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Reading, writing – and a budget line for time

Like many, I have been inspired by posts and a conversation about writing, in particular these posts:

I find it resonates with me because I, too, write all day and most of the time my audience is a folder or an upload bar. But I also have the privilege of having a voice and a platform to be heard, in my professional practice, and alongside that I have cultivated spaces (and time) in my life that allow me to write and think out loud on my own domain, in my journals, both in the open and in private.

I think and reflect much through conversations, conversational writing and writing and I find without the discipline to keep articulating what’s in my head and in my heart, I am left with nothing to say. Like Kate writes in her post:

This sense of being choked is spreading around a community of good writers I know, like ocean plastics. It’s as if we’re in an extinction-level event, even as we mostly work in universities, and we are also drowning in words.

I had that post at the back of my mind during a conversation this week about the value of time, the value of creativity in professional practice. We were looking at a table charting progress and I was wondering about where on that particular spreadsheet we had a budget line for time to think. Time, as the poem says, “… and instantly there is space and the radiance of each bright galaxy”.

I value what time to think, time to be creative, to have ideas and reflect, bring to my own professional practice and in my day job I likewise value that in others and for others. But even with those values, it’s hard to carve out space and time and give priority in amidst everything else that shouts much louder. In the matrix of urgent and important things I feel I need another axis for those things which are fundamental to long term well being and inspiration, things that mean something to us, that make what we do and say feel worthwhile. We need a budget line for time.

In his post, Martin writes:

Thinking of writing similarly as a finite resource may not be a bad mental trick to deploy for yourself. Where are you going to use that allocation up today? Is that what you want to do?

So this morning, I woke up and with my coffee the cat and I read the Twitter conversation and instead of getting things done and start being productive, I started the day doing what I want to do and write this post.