Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Treadmill Desk is Here!

A while ago I blogged about "The Booklab Workout," and jokingly noted that treadmill desks are becoming popular among writers. Well, I'm laughing no more. The idea stuck with me and I've finally built a treadmill desk. Pre-made ones retail for $2,400 online, but that seemed silly, so I bought a good model used treadmill on Craigslist for $380, and propped up my wooden desk over it. I'm standing, walking slowly, and typing this now. It's easy and fun, and in the past hour I've walked 7/10 of a mile (about the right pace if you don't want to be distracted while you work).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What ever happened to the 60 journal days?

For background on the 60 Days of Journal Article Writing, please click here.

If you're wondering if I gave up on the 60 Days project, I most certainly did not. It's time to start over again with the book Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks, after what I considered a necessary breather. Yes, the project resulted in an article in six weeks rather than twelve, but the pace left me tired, and other things got pushed aside to finish and submit that article. I'm proud of it and happy with the result (nay, thrilled), but the last couple of weeks have been spent regrouping. Now I'm ready to start over again. Instead of blogging daily, however, I'll change the structure to a weekly blog for twelve weeks to see how long it takes to produce a second article.

One of the most interesting things about the exercise was how easily the scary prospect of article writing was vanquished with the help of a good book. I had trembled at it for years, and dodged it by focusing on books. Whether or not that article is accepted is almost irrelevant (although it would be nice to hear something positive). What matters more is that I enjoyed the scholarship for its own sake and it resulted in a well-researched, personally satisfying piece. Some well-published authors admit that they only do it for the money, or the recognition, but I trust that writing for the satisfaction is also deeply important. That article made me happy, and such joy is now something that I hope to share with even more Booklab authors.

How authors write

I'm enthralled about how authors write. Also fun is going to readings, where they discuss their process. Some crabby writers claim they hate this question, asking what difference it makes if they use lined yellow legal pads, voice dictation, or a Ouija board. But in the aggregate it does matter because there are so many interesting ways to do a job. One of Booklab's faculty authors sent along this article from The Wall Street Journal about how writers write. It's terrific.