Once again, deadlines are screaming my name, but my friend Billie Brownell has come to my rescue with a guest post. Here’s a good word about a great book.
The Happiness Project: The Write Advice
Just after its publication two-plus years ago, I became aware of Gretchen Rubin’s best-selling book The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. As someone who remembers once being a really fun person, it sounded like the book for me. Right away, I became hooked into the movement, and still am—I follow the author on Twitter, visit her website, read her weekly tips, and I have recommended The Happiness Project to everyone.
Recently, I read the author’s thoughts on “Make-Work” and “Fake-Work” as it applies to being a writer. I thought it was great. For brevity, I am condensing the article:
All work isn’t created equally. Just because I’m busy doesn’t mean I’m being productive … I remind myself:
• Create, don’t fiddle around with italics and formatting.
• Typing isn’t the same thing as writing.
• Cruising around the Internet isn’t the same as “research.” *
• Answering e-mail, checking Twitter and Facebook, and similar tasks, while important, must not be allowed to get in the way of writing and thinking.
• If I’m finding it very hard to write, I should stop trying to write and instead, start thinking harder.
• If I’m finding it very easy to write, I’m probably falling into cliché and should start thinking harder.
Of course, the opposite of a great truth is also true, and I … force myself to wander and schedule time for play …. Sometimes I work best by doing things that don’t look like “work.”
(*Ahh, the Internet, that giant flea market in the ether world; it’s so seductive.)
I think I’ll postpone cleaning the closets, but right now I’m singing “Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain …” out loud. And I joined a supportive group of people going through the book chapter by chapter. It was great. Happiness doesn’t mean getting out of bed laughing, it’s finding joy and contentment in the things you do every day.
I highly recommend this book. Remember, the days are long but the years are short.
Used with permission. An editor at Cool Springs Press, Billie can be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”