This morning, I read an article about how being busy might actually be good for your brain. The headline is a bit misleading, or at least overly optimistic, since the stress of being busy can cause all sorts of problems. But you know, boredom can cause stress too, so I'm all for keeping busy with meaningful things.
But this isn't an essay about being busy. I'm working from home; done all the day's work plus toiled on my novel. It's time to get some practice in for next month's #blogjune challenge. Been four years since I last did it - just enough time to forget the stress and pain of having to sit and blog something every day. Like squats and lunges, I'm sure it'll work out good for me in the end.
Writing a blog post every day shouldn't be that hard. The only criteria are self-imposed and thus as flexible as I want them to be. And yet, I find the longer I leave it between posts, the more pressure I feel to produce something worthy of going in Aeon or The Atlantic. Creative arrogance, perhaps? Who am I to be that important?
I like to think the challenge will give me an opportunity to un-realise the pressure. Last year, my perfectionistic neuroses would loom over every freelance job. Over time, through doing many jobs, I discovered I could produce work that was just as good even without that worry. Stressing made no difference. What mattered was buckling down and doing the work. Jon Westenberg's recent advice about getting 'mean' resonated with me for this reason.
So in theory, this exercise should strengthen the connections in my brain that help me write. I expect there's a similar mechanism at work when it comes to keeping busy. No time for the mind to atrophy when you're constantly practicing and getting better at stuff.
Would anyone else like to join me for #blogjune? Follow these instructions to register via twitter.