The More You [X], The More You Want To [X]

I’d like to offer that one up as a snowclone, because I think it’s true for most things. While it seems to work for all that’s unhelpful in life (watching Home and Away, eating Maltesers, sleeping in), surely this human tendency can be turned to our advantage when it comes to finding the momentum necessary to complete long-term creative projects. Stephen King works every single day of the week whenever he’s working on a novel (which is most of the time) and I figure he’s onto something. there.

As for me, I seem to work in fits and starts. While I’d like to work like a valve, I seem to be an on/off switch — all on, or all off.

If I look set to burn myself out, and force myself to take a weekend completely off, it’s not quite as easy to get back into the swing of things on Monday. This is probably something to do with what’s in the working memory. If you know exactly where you were when you left off, it’s much easier to get back into it.

I’ve noticed another few things about the way I work, and perhaps Know Yourself is the key here.

1. I do a lot more art and writing when I’m blogging. The more I blog, you know I’m doing a lot of art as well.

2. The more I tweet, the more I’m drawing and writing offline, as well.

3. The more Facebook updates I manage, the more art and writing I’ve been doing.

This is all counter-intuitive, since blogging, tweeting and Facebooking are renowned time-sucks. Some companies even ban their employees from using these sites during work hours. I don’t know how successful they are now that many people own smart phones (and are therefore not reliant upon the company server), but the question needs to be asked: is there really a negative correlation between work output and time spent on social media? Or might the latter be highly motivating for many, if not all of us? I can think of nothing more demotivating than having a Big Brother micromanage my time, including my time online.

Every now and then I wonder how much more quickly I’d have got something done had I channeled ALL of my energies directly into the project at hand rather than into the peripheral, fun but non-essential activities such as social media, but I’ve decided there’s no point wondering about that.

It could be that talking about [X] is not displacement activity; rather The More We Talk About [X], The More We Are Engaged In [X].