Freckles are Swallowing Me Whole

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So I was reading this post over at The Happiness Project where the blogger/author Gretchen Rubin references “the argument of the growing heap” from Erasmus’s THE PRAISE OF FOLLY. Disclaimer: I have not read THE PRAISE OF FOLLY. In fact, I’ve not read any Erasmus, and oddly I’m OK with that. It’s not like how I haven’t read any Dickens, and so I feel like a total fraud. I really should get to GREAT EXPECTATIONS. It’s sitting on my shelf.

Anyway, back to “the argument of the growing heap.” Here is the footnote quote that Rubin references:

If ten coins are not enough to make a man rich, what if you add one coin? What if you add another? Finally, you will have to say that no one can be rich unless one coin can make him so.”

 Rubin goes on to describe the paradox: “Often, when we consider our actions, it’s clear that any one instance of an action is almost meaningless, yet at the same time,  a sum of those actions is very meaningful.”

I immediately thought of writing. As summer rolls in and steals my free time with fun, sunny outtings and the resulting freckles and heat exhaustion, I noticed that I have started slacking. What does it matter if I don’t work on my WIP today? What’s one day? But that’s how butt-in-chair pays off. Multiple one-days eventually add up to a finished draft, a revised MS, a shining query letter. At the end, you can look at the heap of writing progress and see how far you’ve come, but it all comes down to one day. Lots and lots of one-days.

So, how do you stay productive in the busy summer months? Does summer sap your productivity?

Share My Wisdom:


  1. Rebecca B says:

    This summer, I’m sucking at productivity because too much is going on! But I’ve decided to embrace the time off on the condition that August is a butt-in-chair-every-single-day month.

  2. Katie says:

    Since my life is all the same all year (work!), it’s the same for me. I don’t get that much vacation time (I have NO paid vacation, so whatever I take is unpaid which makes for a sad and cranky landlord, so I don’t really…go away…ever? A couple days in July is all I’ll take).
    I keep myself motivated by changing my writing location. My apartment is hot and doesn’t have AC. Hot Katies don’t write well. So I find other places to write, new bookstores or cafes (preferably not Starbucks or B&N because that’s where everyone else goes to beat the heat). Even 2 hrs in a new place can help me break my crankiness and get my motivation back in my fingertips.

    • Crystal says:

      Change of location is a big savior, you’re right. Unfortunately the only places in my vicinity are Starbucks and B & N. Oh, and Panera. I use them, though, and it’s not terrible! When I lived in Seattle I had like, eight choices of coffee shops every day. It was like heaven 🙂

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