Why our experience of time is different - and why this newsletter is a day late. Also, what we’re reading, and upcoming writing courses and events.
Is it Wednesday or Thursday? I’m day late sending this newsletter, though according to my internal body clock I’m on bang on time.
The recent run of bank holidays here in Britain has knocked my internal calendar out of whack. While I love a four-day week (which research shows is a jolly good idea for health, wellbeing AND productivity) I’m a person of routine and have strong attachment to days of the week. What day it is affects how I work and what I work on.
I find it impossible to do deep work on Mondays. The beginning of the week is all about setting up, planning, getting things on the list and ticking them off. By TuesdayI’ve settled my priorities and can get stuck into big projects that require time and concentration. Wednesday and Thursday my attention turns outwards towards calls, coaching and collaborating. By Friday, I’m rushing to get things done, wrap up those goals so I can head into the weekend with a sense of satisfaction (often elusive).
While each day might have the same number of hours in it, we experience them differently, and that influences how productive we might be. Time is not something to be managed scientifically - as much as we may wish that. Time is psychological. It is different for each of us.
It’s May and this month we are exploring time; Chapter 3 of our book Written. Over the coming weeks we’ll share the research on different approaches to finding time and stories of how writers fit writing into their life.
Spoiler alert: Finding time isn’t about radical prioritisation, saying ‘no’ to things, ditching your job, family or life. It’s not about optimising, extracting and pushing hard to MAKE time in our already over-busy lives. Instead we’re going to talk about acceptance, feelings of control, and why not everyone’s time is equal.
Thank you for taking time to read this. We appreciate you haven’t got very much of it so we’re grateful you’re spending your time with us.
If you like what you’ve read, click the heart or leave a comment to share your thoughts on writing time.
Back in your inbox, next Wednesday (or Thursday) and if you are in the UK, enjoy the long bank holiday weekend.
Keep writing, Bec ❤️
Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock
I’m reading Jenny Odell’s new book and I cannot wait to share what she has to say. If you are intrigued, check out this brilliant interview with her on the Talk Easy podcast or read this in The Guardian.
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Write with us! Upcoming courses and events
The waiting list is now open for our summer Writing RESET. Want to stop procrastinating and build a habit that lasts? Start here.
Arvon Online Writing Day: Create a Sustainable Writing Habit with Bec Evans on 9 June 2023
Power Up Your Writing Workshop - an in-person writing day with Bec Evans and Alison Jones at the stunning Gladstone’s Library on 21 June 2023
Bec will also be a productivity coach and run a habit building workshop on the online Mslexia Novel School 10-14 July 2023
Image © Graphic Change from #WrittenTheBook
Back in 2013 we asked writers what was their best writing day. Tuesday came top! At the time, I dug around for research and found a fascinating article from the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance which found that among the five working days of the week “Tuesday accounts for the largest share of working time (18.8 per cent) and Friday the lowest (16.8 per cent).” Our research with writers correlated with all sorts of working professionals, with a downward curve in productivity from the middle of the week towards to end which even more pronounced for those in the finance and insurance sectors. If only our productivity was valued as much as theirs.
I'll always get the most done on the days I feel have the least time. I know this about myself and STILL I insist on waiting for slabs of time to appear, in the belief that I'll be able to carve something great out of them. I always do my best work when it's a snatch and grab situation between other things, and I think the energy of that is often present in the writing too. When will I learn...
I have felt so discombobulated all week (any excuse to use that word but it's true!
Had some potentially great news about my writing though today so feeling reinvigorated to push on through the rest of the week before more of the same next week!
I've just finished Chapter 2 of Written and I'm recommending it to all my writer friends :-)