The Writing Life: Stopping “Unintentional Acceleration Syndrome”

Have you ever had the experience of driving a car which suddenly–and for no apparent reason–accelerates? Applying the brakes has no effect.

It sometimes happens with certain defects in cars, and while the driver can see the accident about to happen, he is powerless to do anything about it.

Symptoms of Acceleration Syndrome

Many writers feel like their lives have the same “defect.” Symptoms can include lethargy, tiredness after a full night’s sleep, depression or free-floating anxiety without a specific cause, and spaciness. A writer with an unintentional accelerated pace of life has precious little time for the reflection and quiet “head space” needed for creating.

Does the description of this syndrome sound familiar to you?

The ever increasing pace of life is called the “acceleration syndrome,” and it is causing a global epidemic of hurry sickness. One of the symptoms is the dizzying speed at which we live and the amount of living we are forcing into our lives…Many “solutions” offered, such as time management and learning to delegate and prioritize, are having the opposite effect. They are actually increasing the pace of life, creating a time squeeze in which we are encouraged to cram even more into an hour. They only aggravate the problem we are supposed to be addressing.

What’s a writer to do?

It’s covered in one of the “dirty dozen” chapters that Caroline Leaf talks about in her book Who Switched Off My Brain (the chapter called “Toxic Schedules.”) There’s also a one-minute video segment you can watch on the topic. I highly recommend all her books. They have helped me tremendously  with “detoxing” over the past two years.

Unlike the driver of a car stuck in unintentional acceleration, you CAN do something about your speeded-up life. And if you want to enjoy your writing life, you will probably need to. 

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2 Responses to The Writing Life: Stopping “Unintentional Acceleration Syndrome”

  1. Sherryl says:

    Yes, we fall into the trap of trying to fit more in, thinking we are failing because we aren’t doing the million things we think we should be. When really the problem is simply too many things. Saying No is vital. Especially to other people, because they are feeling the same pressure, but they figure they can offload onto you, if you are not strong enough to say no. You’re not helping them, you’re enabling them to be more pressured, and making your own life miserable!
    I am practicing saying No every day. It’s not easy, but if I don’t, it means I say No to my writing.

    • kwpadmin says:

      You’re singing my song, Sherryl!

      In several places lately I’ve seen this quote: “The diference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.” Warren Buffett

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