OK, Gentlewomen,

August brings two AMAZING articles for our inspirational resource roundup, both happen to be from Quartz Media. 

First, an article about how romance writers can churn out material like it’s their JOB. Because, you know… it is.

Professional romance novelists can write 3,000 words a day. Here’s how they do it

It’s so easy for us artistic types to wait for the muse before really getting down to work. I know I’ve been there, and I would bet that you have, too. But you’ve heard it before (and it really is true) that SHOWING UP day after day after day to create your art is the best way to invite the muse. 

It reminds me of an anecdote that I come back to a LOT. I originally heard it from a class that Ria Sharon teaches on Skillshare, but I’m not sure the origin of it. You may have heard it before.

In the story, there is a ceramics class. The teacher breaks up the class into two different groups. The teacher tells one group that their final grade will be based on the quantity of pots they produce. So, 50 pounds of pots might equal an A, 40 pounds a B, and so on.

The teacher tells the second group that their final grade will be based on quality. They only have to produce one pot all semester, but it must be a perfect one to get an A.

At the end of the semester, however, the highest QUALITY pots came from the group that was being graded on quantity. The moral of the story, of course, is that the best way for the students to improve their craft was to make as many as they could, day after day. It’s definitely a reminder that I need to come back to.

OK, second: 

“Reclaiming my time”: Strategies from a scholar of chronemics, the study of time

Don’t let the headline throw you off, this article was fantastic. There are so many parts that I want to quote, so many ways of thinking about time and how we relate to it that I had never stopped to examine. Thank goodness for Dawna Ballard, who is examining them. I’ll give just a few of my favorites here

Ask someone, “Hey, how’s it going?” she says, and they’ll probably answer by referring to how busy they are, or the vacation that starts the next day, or the limbo they’re in waiting for a message to be returned. They might mention the angst of a traffic or subway delay, and if it’s Friday, they may thank God for it. How we’re experiencing time is how we are.

…we’ve absorbed the message that “your time-discipline is a measure of your virtue as a person.

(Yikes! She’s right!)

I highly encourage you to go read the article not only for the Big Thoughts, but also for the genuinely helpful information that Ballard has about the way we interact with time (including a concept that I know a lot of artists and crafters struggle with: “Refuse to do unpaid labor”). Go take a look at the article and make sure you let me know what you think of it.

Go forth and conquer.