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The 4-Hour Workweek

Cheryl's Musings: The 4-Hour Workweek

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


The 4-Hour Workweek

I know, I know: this 4-Hour Workweek book sounds like total hype. In fact, it's the kind of book I wouldn't even read if it weren't that half a dozen people I respect have recommended it to me. I started it, I confess, with the predisposition to dismiss it as so much sales-talk garbage.

But. It turns out that this book is hitting the crux of some things I've been considering lately. I've been asking myself some tough questions, questions like:
  1. Is it the best use of my time to kidnap, hug, throw Jedis at people, etc., on Facebook?

  2. When does blog reading move beyond a helpful tool for keeping up with the industry and connecting with other writers--and move into a time sink?

  3. Why do I blog?

  4. Whatever that reason is, am I accomplishing that purpose?

  5. What about this Comment Challenge ? Is it a valuable way to build community or an insidious waste of time?

Sigh. I'm afraid that I'm offending bloggers, Facebook-ers, and writers everywhere, but when a writer has exceptionally limited time (isn't that most of us?) how much of our time should we spend on Internet connection?

Please--all thoughts and opinions are welcome.




At November 16, 2008 at 8:40 PM , Blogger Yat-Yee said...

I hear ya, sister! I don't know if there is an answer, but here are some of my thoughts:
1. I can't write non-stop, so during those times I'm not writing, it's a good idea to read blogs that I like and spend a little time building community. How much is too much? Who knows...

2. kidnapping, tagging, sending cupcakes: can function as entertainment. But throwing Jedis. Now *that* is a different league altogether. Where else would you be able to do it? Just for that alone, it's worth it. :)

Turns out I have fewer thoughts than I thought.

Time for bed, I think...

At November 17, 2008 at 4:11 PM , Blogger MotherReader said...

I don't do Facebook or Twitter because I figured once I got in, I wouldn't get out. Easier to not start.

Blog-reading can be a time suck, but it is a way to find out about the industry, connect to other writers, and promote yourself. There is a balance. Sometimes it is by how much time a day, and sometimes it means taking time off from blog-reading for some space of time to focus your energy.

That leads to Why blog? If you aren't reading other blogs, then why should people read yours? Not to be harsh, but then why blog at all.

For the Comment Challenge, the idea was to use a limited amount of time to support each other in building a habit. Commenting can seem like One More Thing To Do - esp when you use a blog reader. But when you do it, you realize that the time spent isn't as much as you thought (expect perhaps on this comment where I'm going on and on...) and you get something back in a feeling of connection and perhaps more comments on your blog - which often feeds your energy as a blogger to keep writing and keep reading and keep commenting. It's the circle of life, I mean, blog.

At November 18, 2008 at 10:03 AM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

Thanks for the thoughts! Yat-Yee, I think you've hit on an important point: seize the portions of Facebook (or Twitter or blogs or whatever) that are great without letting the applications rule my life. In other words, participate mindfully. (It's just hard to do!)

Motherreader--thanks for your thoughts, too. The "Why Blog?" question comes up for me every once in a while. The process takes enough time that I need to keep re-checking that it's serving the purpose it's supposed to serve.

As for why other people should read mine--hopefully, because I offer something here of value. I do read others' blogs, because I find value in them--but I don't think that that's a good enough reason for people to read mine. At least, I hope people read this one for reasons other than the fact that I read theirs.

I think that the Comment Challenge has great value when used mindfully (there's that word again!) For me, it's greatest benefit has been that I've discovered several new blogs that I really enjoy. So thanks for the encouragement--and I'll attempt to remain mindful in my implementation :). ~Cheryl

At November 18, 2008 at 4:14 PM , Blogger Christine said...

You ask some good questions in this post. If I left it at that, it would be a good example of mindlessly participating in the comment challenge. I think the challenge should do more than promote your own blog. Any old feedback might be a morale boost to new bloggers, but those who've been doing it awhile want some substance to comments in order to help them answer your question "Why do I blog" which I know I ask myself frm time to time. It is gratifying when a comment leads me to new ideas, books, trains of thought.

At November 18, 2008 at 5:24 PM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

Hi Christine--That makes complete sense. Comments are most useful (for commenter and blogger alike) when they're more substantive. That's when they open more of a possibility for conversation (like this post, apparently!). It also offers opportunity for us to help each other figure out problems, share insights, etc. It's still a balance for me. I read a number of blogs that I find helpful, but the truth is, I don't always have anything to comment beyond "thanks" or "great post". That's nice, to a point. The most useful comments are those that are more like conversations, as you said, but those are the type that are most time-consuming. If I'm spending an hour at the start of the day reading, writing, and commenting on blogs, that's too much time away from writing. If I do the same in ten minute increments over lunch, before bed, etc., it becomes more do-able. Of course, then the laundry suffers, but who needs laundry?! ~C


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