Prolificity vs Monomania

I saved David Farland’s recent post on Being Prolific to my “to blog” folder twice, so I guess I should actually blog about it.

Except there isn’t really much to say. Work harder and longer, stay focused, and get more done. There you go.

Ideally, I suppose, we’d work 24-hour days. As long as we’re getting rid of dreaming and parties and television and lunch breaks, we might as well get rid of sleep too. Imagine how much we’d get written if all we did was write!

I also recently read an essay by Benjamin Nugent, “The Upside of Distraction,” which describes the unfortunate effect of spending all his time writing (and focusing on “good writing”) and how he eventually improved:

I purged myself of monomania — slowly, and somewhat unwittingly. I fell in love, an overpowering diversion, and began to spend more time at my girlfriend’s place, where she had Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and a DVD player. I joined a cover band that held live karaoke parties. One morning, after I diversified my mania, my writing no longer stank of decay. Eventually, it sat up and took food.

Farland has some good advice on being more productive. (He doesn’t actually suggest writing for 24 hours a day.) And I could stand to get more done. But if all I did was work and write, I’d be a pretty boring person–and that would come through in my writing.

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