Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy to be TOLD to read!

Have you read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin?

I took the first step--buying the book--but have yet to even look at it. I find that reading in my apartment tires me, and I've decided that it's because I have so little light. The glare of the computer screen and the constant stimulation of the internet seem to be the only thing powerful enough to keep my completely conscious.

I subscribe to many blogs by email, and last week an interview with Rubin caught my eye. It was a Q&A on author Theo Nestor's blog.

My favorite tips:

* Don't save projects for days when you have hours to work on them. Even just 10 minutes of writing, or whatever it is you do, keeps it on your mind. I like to picture ideas and projects simmering away--my subconscious, for once, working for me instead of against me!

* Find time for related activities--whatever you need to keep the ideas flowing. In other words, don't let your mind go blank! It's difficult to write (or carry on many conversations, as I've discovered during long periods of depression and life-avoidance) if you don't keep up with the world around you. Reading other people's blogs, having conversations about life, and reading in general are all part of the writer's job--NOT something to let slide because you don't make time for it.

* Gretchen's favorite writing tip: "Have something to say!" A lot of this probably comes from the parts of a writer's life that I tend to ignore--the tips above, for example. According to Rubin, writing will come much more easily if you have a thought in mind that you want to communicate to your reader.

These ideas may be obvious for others, but I need to put all of them into practice: for my work, my therapy sessions, and the friendships I hope to develop.

So starting tomorrow, I'll actually READ all those blogs I keep collecting. Perhaps I'll set a timer for an hour and then move on to what I'm more likely to consider as "work." I bet I'll find that I accomplish much more by labeling reading as part of my job than I do by wasting time in unsuccessful multi-tasking.

And as lovely as it looks on my book shelf, one of these days--perhaps when it's nice enough to sit outside and read--I'll pick up The Happiness Project and READ it.

Photograph by Massimo Barbieri, Wikimedia Commons, Cc-by-sa-3.0 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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