Quick, Quick…write now, NOW!

Once I committed to this challenge of writing for 30 days straight (that’s what this is all about: #6 of 30) I knew there would be difficult days. I knew Thursday would probably be more difficult than most.

Like Koi in a pond: busy, busy, busy

It’s been taking me anywhere between 60-90 minutes or more from starting to posting one of these blogs, and that’s a chunk out of anyone’s day. On Thursday’s I have an acting class (it’s a high spot of the week and perhaps I’ll talk about it another day). I have to leave for that in about an hour and a half…But my wife is driving home from work and hopes to have tea with me (we do like our afternoon tea ritual together when we get the chance) so I have maybe an hour from now…

Here’s one solution: I stop right now and say I have nothing to write about…but I’d be lying (not that that’s frowned on so much these days). No, I know what I shall write about: The ways in which I tend to use up time sub-optimally…. Yesterday I mentioned I should start back with a regular meditation habit, and today I did just that – so perhaps if I actually write down here some of the ways I could save time, or use it more efficiently, I might commit to those as well…

Here’s an obvious one: Facebook (and other online rabbit holes). I did watch another of those daily videos being posted this week by Peter Shankman (I mentioned him a couple of days ago – fascinating guy – link here). Today the video was with Mike Vardy (link here) an efficiency expert.  This bit grabbed my attention: Intention+Attention=Productivity and Intention without Attention is Powerless. Attention without Intention is Directionless (yes, I went back and looked it up). So Facebook and it’s rabbit holes tends to be ‘Attention without Intention’. Directionless. Doesn’t sound good. I need to find my active reason for going into Facebook and then get out – even if it’s just a quick review of whether anyone has said anything nice about me today 🙂 Can I cut back? Oh, yes.

This has nothing to do with my blog – but it’s beautiful. La Sagrada Famiglia in Barcelona

Here’s another: The news. I’m a news junkie and have been since my teens. I used to wake on school days in my teens listening to BBC Radio4 (and then I went to work for them for almost a decade in the ’80s). I watch or listen to the news a lot! It doesn’t make me quite so happy these days, that’s true, but I feel it necessary to be part of an informed citizenry. Can I cut back? Maybe…

The last one I’ll probably have time for here is TV drama. But I think I have a sufficient excuse. I love good TV drama, and I’m an actor. I’m an actor who has moved down to LA in an attempt to finally do what he came to the United States to do in the first place (well, not the only thing, but I always had this in my back-pocket as a desire) and that’s to find some kind of acting career that incorporated TV and film. I not only watch TV I like, I also watch so that I can learn. It’s about being aware of what’s popular in the industry among other things. I’m also practicing screenwriting – it’s good for an actor to stretch to other aspects of the business even if that isn’t his or her core strength. I like to see how plots develop and what part the acting and the screenwriting play in making the piece ‘work’.

The thing is I do find myself feeling very guilty as I watch the penultimate episode of Ray Donovan or I start to watch  the second episode of The Orville (I love the former but frankly, I don’t think the latter will stay on my radar much longer). Especially when my wife is sitting at her desk grading papers… “But Cynthia, it’s important I watch this…”! Can I cut back? I could maybe refine my tastes – ensure only the highest quality drama gets my attention. But that’s going to be tough.

Overall I think what it ultimately comes down to is: what am I going to do with that reclaimed time? If it’s going to be something useful to me then, yes, cutting back on one activity to favor another that is going to ultimately be more rewarding should be easy. But, of course, I have to recognize it as such.

This is also beautiful – Sunset over San Francisco Bay 2016

Hmmm. This is a lot like trying to change your diet (see yesterday’s blog). I may have to give up things I love right now in order to change my trajectory in life to something that aligns more exactly with my mental/physical/spiritual needs.

Big stuff. I need a cup of tea.

Take Care
– S.


About Simon

Simon is an actor who found his way into audiobook narrating as a side-gig and seems to have made a success of it. With some training as an actor as a child (just a couple of hours a week, but it stuck) and 15 years working inside the BBC (ending up as one of the presenters/newsreaders on BBC Radio 4 in London) he found the ideal combination for an audiobook narrator. Found his way to California two decades ago and never left.

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6 Responses to Quick, Quick…write now, NOW!

  1. Frank van Doorn October 27, 2017 at 6:54 am #

    Thanks Simon!

    With regard to feeling the need to keep up with the news: I quit doing that about ten years ago. The mainstream media just push “capita selecta” on us. So when I want to find out about a certain topic, I look it up on the Internet. That way, I make a selection myself about what I think is important. Saves a lot of time!
    As a matter of fact: I don’t watch any television anymore. No series, no films, no news programmes. That is not to say that I don’t watch television, but I only watch what I select myself. That means mainly watching my own DVD’s. I should add that I have about 1500 of them… 😉

    BTW: I love you Sherlock Holmes audiobook. I listen to it all the time! 🙂

    • Simon October 27, 2017 at 5:11 pm #

      That’s certainly an option, Frank – to cut off completely – and I envy you that ability. But I don’t think that’ll work for me 🙂

      • Frank van Doorn October 29, 2017 at 5:44 am #

        Well, I don’t like to think of it as “cutting of”. I like to think of it as “selecting about what subjects you want to read or see something”… it’s not as if I cut off completely, I just select what I want to see or know about.

        Especially with news I feel we are being told what “they” want us to know about, or get angry about, or afraid. Selecting your own stuff is rather liberating. Well, it is for me…

  2. Jan Johnston October 26, 2017 at 9:05 pm #

    Just don’t cut out Dominic West! Loved him in An Appropriate Adult and The Affair. I love British Dramas and Mysteries.

    Stuck on Poldark right now!

    • Simon October 27, 2017 at 5:14 pm #

      I do like The Affair – nearly scored a small part in the coming series. 🙂

      • Jan Johnston October 27, 2017 at 5:17 pm #

        Wow face!!!!

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