Doing Nothing

by MW Cook

I’m very nearly done the last revision of my novel.  It’s holding steady at about 181,000 words.  Keeps me pretty busy.  So busy that I hardly have a moment to blog, except from my phone while sitting here on the bus.  When I’m busy like this I become thankful that I’m good at the art of doing nothing.

Have you ever done nothing?  I don’t mean vegging in front of the TV or spacing out in a video game.  Have you ever done nothing?

We have been programmed to think that if what we are doing is not making money or moving toward making money, we are wasting time.  As if our role as humans is to be productive. As if there is some virtue in moving matter from one place and in one form to another.  And so we work long hours and feel guilty when we take breaks, as if we owe some cosmic force a time quota.

But I don’t think that way.  I only allow myself to get as busy as I want to be.  And sometimes I just do nothing.  Nothing.

I sit there.  The clocks slow.  I don’t sleep or rest or escape.  I don’t listen to music or turn on the TV.  I just sit and enjoy sitting.

We are not really a pleasure-driven culture.  We are driven by entertainment and productivity.  We are always doing one or the other.  But when was the last time you just sat?