The 3 Day Monk Syndrome

By Ruth Barringham

The Japanese have an expression called The 3 Day Monk.

To be a 3 Day Monk means to throw yourself fully into something for a short time, then get tired of it and move onto something else.

Some see this as a sign of laziness, of being too idle to finish a task. But I disagree.

People who are 3 day monks are usually creative people, like writers.

I myself am a 3 day monk. I love to launch myself with great gusto into any project I'm working on, but if it goes on too long, I get bored and start doing time-wasting exercises like checking my emails 20 times a day or surfing the internet for information I don't really need.

But it's not because I'm lazy. It's because I'm always thinking about learning, ideas, interests or I suddenly get a bout of sever brain storming.

As a writer, being a 3 day monk doesn't have to be a problem. On the contrary, it's something to be embraced and used to its best advantage.

If you suffer from being a 3 day monk, simply think of all the projects you can complete in 3 days if you thoroughly immmerse yourself in whatever you do.

In 3 days you can:

If you're a 3 day monk, use it.

I often read about other writers saying that you should write every day, even if it's only for half an hour here and there. And while that might be good advice for some, for the 3 day monks it's far more productive to throw yourself into your writing for 3 solid days while your motivation is strong.

Whenever you feel the passion to immerse yourself in your work for a few days at a time, do it.

When you finally lift your head up from your writing in 3 day's time, you'll be blown way by how much you've done which will motivate you to do it all over again.

So when the drive and enthusiasm hits you again, go with it. You'll find you can achieve much more in a 3 day window of inspiration than you can if you force yourself to write every day, especially when you don't feel like it.

That's not to say that you shouldn't write the rest of the time. As a writer you should always be writing. But when you feel inspired to write and never stop, do it.


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