From now on until the proverbial foreseeable, TOP will publish on weekdays. "Open Mike" will appear on Fridays and I think I'll do a camera or tech post on Mondays.
I'm going to experiment with taking (gasp!) the whole weekend off.
Well, not "off" exactly.
I'm trying to write a book.
I used to visualize the various types of personal energy as a series of reservoirs (which for some odd reason I pictured as being cylindrical and made of glass and filled with colored transparent liquid, like water with food coloring in it, but never mind that). They are steadily filled at varying rates from the top and can be tapped from the bottom. When completely full the pressure builds up and needs to be relieved or you might bust the glass and make a mess. And you have energy for specific types of things. Physical exertion, sex, socializing, studying, multitasking, memorizing, creativity, whatever—the amounts depending on your individual psychology and physiology, aptitudes, habits and practices and history, health and fitness of mind or body.
I first started thinking this way when I was teaching (I taught for a few years in the '80s). I found that teaching photography to high school students did not drain my intellectual or emotional or physical reservoirs at all; but it completely slammed what I called “attentiveness.” Whatever faculty is called upon to pay close, considered, responsive attention to the needs and issues and situations of 50 students, such that you can meet everyone where they are with full attention when called upon, each by turn, often having to "change gears" suddenly...that reservoir got repeatedly drained all the way. It dawned on me (I was 27 when I started teaching) why teachers need a lot of time off: it’s not because they’re “tired” in any conventional sense. It’s because the reservoir for attentiveness gets drained dry and needs time to recharge every now and then.
I found the imbalance striking and vivid at the time…one type of personal energy being drained at the same time other types essentially weren’t being touched at all. It was a weird variant of "tired."
Anyway, I’d have no trouble writing a book if I weren’t writing TOP. But I only have so much writing energy. If I don't write at all, the need gets pent-up and the pressure builds, and I need to give it an outlet; but if I do it too much, I don't have enough left in the tank for other projects.
Writers are all different. Hemingway worked six hours a day painstakingly crafting 500 words; Stephen King thinks if a full-time writer can't knock off 2,000 words every day of the year he or she is not trying very hard. I guess I'm somewhere in between.
So the plan is, take Saturdays completely off, work on the book on Sundays on a full day's rest, and write the blog during the week.
No telling if this will last. Just giving it a try.
Mike Yer 'Umble 'Ost
(Thanks to Ctein)
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