Too busy to write?

Word count: 391 words

Reading time: Just over 1 minute

This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help writers. Here is a link go an article arguing that many of us are simply too busy to write.

Are you too busy? In the past, I would have used that term to describe myself. When my triplets were very young, I was too busy to do anything except care for my three very tiny (premature) babies. They required  feeding every two hours and each took an hour to feed. (Do the math. Yes, it’s frightening!) When they became older — and I’d launched my own business — I was too busy to do anything except deal with my work and my family.

Now, however, I don’t feel nearly as busy as I used to. This gives me time to write (five blog entries per week and a great deal of client work) and time to read (about a book a week.) I even have time to watch the occasional bit of TV, although I try not to do too much of that.

But in a recent New York Times article, writer Tim Kreider argued that, “our frantic days are really just a hedge against emptiness.” He claims to be living in an Undisclosed Location without TV or Internet. And he finds this isolation makes him more productive. Poor, Tim, I say.

Here is a particularly interesting part of his article: “The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.” In other words, he’s saying you need to lie around a lot in order to be able to write.

While I agree that constant busy-ness does not lend itself to the writing life, I disagree that we need isolation in order to be “inspired.” In fact, I disagree that we need to be inspired. I hold more to the Peter de Vries formula: “I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning.”

What do YOU think about the Tim Kreider piece?

Photo courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.net