Welcome to Day 18 of a 31 day challenge to write 500 words or more. For more on that click here: goinswriter.com
I press on.
The 500 words a day revisited experiment continues . . . slowly.
I have obviously not yet established the discipline of writing daily that I was holding out hope for when I picked this project back up. However, I heard something today that offered a glimmer of something, slightly hopeful.
I listened to a podcast of two uber-best selling authors who declared unapologetically that they were binge writers.
That has a nice ring.
There is a liberation to it.
The comparison is the highly routined, scheduled type of writer who somehow develops a cut and dried daily habit. So much so that it is the first thing they think about every day . . . after coffee of course. Their time is neatly sectioned and sanctioned so they write.
I like that idea. I’m not giving up on that someday being a part of my life but when this author spoke of binging as a writer it rang my bell.
GONG! YES. That is what I do (which is made perfectly clear by the frequency of my posts).
Here’s the thing. Binging can actually be tremendously effective but not outside of discipline.
These authors had recognized that for whatever reason, be it personal preference or demanding schedules, the idea of setting aside the exact same time every day to write was unrealistic. However, they set aside time . . . dedicated time . . . focused time . . . to hit it hard and just write. 48 hours in a hotel room. Writing residencies. Time away to walk and write, walk and write, walk and write . . . nothing else.
So in a sense it is the same basic picture of a disciplined daily habit, the pixels are just larger. The writing moments are larger as is the time in between . . . but if you zoom out you would still see the same patterns.
In short — this strikes a chord but it doesn’t let me off of the hook. The thought of binge writing makes sense to me and is incredibly attractive. Maybe it is an idea to play with but it still requires intentionality.
Something to explore.
The idea of planned laziness is a concept that I have been thinking a lot about lately. There is so much value in rest . . . but doing nothing with no plan is a slippery slope. Practically anything valuable can become dysfunctional. Reading a book is a good thing . . . but total withdrawal is not. Watching a movie is fun and restful . . . but doing nothing else leads to a dark place (which I have visited on numerous occasions).
Even exercise can be taken to a destructive end.
BUT — Binging intentionally is a whole different beast. Setting aside time to be absolutely LAZY actually allows you to ACCOMPLISH laziness. I did NOTHING . . . but that was my plan so I am a success. The alternative (and much more common option) is post laziness regret. Holy cow, I did nothing all day . . . I am such a loser . . . but I have to finish this season of Gilmore Girls . . . one more won’t hurt.
Here are the pieces that I think are important and hope to explore concerning Disciplined Binging.
Intentionality: Thinking future tense instead of past. “I am going to do this” vs. “this is what I have done”. Planning vs. regret.
Purpose: Establishing a firm grasp of why this is happening BEFORE it happens. Even if the activity seems completely lazy — maybe that’s what I need today . . . for the purpose of rejuvenation . . . rest . . . stress relief . . . etc.
Awareness: On the spectrum of functional, helpful and healthy to dysfunctional, destructive and damaging, where do my activities fit? NOT what activities fit on there but how does my current engagement with them fit? When does it start to lean towards unhealthy? What are the indicators? What are the results?
Honesty: What questions to I need to ask myself to that will help me be genuine in my endeavors?
- Is this more healthy than hurtful?
- What do I want the answer to be?
- Am I lying to myself?
- What other questions belong here?
Something to think about.
And those are my 500 words.