I very much like the idea and practice of using time as a tool.
I heard about it at a software developers conference a while back. When micro services and agile development were growing in popularity.
The concept was to take a problem and throw resources at it. The most appropriate ones for the task in hand. Tools, techniques, expertise, skills, people, time.
Using time, programmers work in sprints. One definition is: "Sprints are time-boxed periods of one week to one month, during which a product owner, scrum master, and scrum team work to complete a specific product addition."
I use tiny sprints to write fiction. Or for client work. Sometimes I throw 10 minutes at a job. Sometimes it's 20. More often it's an hour at a time.
And between 'sprints' I'm cooling my brain down. Reading. Watching the news. Walking. Gardening. Tidying. Dozing. Spending my time units doing something relaxing.
At night I dwell in spacious places
Roaming sleepless through capacious valleys,
Cavernous office complexes, hollow caves, building sites, wind howling through my head,
Floating wide eyed and awake.
My thoughts become spacious places
Yawning chasms, sprawling ruins
Reaching skywards, stretching planetwards, to the galaxies and dark matter beyond.
Then at some point and with no warning
I crash through the abyss
Into the smallest of places
And nestle there
A white mansion. Tall trees. A steep slope, down, down.
Two twin houses. Grey and square. Down.
A small detached dwelling. A lofty garden swing. Down, down. Down.
A long plateau. A set of semis. Sombre and grey. Down again.
The blue-grey ocean. A heartbeat line of waves. Golden sunset.
I am about a third of the way through this beast of a book. It's hard going at times, but I'm persevering to the end, even if it takes me all year.
For example, this is ONE sentence:
'If you ask me,' his companion pursued, 'whether I came back here better satisfied with a state of things which broadly divides society into two classes - whereof one, the great mass, asserts a spurious independence, most miserably dependent for its mean existence on the disregard of humanising conventionalities of manner and social custom, so that the coarser a man is, the more distinctly it shall appeal to his taste; while the other, disgusted with the low standard set up and made adaptable to everything, takes refuge among the graces and refinements it can bring to bear on private life, and leaves the public weal to such fortune as may betide the press and uproar of a general scramble - then again I answer, No.'
So very fortunate to live near fields and woods.
I cleared my head before lunch with this 40 min walk.
It takes me up through a series of fields, past horses, over a tiny bridge, through gates, into woods, over a stream, up a bank and through more woods, winding back to base.
Joshua Raven, novelist. Read about my writing and my life here. And have you discovered 5fingers yet?