Routines by comparison

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Right after I finish making excuses about finding a good time to write, I go and find a couple items from real, live Writers talking about their work habits. AL Kennedy describes her ideal writing day, which involves lots of procrastination, caffeine, and Tai Chi; then Allison Gibson talks to Emily St. John Mandel, Alexander Chee, and Nova Ren Suma about where they write. The verdict: everyone is different, and there is no magic formula for productivity. Economist Tyler Cowen makes a good point about this as he blogs about a recent New York Times article that says multitasking is turning our brains into rice pudding:

To sound intentionally petulant, the only multitasking that works for me is mine, mine, mine!  Until I see a study showing that self-chosen multi-tasking programs lower performance, I don't see that the needle has budged.

To each his own then. For what it's worth, my most productive writing stint lately came while sitting on the couch working on a freelance article while my wife watched The Bachelor. I think the sheer willpower it took to block that out must have made me concentrate better.