CRRL My Librarian
Sylvia Plath kept a journal. So did Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Madeleine L’Engle. What did these and many other writers find valuable about journaling?
According to Virginia Woolf, a writer’s journal or notebook is a place to practice writing regularly. She said, “But what is more to the point is my belief that the habit of writing thus for my own eye only is good practice. It loosens the ligaments. Never mind the misses and the stumbles...I believe that during the past year I can trace some increase of ease in my professional writing which I attribute to my casual half hours after tea.”
The beginning of a new year is a great time to work on your productivity. While there are many resources—books, articles, TED talks, etc.—it is often hard to determine which ones are helpful. Will a new morning routine help you do more work? Or, perhaps it’s your Sunday rituals that need to change. Maybe you should lock your cell phone in a drawer for hours a day or purchase an app that blocks the Internet. Are you planning your time well, or should you focus more on your energy?
The promise of being more productive often lures me into reading yet another book or article. Until I read Deep Work, by Cal Newport, however, all of the ideas seemed to be more add-on systems than a way to rework how I think and do things.
Jason Zhou wants to make the world a better place.
In recent years, a thick layer of toxic smog has covered Zhou’s home city of Taipei. Deadly viruses plague the city and the government is unwilling, or unable, to help those suffering from rampant pollution, poverty, and disease. For the you, whose extreme wealth allows them to purchase special protective suits and thus a longer, healthier life, society’s problems are easy to ignore. But for the rest of the population, the mei, life in Taipei is brutal and short.
Driving across the bridge this morning, I saw someone paragliding down the Rappahannock River. The bright red arc of the canopy, the deep greens of the shoreline, and glitter of the water made such an amazing, beautiful, silent picture. I immediately thought, "I would LOVE to be flying slowly over the river on a sunny summer morning." My subsequent thoughts were about all the ways that I could crash and die.