Recently, some folks (with a lot of time on their hands, apparently) got together and created nifty, color-coded schedules for some of history’s most famous writers, artists, musicians, and philosophers. The article is titled “Here’s How History’s Most Brilliant People Scheduled Their Days,” and the results are pretty fascinating. If you take a look, you may be struck by a few of the following observations:
- Many of the world’s greatest minds lived relatively normal lives. (Here’s looking at you, Ben Franklin!)
- A lack of sleep might explain some of Kafka’s absurdist fiction, along with some of Freud’s theories.
- One’s schedule can vary wildly when one doesn’t have a day job or only needs to work for a few hours each day.
The corollary to this final observation is that if you don’t need to work, then your life is open to so many more creative endeavors. The problem is, however, so many of us do have to work and our impulses for artistic creation are stymied by the daily grind. Between career, family, errands, social life, chores, food, and hopefully a few hours of sleep each night, even if we do have time to write, we are normally too exhausted—creativity is not for the sleepy of mind.
Granted, not all of us aspiring writers will become an Angelou, Nabokov, or Vonnegut, but we still might have something to say that’s worth writing. What about all of the memoirs, novels, or success stories that go unwritten because of the perpetual time crunch of life? What great (un)written works have been sacrificed on the altar of time?
Is there any hope?
Time-Saving Technology: A Writer’s Best Friend?
We seem to live in an incredibly exciting age. Technological advancements are designed to make our lives exponentially more efficient. Devices like the smartphone and innovations like Web 2.0 make everything (and everyone) available to us in the click of a button. We can order food without ever having to speak to another human being; we can read all the instant, breaking news of the day in 140 forty characters or less; and meeting possible friends and partners has never been easier.
Technology has definitely changed the way we use time, but has it given us more time to write? That answer is less obvious.