Monday, 6 January 2014

Never do with one hand, what you can put off till Thursday.

10:52:00 Posted by Colin Davies , , , , , , 2 comments
As humans we can be very interesting things. As sheep and badgers we are just doggers taking part in some very filthy sex stuff. But as humans, being humans we are very interesting.

We have the capacity for great kindness, and devastating cruelty. We can create and build thing to improve the lives of all around us, and build devices to tear asunder all that has been placed before us. We can think of the simplest solutions to the most complex of problems, and we can mess everything up by not think at all.

Never do with one hand, what you can put off till Thursday.

Stop, take a moment. Is using one hand the only solution? Does this need to be solved right now? Will taking a little bit of time be a better job?

When writing the temptation is always there to rush, to 'use one hand' instead of climbing down the ladder, moving it across and climbing up it again to use both hands without you falling off and looking like a twat.

Being able to multitask, work with one hand, spin many plates with the other, doesn't mean you actually have to. One of the biggest things I hear when talking about writing is "I don't have the time" or "I have to write in-between other things."

My point, and I do have one hidden in here somewhere, is that in are busy lives we have more time than we think. If we just sit back a little and stopped stressing about it we can get things done. Not everything has to be decided immediately.

We live in a world where we demand too much, and as a consequence we can not give enough attention to the things that are important to us.

Slow down a very small amount, stop trying to do things with one hand and give it the attention it deserves. Plan ahead and don't let other people push in on that plan.

You can achieve so much more with a deep breath and cup of tea than you ever can leaning across trying to tighten that last screw when off balance.

Writing is a discipline, it requires planning, it deserves time. So don't just go chucking in 5 minuets here and there everyday with no thought, one handed scribbling that you will hate. Plan to give yourself 40 minutes quality two handed writing on a Thursday.

Because your work is worth it.


Adele said...

I am writing for two hours a day nowthat I have the luxury of time. I get my breckie and my cup of tea, check my emails and then get stuck in re-inventing the words in my notebook. I always write longhand into notebook. thoughts, impressions, events and snippets of conversations.

Ideas for short stories come out of the blue and that's when you need to get them down. Often if I don't the idea has drifted away. I totally agree with you about disciplin but would add, always back it up!!! that is the best advice I can possibly give to a writer - or student.

When my computer fell in and fried last year, I lost at least a third od my material. Fortunaately I had hard copies of most of it but retyping it all is a real pain, especially ten chapters of a novel that you forgot to stick on a pen drive.

Ashley R Lister said...

I was reading a Sol Stein book recently where he discussed his approach to teaching writing and dealing with students who claim they don't have time to write because other things are getting in the way.

He just mentions Christy Brown, author of My Left Foot - and many other titles. Brown had cerebral palsy, complicated by various other issues. Physically he only had full motor control over his left foot.

And, if someone with so many hurdles to overcome can produce award-winning books, what excuse do the rest of us have?

Great post,