Author J. Robert Lennon has a very amusing and delightfully honest story in the Los Angeles Times , " The Truth About Writers ," that answers any gnawing questions you may have had regarding exactly what writers are doing with all that time in which they claim to be writing. Writing? Mmmm. Not exactly. In fact, most of their writing time is spent ... not writing.
Certainly, some of us Double X ers have spent our time instead, as Lennon notes of himself and others, belly-aching about the fact that if only we had more time, if only we had more money, heck, if only we had a sugar daddy , we would write, write more, write until someone tried to stop us.
During a four-hour "writing session," Lennon finds he spent a grand total of 33 minutes actually writing. "What this means is that, even at my absolute peak of productivity," he notes, "I am actively writing less than 5 percent of the time." Based on his findings, he wonders if he should even call himself a writer. More fitting job descriptions: "eater," "sleeper," "naked girl imaginer," "child reprimander," "cougher."
He concludes that writers "have invented 'writing time' as a normalizing concept, to shield ourselves from the critical scrutiny we deserve." Tragically, that sounds about right. At least, to this ... uh, "writer."
Photograph of woman not writing by Getty Images.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
How Movies Like Contagion and Outbreak Distort Our Response to Real Epidemics
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
Everything You Should Know About Today’s Eclipse
An Unscientific Ranking of Really, Really Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.