December 30th, 2010
down down down

“I procrastinate worse than anybody.” Writing is so hard. “I need eight hours to get maybe 20 minutes of work done. I had one of those yesterday: seven hours of self-loathing.”

“Writing is a deep-sea dive. You need hours just to get into it: down, down, down. If you’re called back to the surface every couple of minutes by an email, you can’t ever get back down. I have a great friend who became a Twitterer and he says he hasn’t written anything for a year.”

-Dave Eggers (from an interview with the Guardian)

Dec 30 2010
4:10 pm
ROB writes:


Dec 30 2010
4:41 pm
Claire writes:

proof that even the more prolific writers struggle…
thanks for this – and a very happy new year :)

Dec 31 2010
12:30 am
pixie writes:

Ha ha! This is so fucking true. I had to deactivate my Facebook account in order to get my creative work done through the holidays! And now I”m wondering what crazy madperson am I to consider going back? It would have to be with major limits imposed upon myself, lest I shoot myself in the foot for the new year. :) Muchos distractiones.

Dec 31 2010
12:36 am
Vicki writes:

It’s not just writing; it’s any creative pursuit. Programmers have the same issue. Start to think about a problem; get interrupted. It’s why we can’t write, code, design, think, in cubicleland.

Of course, if your friend wanted to, he could turn off the Internet (and Twitter) for a few hours and write something longer. If he hasn’t done so, he really can’t blame _Twitter_ for his change in habits. He may claim that he hasn’t written anything in a year; I claim he’s simply switched to much shorter pieces.

Dec 31 2010
4:33 am
Roxanne writes:

ah, what truth and wisdom. I reently killed my twitter account. I can relate to the metaphor of the deep see dive. And how the tiniest, dumbest things bring me back to the surface. grrrrr.

Dec 31 2010
9:21 am
Jennifer writes:

this pretty much sums up what writing is like when you are a mama with kids underfoot. Forget twitter, us mamas are called to the surface every couple of minutes by potty runs, snack breaks, boo-boos, sibling squabbles, lost legos… i could go on. it may be years until i get past the shallows, but i still give it my best shot every day. treading water, i guess. while the pace of productivity is much slower, the rewards are still great. fringe benefits include unlimiited kisses, cuddles, and pats on the back while at work! and maybe a bigger payoff down the road, because you were present…

Dec 31 2010
1:59 pm
nina writes:

I write on an old mac laptop that doesn’t have wi-fi — even then I can find a gazillion distractions! And I’m thinking 20 minutes of writing for Dave Eggers is like a couple of hours for me. It’s like he writes in dog years. Hah! No self-loathing here!

Dec 31 2010
6:01 pm
Jane writes:

Congratulations to you for your wonderful news. And thank you for all the inspiration over the years. Happy New Year – may it bring you health and joy! Here’s a quote from Alan Watts that I quite like:

“Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.” — Alan Watts

Jan 1 2011
5:52 pm
Chloe writes:

Just wanted to say… Love your Blog! Found myself here by chance and i’m gonna stay a while =)

Really enjoyed reading your 100 Ideas post! look forward to seeing more =)

Jan 2 2011
10:01 pm
Karen Wallace writes:

Hello. I am leaving a comment because I love the look of your blog. Now I will settle in and read it. Happy New Year. Warmly, Karen

Jan 3 2011
5:37 pm
Neri writes:

GAH! this sooo makes sense its scary. Even though I write for fun (FanFiction lol don’t judge) I don’t like half-assing things, i do it as best as I can….AND IT DOES TAKE LONG! Writing is HARD.

Like I always say: Plotting Kills Brains. :)

Jan 4 2011
12:55 pm
jackie writes:

I’ve got at least 3 big chunks of wisdom just by coming here today. It does take deep, deep diving and sometimes the distractions are many and sometimes your family doesn’t understand the need for deep, deep diving and they provoke guilt and that irrepressible urge to frickin make every body else happy.
pardon the venting – and just thank you – i’m putting on my scuba gear and heading down.

Jan 4 2011
1:41 pm
Heartful Blogger writes:

Part of me can relate to that, but I’m a parent now and I don’t have eight hours to get 20 minutes of writing done. I have 20 minutes to get 20 minutes of writing done and I never know when I’m gonna get that 20 minutes, so when I do, I dive in. I truly thank my son for that. Because of him, I don’t have the time to procrastinate anymore.

Jan 4 2011
10:23 pm
Alexis Aguilar writes:

“I need eight hours to get maybe 20 minutes of work done.” comment sounds exactly like me.

Jan 5 2011
2:15 am
Zoe writes:


i just got your book “how to be an explorer of the world” book for christmas and have fallen in love. Im a 16 yo art student and having a mother who is an artist i have been surrounded by art from the get go but now i see that i was looking inside this big, beautiful yet constraining box. what im trying to say is thank you. for helping me out of that box and see the world in a new more interesting way


Jan 6 2011
1:36 am
I am writes:

Hasn’t written in a year? Well we can take that literally. Maybe he hasn’t written by pen & paper since. But he has typed A LOT in its stead via twitter, hasn’t he? =P

In all seriousness, I found that writing in a streaming consciousness manner helps a ton. But for some reason, I cannot apply the same for drawing.

Jan 7 2011
6:35 am
katrien writes:

Dear Keri,

You should know how grateful I am for all your input. I printed your ’100 ideas for use with a journal’, and from idea 33 ‘List 100 uses for a tin can’ grew a 100-days project. For the last months of 2010 I wrote a post about the things I did with the can I found on the street. See the pictures on my blog, for instance
I hope the pictures will amuse you. What I wrote must remain a secret, since my blog is in Dutch… I wish you all the best!

Katrien Ruitenburg, Holland

Jan 7 2011
2:29 pm
Fiona writes:

Love it. Haven’t visited for TOO long. Glad to be back.

Jan 12 2011
4:45 pm
Beth writes:

Love me some Dave Eggers. Thanks for posting this. For me it isn’t FB or emails that bring me to the surface but little kids screaming that the maple syrup spilled all over the kitchen floor. And when it’s not them, it’s the sixth graders who I am teaching art to on the other days. Oh kids-so distracting (ha ha ha!)

May 11 2011
7:48 pm
Nadia writes:
another book to put on your wish list…or maybe you have it already…

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