thursday, November 18, 2010

This comment really captures something that has bothered me for a long time about 'time management' People always say "I just make time!" as if somehow all time is equal. As if a sleepy afternoon hour when you can barely string together two sentences is the same as a peak energy morning hour! I try to put the most energy using tasks at the best times, but on some days, I have no good hours of energy. I have a lot to spend my few hours of energy on, and when I am working, I tend to spend it on work rather than recreational writing.

Of course, the heart of this issue of who surmounts impossible odds to write and who doesn't, is that it doesn't really matter all that much. Sometimes people in fact are just talking. Everyone who says "Oh, I'd like to write a novel someday, when I have time" does not in fact need to be told about how if they just wrote a hundred words a day, they'd have a novel way before retirement or told about how they need to make time to write.

Maybe they just like to think of themselves as creative, a little more interesting than their lives have turned out to be. And that's OK.

We all have little fantasies of ourselves being the sort of person who likes doing things that we really don't like to do. We want to imagine ourselves as the sort of people who travel to exotic locations and have adventures or do volunteer work, but some part of us understands that bugs, heat and exhaustion do not figure into our fantasies.

And so it is with fantasies of being a writer. People don't imagine rereading their words over and over and over to edit it, or being up at 5 am writing that new chapter. And that's fine.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Advice for people who always complain that others don't heed their advice.

The thing is that the problem is not that people don't heed your advice. The problem is that you get twisted out of shape if people don't heed your advice. Advice is not a legally binding contract. If I tell someone not to buy brand name clothes, that they are all just made by the same sweatshops in China, and then they buy new name brand clothes, getting bent out of shape isn't going to help me at all. They probably heard my advice, and didn't think it worked for them. It's not a moral failing, they just like brand name clothing more than they like saving money.

And that's OK! This is not an epic battle for moral superiority! Giving advice is giving your opinion. Not everyone will agree with your opinion, and even if they do, everything is easier said than done.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

This story creeps me out.

Now, I can't really excerpt it for you, but basically, a guy goes on a journey, tries to help some stranger who jumped off a bridge after this guy tied a rope around his waist, and then lets the stranger hurtle down into the water after some spiel about responsibility.

As a metaphor about not taking on too much, it doesn't work since the our audience is balancing our 'hero' losing momentum towards his goals and the horrible death of a stranger whose actions are irrational, but probably not death penalty worthy. Also, there's also the image of other people as mere baggage, mere obstacles on the way to your glorious goals. Just drop them off the bridge, and go on your merry way!

*shudder* I'm not saying drop all your goals and become codependent on a crack head. But balance is the key here. We're all interdependent on each other. We're both the man going towards his goal, and the man hanging off the bridge. Maybe we're the rope too. Seeing ourselves as all the characters gives us more compassion. Say, we're the man hanging off the bridge.

We see that our own actions have been foolish, irrational, or maybe we don't see. Anyway, we're hanging off the bridge, depending on someone else. We're scared. What if he leaves? What if we're all alone, speeding towards the water, the person we hoped that would save us, walking off smugly, after giving us a lesson in responsibility. Of course, we can't really learn this lesson, as our hearts stop when we hit the water.