I’m all about making stuff.
I make stuff for a living: books and classes and paintings and even a real-life meetup at Harry Potter World for entrepreneurs.
But when I see headlines about ‘faster ways to create content’ or endless listicles full of hacks to be even MORE productive, my heels dig in and I want to hiss like a pissed-off goose who’s just spotted a vulnerable, food-carrying toddler across the parking lot.
I want to run at the toddler that is the Productivity Police and steal that entire loaf of bread and nip at those heels until they run away, crying because that’s what angry geese do. AND THEY GET AWAY WITH IT EVERY TIME.
First: ‘content creation’ isn’t even a thing.
I don’t make ‘content:’ a nameless, faceless commodity that we can trade like coins.
I’ll give you 1 photo contentitron for 2 word contentitrons, okay?
NO. NOT OKAY.
But I never, ever try to make more stuff, faster, for the sake of hacking my productivity or boosting my content creation levels.
If I’m scheduled for every minute of every day (i.e. following all the productivity hacks), I’m awake and showering with fucking butter in my coffee (BUTTER. IN MY COFFEE.) with the sunrise (no alarms allowed), working out within the hour, sipping warm lemon juice to make my kidneys happy even though the concoction tastes like ass, and getting to my computer to commence content creation at precisely the same time every single day.
Which means that when I’m not showered and buttered by 7:02 a.m., as I scheduled so fastidiously only yesterday, I DEEM MYSELF A FAILURE FOR THE WHOLE DAY. Useless. Horrible. Why even be alive.
Aside from the failure-if-you’re-not-on-schedule issue, the Productivity Police go off the rails when they pretend we can shove more and more and more and more into a day with no consequences.
The ideal for human functioning, particularly of the creative variety, is to do less and less.
We sit, we move, we read. We ponder, we think, we shower, we make. We see the ocean. The spaces and gaps are the most treasured, most valuable, and most significant parts of my life. I don’t write because I’m a machine who needs to produce fifteen hundred to two thousand words a day.
I write because I’m NOT a machine and I need to process my life with those fifteen hundred daily words.
Further: I don’t want to hire someone to clean my house and make my meals and walk my dog and answer my e-mail and source my blog photos and update my Instagram for me.
I want to do all those things because I want to have the full human experience. My sitting at the computer to write for 12 hours because I am suddenly free of adult responsibilities that can be outsourced doesn’t mean I’ll have 12 hours’ worth of things to say. If anything, I’ll say less, because I haven’t had the down time our very-human, not-machine-like brains require to process the many things I’ve read, seen, witnessed, listened to, interacted with, or overheard on any given day.
I can’t scale my writing efforts to produce 6,000 daily words simply because I give myself four times as much calendar space. I have a rhythm, I have a daily word count that’s been fairly consistent for the past 17 years and that has failed most every single time I’ve tried pushing past it with the guidance of the ‘wise’ productivity counsel.
I’m not a machine.
I am not a ‘content creator.’
I do not pump out blog posts for the sake of blog posts, podcasts for the sake of podcasts, or classes for the sake of classes.
I do not spill my most boring, productive-ly productive work onto the internet just for the sake of hitting a word count, an image count, a post count, or an episode count.
I bring my best to the table.
My best cannot be hacked. It cannot be commodified.
And it most definitely doesn’t require butter in my coffee.