Is Un-Productivity Okay?

Well, I didn’t get as much writing done as I’d hoped to last week (un-productivity). I’m not sure if I’m okay with that or if I’d prefer to be disappointed with myself. So, I’ll write it out here and see where I land!

On Sunday I gave myself some false hope with a solid two hours of writing. I joined up with a few friends online and we worked together on our own projects. This is a totally different type of writing group and it was AMAZING! We talked for a few minutes at the beginning to figure out how this group would work and to declare what we were going to be working on. Then the lines were muted and we wrote.

60 minutes felt like 5

We wrote for a solid 60 minutes together and I continued afterward for another hour. I thought I had my storyline at this point all set up, then as I wrote something magical happened. It turned into something else – sort of. I thought I’d be taking this section further but found myself at a great point to end it and begin another thread.

At the end of my writing blitz I looked back to see that I had written almost 2000 words including my first in depth dialogue. And it wasn’t awful! I’ll add here that I was actually concerned about writing dialogue as I’ve never really done it before. Thankfully the writing prompts I’d made up for myself helped to loosen that muscle. Of course it needs work but I’m feeling pretty good about it for a first draft. My fingers actually ached at the end of that … and it was awesome!

Un-productivity

Last week was what I call my writing week. It turned out that I put in more office hours than I typically do on the weeks I’m at the office! By the time my work day was finished my brain was too so very little writing was accomplished. I did however manage to draft 2 blog posts so …. that’s something right?! We also had workers doing some construction on the outside of the cottage so the noise and rattling light fixtures didn’t help to create great working (or writing) conditions.

I came back to the city on Thursday night (due to the construction noise), and went to the office on Friday to get a few things squared away. Now, as I move into a new week, I am feeling a little bit ripped off . This is an in office week so my expectations are low for productive writing. Or is that high expectations for un-productivity?

rethinking productivity

Rethinking Productivity & Expectations

Okay, for the record, at this stage, my writing isn’t about production. At this stage, as I hone my craft, I’m making it about the act of writing. So, why does it seem like I am so focused on production? Well, because I love to write! I desire to write more; by default that means producing written stuff. Of course that could mean producing 50 more ways to judge myself for not writing … but I don’t want to go there!

As I’m writing my way through this I’ve discovered two things:

1. Life happens! Sometimes I simply won’t be capable of writing as much as I’d like to. When things do happen to dampen my plans, I can either gently set writing aside to tend to them or I can gently tell life to hold for a moment while I get some words down. I’m sure I’ll have other choices too.

The point is to take a look at what’s happening and discern which is most important to me in any given moment. I can’t resent what’s happening, as long as I’m consciously choosing which to attend to.

The thing is … I really don’t want the office to stop calling me when I’m not there. I work with an awesome team. If I can support them it’s a joy to do so – no matter where I am or when it is. I’m sure there’s a way to make it more ease for all of us to accomplish anything we desire.

2. Definitions don’t help! I had sort of considered my out of office weeks as the weeks that I’d write everything: blog posts, and the story or whatever else pops up. My in office weeks were to be my okay with un-productivity time. Upon reflection, on the weeks I go to the office, I usually get a blog post or two written in the mornings. Maybe I need to take the pressure off my writing weeks.

Alright, so where does that leave me?

Well, it leaves me not resenting the last week of unproductive writing. So that’s something! I have a better understanding of what I can more likely accomplish overall versus having some assumed idea. Assumed ideas lead me nowhere except to Judgementville. I’ve spent a lot of time in Judgementville; it’s a dark, ugly place. Nope! Not going there! I’d rather adjust my ideas. I much rather look forward to writing whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Onward!

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