I’m a bit of a sucker for books about writing. Some are of the “how-to” variety, some are reference, some are inspirational. Some are helpful, some are, umm, not. There’s really only one way to judge any of them: do they make me a better or more productive writer.
In this regard, there’s actually one book that has helped me more than any other and it’s not about writing at all. It’s called Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown. On the very first page, the author describes a fellow this way: “he was majoring in minor activities.” Something about that phrase jolted me to an awareness of how I was letting all the necessary, but unending details of life get in the way of what was most important to me. I was certainly one who was “majoring in minor activities,” and if I didn’t find a way to change that, my true goal of being a working writer would never be achieved. Did I really expect to be remembered for changing the brush head on my electric toothbrush? I’ve responded to that wake-up call with a more consistent writing schedule. If you are also struggling with this issue, I hope you find your own wake-up call–and soon!