I recently found a post from John Saddington about creativity that I think also relates perfectly to blogging productivity.
Blogging productivity is sometimes an oxymoron. Sometimes, to be as productive as you can be, you have to step away.
That’s true of any endeavor, really. But for writing, it’s especially important.
I was reminded about that when I came across a post from John Saddington. The post is titled “Creativity. Time. More. Please.” In it, Saddington quotes How to Do Nothing author Jenny Odell. Odell writes about advice she gives her students:
Leave yourself twice as much time as you think you need for a project, knowing that half of that may not look like “making” anything at all.
How can you be productive when you’re not making anything at all?
That’s a question that should be easy to answer.
But the world’s always looking for productivity hacks.
Think about your workplace: Has your boss ever asked you to do less with more? Of course not. It always works out to be the opposite.
We’re worked, worked and then worked some more. Often, there’s an ever-increasing list of expectations that never seems to accompany a reduction in duties or an increase in help.
Everyone seems to have a trick to help squeeze a little more out of you.
There is “sage” writing advice that demands writers should write every day, no matter what.
That piece of advice, which falls perfectly in line with this problem, quickly became a pet peeve of mine. I’ve written about that before because I think it’s horrible advice:
Some will invariably protest, saying, “But a writer writes.”
But a writer also reads. And researches. And experiences. Each of those four makes a writer better.
I made the difficult decision to reduce my posting schedule from daily to just weekdays for essentially the same reason. I needed a break. It dawned on me that I needed time to not write.
I feel more productive since making the change. I’m happier with the blog and I hadn’t even realized I’d become unhappy.
But that time away, the time spent thinking about posts or reading about topics for possible posts or just getting out of the house, doesn’t look like blogging. It certainly doesn’t scream “blogging productivity” to anyone who might see it.
Still, it has made me more productive. It has helped me get closer to a goal of trying to always stay a week ahead. (I’m not fully there yet, but I’ve made some real strides.)
Your mileage may vary. That’s a phrase we like to say to mean that what works for me may not work as well for you. (And vice versa.)
But for me, the signs of true productivity don’t always look like I’m being all that productive.