Tag Archives: Writer

What Are the Fun Goals on Your To Do List?

(dipity.com)

It’s a holiday week, so that means it’s time to break away from the rules, bend the structure, and wear that naughty underwear no one knows you’re wearing but you!  😉

I’ve been thinking about my to do list a lot lately.  With Fast Draft over I couldn’t wait to have some peace and quiet for a few days, but now I feel like I’m moving too slow.  I went from hyper drive surviving off of cheese and crackers and caffeine, and now I feel like my goals are moving slowly but summer is flying by!

You know how when summer begins, and you have all these great plans about trips to the beach, lazing away in a hammock, vacations to tropical places, cookouts full of junk food, and a margarita in each hand!

Well, this morning I took Julie Glover’s quiz, What Kind of Summer Person Are You?  And you know what, I was a Summer Scrooge!  Me???  I’m not a summer scrooge am I?

Ok, so I’m still working 50+ hours/week, coming home and putting in a movie that came out several years ago and falling asleep on the couch.  It’s hot out!  Wisconsin is in the middle of an unholy heat wave!  100+°s and humid!  And the mayflies and mosquitos are at their worst.  Every time I’m out for more than 10 minutes I have 8 new bites on my legs and the vision of a lone mosquito pickin’ his teeth with the remaining bones of his last victim!

But I still made that summer to do list!  And I want to fulfill it.  Here are some of the things I wanted to do this summer, and I’ve got just under 2 months to make it happen.

  1. Take a road trip vacation with Joe out west to Yellowstone National Park.  – This one is happening, we’ve booked our campsite!
  2. Make it to the beach at least 3x.
  3. Watch a live baseball game.
  4. Visit Niagara Cave in Harmony, MN
  5. Tour La Crosse’s Historic Points
  6. Complete the Library’s Adult Summer Reading Program
  7. Have a Party in our Backyard- And you’re all invited!!!
  8. Lay in the Hammock as much as possible!
  9. Eat lunch at the Guadalupe Shrine.
  10. Maybe Get Another Tattoo.

So what are the fun things on your to do list?  Don’t forget to take time for the fun parts of life just as much as the serious ones! 

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Albert Einstein’s Secret To a Creative Life

Do you think of Albert Einstein as a creative? He was.Albert Einstein during a lecture in Vienna in 1921

His left brain was hard at work in the fields of physics and mathematics. His right brain assisted the left in developing his theories.

He was exposed to music early in life and learned to play the violin. He fell in love with Mozart’s Sonatas and is quoted as saying, “Love is a better teacher than a sense of duty.”

A love of art in any form allows creativity to flow in the interpretation of the medium.

Einstein, himself, can explain his secret better via this  summary of a story I read about him.

In 1955, Jerome Weidman, a novelist, screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who died in 1998, met Albert Einstein at a dinner party hosted by a New York philanthropist.

After dinner,  the guests were led to a room lined with gilded chairs and a setup for musicians. Jerome was immediately uncomfortable realizing he was about to be entertained with chamber music.

It wasn’t that Jerome didn’t want to enjoy music; he just couldn’t. He closed his ears from the inside as the music played and turned his thoughts to anything but music.

After a while he realized people were clapping. He decided it was safe to unplug his ears and he joined them in their applause. A voice next to him said, “Are you fond of Bach?”

Jerome turned to his neighbor and looked into this man’s extraordinary eyes.  He knew he couldn’t lie to this man…Albert Einstein. Jerome explained that he had never heard Bach’s music and didn’t know anything about him. Besides, all music sounded like just a lot of arranged noise.

“It isn’t that I don’t want to like Bach, it’s just that I’m tone deaf and I’ve never really heard anybody’s music.”

At that, Einstein’s face took on a look of serious concern. He took Jerome by the arm, led him upstairs to a book-lined study and closed the door.

Einstein began to question Jerome about his feelings toward music.  “Tell me, please, is there any kind of music that you do like?”

“Well, I like songs with words and the kind of music where I can follow the tune. I like almost anything by Bing Crosby”

Einstein smiled and nodded, “Good!”
Einstein went to the phonograph and put on a record of Bing Crosby. After a few phrases, he lifted the needle and said, “Now, will you tell me, please, what you just heard?”

For Jerome the simplest answer was to sing the words back to Einstein. He sang it the best he could and the look on Einstein’s face ‘was like the sunrise’. “You see? You do have an ear!”

Jerome thought that was nonsense. Einstein used an analogy to explain it for Jerome. “Do you remember your first arithmetic lesson in school? Suppose at your very first contact with numbers, your teacher had ordered you to work out a problem in, say, long division or fractions. Could you have done so?”

Jerome answered, “No, of course not.”

“Precisely!” Einstein made a triumphant wave with his arm. “It would have been impossible and you would have reacted in panic. You would have closed your mind to long division and fractions. As a result, your whole life would be devoid of the beauty of long division.”

Einstein continued to explain that a teacher would normally begin with something more elementary and increase the difficulty as the boy gained skills.
He likened the Bing Crosby music to simple addition and told Jerome they would go on to something more complicated.

With each more difficult set of musical phrases, Jerome sang them all back to Einstein. Einstein was thrilled with Jerome’s progress. “Now you are ready for Bach!”

Back in the music room with the other guests, Einstein whispered to Jerome,

“Just allow yourself to listen. That is all.”

When the concert was over, Jerome was genuinely applauding his praise. The hostess came over to chastise Einstein for missing so much of the performance.

Einstein and Jerome jumped to the feet to apologize. Einstein said, “I am sorry. My young friend here and I were engaged in the greatest activity of which man is capable.” Einstein put arm around Jerome’s shoulders and said,

“Opening up yet another fragment of the frontier of beauty.

I guess a far shorter way to say this would have been something my 4th grade Nun used to tell us. “Stop walking around with your eyes and ears closed!” In other words, be open to everything beautiful around you. Don’t be afraid to experience or try new things. Creativity will come.

But I like Albert Einstein’s story better.

Creativity

As writers, painters, singers, quilters, woodworkers, cooks or any other creative you can think of, we often told ourselves untruths when we were novices.

Our inner critics would say, “You’ll never be any good at this. Why keep trying? Look at So-and-so over there and how well she’s doing. You should just give up.”

Some take those lies to heart and do give up. Others press on toward success.

The most important advice I read as I was learning the craft of writing a book was this (I’d love to credit the person who said, but I can’t remember who it was):

“Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”

When just finishing my 1st draft, comparing myself to the likes of James Rollins, Stephen King or Christina Dodd is self-defeating.

My most important goals are to be the best I can be, never stop learning, and always be open to discovering new ideas, noticing the beauty of nature and cheering on others who do the same.

What will you do to open up yet another fragment of the frontier of beauty?

What are your most important goals? What lies have you told yourself?

Come back on Friday when Sonia Medeiros will be here!

And don’t forget that June 29th is the One – Year Anniversary of The Life List Club AND it’s Milestone Party time!! Woohoo! 

We Life Listers would like our readers to answer the same question all of us writers will answer: What goal on your Life List has held the most surprise or invoked the most unforeseen benefits/changes?

Post your answer in the comment section of our Milestone Friday post between June 29th and July 6th. The BIG WINNER will be announced on July 6th.

What sort of prize would mean the most to all of you?

#FastDraft: How to Do It Successfully and What You Learn Along the Way

(scarlettopia.com)

Hi Life Listers!  You may have noticed I haven’t been pestering you all as much lately on your blogs or on twitter.  And Facebook, well, I’ve barely logged in.  Don’t fret!  I still like you!

You see, I’ve been busy writing.  After attending the DFW Writers Conference, I met and am in awe of romance writer, Candace Havens.  Candace is amazing at getting things done.  She’s a film critic, romance writer, workshop leader, wife, mom and incredibly funny woman!

Candace Havens (examiner.com)

One of the key workshops Candace leads is a writing class called Fast Draft.  In today’s day and age, it’s not enough for writers to just write one book a year.  Not if you expect to make money at it.  The fact is our readers now expect the next book right away, and if they have to wait too long, they (and your publishers) might forget about you.  I wrote more on this topic in Celebrating My Writing Slump and Guerrilla Tactics For Writers.

So Candace champions writing FAST!  Fast Draft is a commitment to write 20 pages a day for 2 weeks.  In that 2 weeks, you would have a completed first draft.  Sound frightening?  Here’s how Candace gets you going!

How to Successfully Begin Fast Draft:

  • Prepare! Make it work for you!  Write your blog posts for the weeks ahead, put some meals in the freezer or save a take out fund.  Gift yourself with the time to write for two weeks!
  • Permission – Give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft.  Do at least some plotting work to keep you moving.
  • Get Rid of Your Internal Editor!  You are not allowed to read what you’ve previously written the day before, just make yourself some notes and keep going!
  • Tell Your Friends and Family To Leave You Alone!  Promise a romantic weekend away, a trip to a Water Park with the kids, whatever it takes to get them to agree to give you 2 weeks to write.
  • Set aside a specific time to write and stick to it.  If you have to break it up into chunks throughout the day, do it!
  • Do your research after you’ve written the draft.  If your book is set in the Himalayas, then put some brackets down and write: {Insert geographical key points of the Himalayas here}.
  • Write When You’re Tired!  Be Positive!  Believe in the Magic of Writing!
  • Clear away the clutter in your writing space.  Make sure your writing space is a clean and open one.

If Snoopy can do it, so can you! (christinemareebell.files.wordpress.com)

Hopefully, many of you are reading this and thinking “Yes, I can do this!”  But if you’re still struggling to get going, here are the other helpful tips Candace recommends.

  • Vomit your words on the page.  It’s easier to fix a page with words on it than a blank one.
  • Get a Team!  You need people to report to daily and hold yourself accountable.  Never allow 0 pages!  Candace says the only excuses for writing 0 pages are DEATH and a COMA!
  • Whining is not allowed.
  • Keep a journal with you at all times. You never know when inspiration may hit.
  • Experiencing technical difficulties?  Use a pen and paper!
  • Know that everyone hits a stumbling block.  Keep yourself moving forward.  🙂
  • Stuck?  Try one of these:  Journal, write a scene for a character and keep going, write your end, move to another chapter, use writeordie.com, email your partners and ask them to brainstorm with you, move around and stretch, leave yourself notes with ideas, if you make your goal, give yourself a treat, if you think of a previous scene, just make a note in your journal.

(word.pghfree.net)

It is possible!  And I can tell you this because I’m doing it!  I had the extreme pleasure of chatting with Candace while waiting in the LONG lunch line at the DFW Conference.  I told her she was the first person who really hit home in regards to having a similar schedule to me.  She has to drive to and from out of town movie venues, she writes her 20 pages a day, and she does have a family to take care of.  She puts in around 80 hours a week!

I work a 60 hour day job, keep up with my blog, and can now say I write for my book each day.  You know what, I don’t always get to 20 pages.  It’s rare that I do.  But I usually get to 10!  And that’s between 3 and 4,000 words!

Candace Havens may have saved my writing career.  You guys, I’m a terrible editor!  If you read my previous post about celebrating my writing slump, I shared how many false starts and re-starts and cut and paste starts I’ve tried!  I never made it much further than a few chapters because I thought it had to be perfect!  Now that I’m not re-reading my own work everyday, allowing my inner editor to tell me what a screw up I am, I am writing more and moving forward in my story!  That alone is worth everything to me.

Give it a try!  You never know what you might learn along the way!

Hungry for more? 

Kristen Lamb just posted 5 Ways to Get Out of the Comfort Zone and Become a Stronger Writer.

James Scott Bell blogged 7 Things That Will Doom Your Novel (And How to Avoid Them).

Or just hang out with the good (and tired) peeps participating in Fast Draft right now over at Twitter under the hashtag #FastDraft.

See you all there!  And don’t forget to share what Boot Camp or Baby Steps experiences changed your life and ambitions! 

Creativity Is Not Always Child’s Play

All you need for an excellent exercise that stimulates a young child’s imagination is a blank sheet of paper and a few crayons of different colors. A creative spirit and busy little hands will do the rest. It’s not so easy for us adults! While creativity can be as easy as child’s play, for an artist or a craftsman, creativity can mean painstaking work.

Creativity is also an integral part of any work environment, and it’s not surprising that creativity in business drives profitability.

Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid

The Magic and Wonder of Creativity
Small clumps of different-colored clay can make a bigger clump of multicolored clay. It’s one thing to mix ingredients and come up with something interesting. It’s quite another to conceive a totally new way of looking at things that leads to an unexpected result.

The work of a creative artist can make us pause in awe and wonder. Creativity can transform the mundane into the useful or the sublime. A talented artist only needs a handful of colors. His ability to create an appealing or emotional effect by combining a few available elements can translate into a magical outcome or the perfect result.

Creativity at Work

Quantum Leaps of Creativity
Some riddles are so difficult to decipher that we have to make quantum leaps of creativity to arrive at their solution. We intuitively understand that if you apply force to an object it will move. We quickly grasp why we need more force to move a heavier object. It takes a substantial leap of creativity to figure out that if you’re moving fast enough, time literally slows down.

Water emerges from two invisible gases, hydrogen and oxygen. Nothing about those two gases would predict what water is like. Quantum leaps dominate in creation everywhere we look but especially in the startling, beautiful novelty of life-forms on Earth.
–Deepak Chopra

Rules and Creativity: Putting Theory Into Practice
Fortunately for us, most creative endeavors have rules. If you want to write a convincing and emotionally satisfying plot, there are rules you can follow. The theory behind the rules was proposed in 335 BC by Aristotle and they haven’t changed much since. A painter’s knowledge of the theories of light, perspective and color enables him to create a stunning three-dimensional portrait on a canvas of two dimensions.

The Tedium in Creativity: Getting the Facts Straight
It’s a fallacy to think that creative work means you don’t have to deal with facts. Most novels contain narrative passages that require research. The writer has to gather and organize bits of general information, historical events and geographical details. A vivid setting with accurate details can help bring a plot to life and make the story realistic. Even a make-believe world has to be consistent and should be subject to some rules of cause and effect.

Where Creative Insights Come From
If you immerse yourself in the theory of your work and the facts of your project, creative insights will come to you like bolts from the blue when you least expect it. Creative people are those who are most receptive to their own intuitions. They know that insights come from their interpretation and understanding of basic knowledge and available information.

They have faith that a new insight will come to save the day. Every time they get “stuck,” they go back to doing something called for by the basics until they get another insight. They master the basics and stay in tune with their work.

Creativity Requires Commitment
All work requires planning and focus. Creative work is no different. You can’t carry out a plan and you won’t be able to focus if you don’t have time. It’s a valuable asset—and like all valuable assets—you shouldn’t squander time because it’s scarce. There’s never enough.

This is why making priorities and setting goals are so important. Setting priorities will help you manage your time. Having a goal will keep you focused.

What works for you when you need to be creative?

Gary GauthierGary Gauthier is working on his first novel, a crime thriller set in New Orleans just before Hurricane Katrina’s landfall. In real life, he works for a small publishing company no one’s ever heard of and that publishes books no one reads.

His blog, Literary Snippets, gives him an opportunity to express and share his appreciation for art and literature. He occasionally posts articles as well. Some of his favorite writers are Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe. But this changes from time to time. Stay tuned! Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.

Our Passionate Lives

My biggest goal in life is to live with passion and to discover new passions along the way.

In the first half of our adult lives, we are constantly defined by our relations to others such as parents, children, spouses, and bosses.

In the second half of our lives, we can choose to design a new identity. We have the time and the options to find and follow an undiscovered path to our passions.

My research and observations tell me that mature women, those 50-something’s, some nicknamed “Cougars”, have truly taken possession of the second half of their adulthood, and I love being part of that group.

We’re bold and passionate, bursting with vitality and, yet, joyfully mellow.

Age brings its own brand of insecurity. Do you ever feel that women over 50 become invisible to some men? Some men over 50 seem to be looking the way of the younger, thinner, blonder type. (Maybe they have the same worries about their passionate lives as we.)

At first, we may think we can no longer attract a man’s attention…even our own man. Some introspection focused on the positives can help that fear fade.

If we look around, we begin to see celebrated women such as, Raquel Welch, Helen Mirren, and Diane Keaton held as the epitome of “middle-age”. This is a giant signal with flashing lights that we need to embrace the perks of being our age.

What are the benefits of our age?

We have what younger women have, and more!

  • We have energy, enthusiasm, wit, passion, drive and wisdom.
  • We have more control of our lives, a deeper confidence, a soul-soothing, inner harmony.
  • We are amazingly imaginative when we need to develop a network of companionship, fun and purpose to sustain us.

Now is the time to intensify our other attractions.

passion propels your dreams, passionate life

If you look inward and find no sense of mastery, no belief in yourself, don’t despair! Passion and mastery can be created. Challenge yourself with a specific action, something new you’ve never done before.

Recruit a support system, including those who love you. The experience of succeeding and the positive feedback from your supporters will be the final step in securing the belief that you can create a new identity, one that will liberate you.

With this reawakening of ourselves, we become fortified for whatever lies ahead. Life throws us curves, illnesses beset us or those around us, beauty fades, age takes our loved ones.

Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never turn his back on life. –Eleanor Roosevelt

Curiosity must never die. When one door closes, another opens. We have to have the courage to walk through the door without looking back.

We can tap into the skills and talents that have lain dormant, unused. We can search for meaningfulness. We deserve lives full with quality — great emotional and physical health, relationships that enhance our being, a purpose that helps us grow.

You don’t have to be over 50 to adopt this way of living, either. Anyone at any age is capable of bringing more passion into their life.

Living with passion should be on everyone’s life list, right? My passions keep me learning something new everyday! That’s most of what makes up my Life List!

How do you live your life with passion? Tell us about something new you’ve tried recently. Is it on your Life List?

Be sure to come back on Friday! The fabulous Sonia Medeiros will be here to enlighten and entertain!

Executive Prerogative

Switching gears, changing lanes, executive decisions.

A woman’s prerogative.

There is a lot of work for a writer to do that isn’t writing. Building a platform before novel publication seems an impossible task.

WRITER: I’m a writer. Come read my blog!

READER: A  writer with a blog? How totally bizarre, unusual, and original. What do you write?

WRITER: My novels feature strong heroines with suspenseful, romantic and sometimes paranormal elements.

READER: Wow, that’s exactly the kind of books I like to read. How many books have you written?

WRITER: Three.

READER: Three? Oh, goody. Where can I get them?

(Insert sound of air deflating from balloon. P-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-t.)

WRITER: I’ll let you know as soon as I’m published.

Marketing takes time, and though one may be a writer, they may not be a natural marketer. Harder still, a writer may enjoy marketing their book, but marketing oneself is a little different, and can make some authors cringe. Me? I cry in a corner, then put my author hat on and come out smiling. The knee-knocking isn’t nearly so noticeable when I’m sitting down.

Yet we must have a platform. Agents want to know we have a network. Get on Facebook, Tweet until your thumbs fall off, join a writing association, build a readership.

The same stuff every other writer is doing.

What else, what else… Think-think-think.

Present a workshop. Neato! Except, teaching fellow emerging writers means you know something they don’t yet know. You want them to listen to you, you want them to lick the sharpened tip of their lead pencil and set it to paper, taking note of every ounce of wisdom that drips from your tongue. You want them to absorb each nugget of information on every slide in your presentation.

You have to be credible.

Credibility comes with sales. Credibility comes with publication.

Hark! I have a published book. Storyteller, my collection of short stories. SQUEE!

And one of my shorts won an award. An award named for an author synonymous with short stories: Alice Munro.

Yippee and yahoo! Now that’s impressive!

And so I drafted a presentation on short story structure, using my shortest short, Sweet Dreams, as the basis. Item # 3 on my Life List reads:

Workshop presentations

  • Short Story Structure, spit & polish
  • Platform before Publication, write
  • Seek out venues to present
And now, end of May, I look at this item and realize, this is not going to happen. At least not this year.
Sunny day, shade of an umbrella, glass of wine with a long-time, non-writing friend. Friend shares this innocent observation:
“I see your Facebook updates, but they’re about blogs and other writers. When do you write?”
The question stings, as valid questions do.
I work on my writing career a minimum of five days per week. I write an impressive word count everyday. And yet, I am four months behind my writing schedule.
Why?
I’m not working on my work-in-progress. I am not editing, I am not producing new words, I am not revising nor am I drafting an outline for the next book in the queue.  And y’all know I haven’t been exercising. Snort.

Image uploaded from Wikipedia

I’m writing blog posts. Necessary. I’m networking. Necessary. But let’s face it,
Something’s Got to Give.

Interesting that this phrase is also the title of Monroe’s unfinished film.

And so, the time has come to make decisions. Weeding out my Life List closet, I hold the hanger beneath my chin, press the fabric to my waistline, and twirl before the mirror.

The goal’s a little snug, but it still fits. If I pair it with a funky pair of sandals, I can get some use out of it this summer. A BBQ, perhaps? A day at the races?

Ah, but what shall I miss at home when I’m out exercising this workshop presentation goal? Progress on my work-in-progress?

Damn straight.

I have a decision to make, and so I make it. For the good of all else on my list, I shall sacrifice presentations. At least for this year.

First, I paraphrase Bobby Brown: I made this list, you didn’t. Right, Gloria? And then, I quote Bobby Brown, It’s My Prerogative. 

PMS

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

One of the bloggers I follow regularly ran a post recently with a list of things PMS could stand for. Stupidly, I didn’t make a note of which blogger to give the credit to, so I apologize to whoever gave me the idea. I would credit you if I could.

Having made that half-baked attempt at attribution, let me proceed to give my take on a few of the ideas from that post.

PMS could stand for Pass My Shotgun. Actually, I’ve never been with a woman who was violent enough to use a shotgun. However, I’ve been with several who could make you wish they’d just use a shotgun and get it over with.

Psychotic Mood Shift. This one is a definite yes. When this happens, the best thing a husband or boyfriend can do is not have been there. Golf only take four hours or so, which is not nearly long enough. This must be why so many men love to fish. They can stay out an indefinite length of time and return after she’s over the symptoms.

Puffy Mid-Section. Hmmm. If I ever noticed this, I certainly wouldn’t notice it. I’m not saying whether I’ve seen such a phenomenon or not, but I wouldn’t notice it if I did. I’m smarter than that.

Provide Me Sweets. Well, maybe so, but be across the room and run fast to get out of there. (See fishing, above.)

Pardon My Sobbing. Okay, guys, here’s a real test. She DOES NOT want you to fix anything. Just hold her and pet her and say nothing at all. If she asks you a question, don’t answer. It’s a trick, and any answer you give is a reason to start a war. If holding her and petting her doesn’t work, see fishing advice.

Pissy Mood Syndrome. This is actually what the letters stand for. You guys know this is not really limited to the timing of her menstrual cycle. If you can appease her well enough to live that long, you’ll also discover that post-menopausal women can have PMS also.

Potential Murder Suspect. Although Pissy Mood Syndrome is the actual meaning of PMS, this captures the strongly possible result of it. We’re talking serious stuff here.

If you enjoy danger, go play with an anaconda or wrestle a crocodile or some such thing. Maybe attack an armed terrorist with a cap gun. Don’t challenge your woman when she’s exhibiting the signs of PMS. Go fishing instead.

——————————————

clip_image001David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his non-fiction Web Wisdom: Godly Thoughts and Inspiration from the Inbox and starting his new fiction work—a series of novellas set during the period from 1860 to 1880.

Contact me at davwalktx@yahoo.com or tweet me at @davidnwalkertx

When is Wasting Time Not a Waste of Time?

surprise kitty cat

Meme me, baby!

We all know how it starts. One innocent little Google search leads to another and then another. Pretty soon we’re on  I Can Has Cheezburger, staring at page after page of cute/silly/stupid/funny animals doing whatever until our butts are numb. Or that one game of solitaire or Bejeweled turns into fifty (give or take a few dozen). Or, that search through the pantry for the candy bar we hid results in a complete reorganization of our food storage system which naturally leads us to finally alphabetize those DVDs and sort the clothes in our closet by color and season.

When we come to our senses, the guilt sets in. We’ve just wasted time.

*gasp* Oh the horror!

We all know how evil it is to waste time. After all, time is precious, time is money and wasting time means we’re throwing away valuable minutes and hours we can never recover. Whatever project we were supposed to be working on will take that much longer. There can be nothing redeeming about wasting time.

Or can there?

According to author and entrepreneur Seth Godin, wasting time well is key to a happy, creative and productive life. It gives us a chance to relax and experiment, to work on a project just for the joy of it. Time well wastes replenishes our creativity and is a boon to our productivity.

But what exactly is time well wasted?

That would be time that we spend freely playing, letting ourselves decompress and explore. When we are done wasting time well, we should feel refreshed, ready to tackle new projects and see challenges in a new light.

Clearly not all wasted time is well wasted, as many last-minute college papers and haphazardly thrown together projects can testify, but neither is all wasted time another form of procrastination.

The trick is to know the difference and to only waste as much time as we need to replenish ourselves.

Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to waste time (well, I hope):

  • StumbleUpon: Flipping through web pages based on a particular interest is incredibly relaxing and inspires my biweekly Friday Stumbles.
  • Games on the iPhone or iPad: Currently, I’m playing The Tribez but I’ve also enjoyed many well-wasted hours with Plants vs Zombies. I do have to watch myself with games like these as it’s very easy to go from time well wasted to just plain old wasted time.
  • Rearranging stuff: Yeah, I know. Probably a weird way to waste time. But I sometimes get the urge to overhaul the bookshelves or rearrange the living room furniture.
  • Browsing bookstores and libraries with no real intention of buying/checking out anything.
What do you think about wasted time? Is there a way to waste it well? What are your favorite ways to waste time?
If you haven’t had the chance to check out last week’s posts, you’re really missing out. On Wednesday, Sherry Isaac talked about setting goals that make us strive and, on Friday, Marcia Richards talked about her ten commandments for living well.
Stay tuned, Gary Gauthier will be here Friday.
Photo Credit
Surprise! Another Cat Photo! by Michael Scialdone, on Flickr | CC By 2.0