Monday, October 19, 2009

In my Operations Management class, I have been studying my writing habits as a process, which I would like to see improved. Week 1, I drew up a process/flow chart and then I studied, how I am doing with my process. The reality is there is too little time in some days. Maybe I should get up at 5 am and write for a solid 2 hours. But I can't. Why? I cannot function with any brain capacity at 5 am. So I am left to work with the day light hours. I did think, however that this paper, which needed a MUCH higher word limited frankly, is very much about hoe writing, for a commercial purpose, is manufacturing in a way and I am not sure that is the kind of writer I ulimately want to be. My stories are important to me. If I am not feeling it, it shows.


Time or Creative Resources, which is the limited resource

A bottleneck is any point in the process, which slows the process, derails the process or adds costs unnecessarily to the process. “A potential exists to manage the resources better by allowing a cost structure where the resources are shared among a group of customers…, it is still a valid argument that a customer paying for the resource mismanagement of a company will have a negative impact on the business. Following this logical argument, activity based costing does not suggest assigning the cost of under-utilized resources to the customers. Therefore, the cost of resource under-utilization does not get its due attention. ..resource under-utilization cost to be an important consideration in order to identify potential bottlenecks in the manufacturing systems for a better resource management… provides an activity based costing model to identify resource under-utilization assuming normally distributed demands. The main justification for picking the ABC methodology to identify potential bottlenecks lies in the fact that we need activities in order to manufacture a product. These activities in turn need resources.” (Gill, 2008, pg. 165)

The process being study is my ability to carve out 4 hours per week for focused creative writing; there are two main sources of bottlenecks in this process, time and creativity. Sometimes those two resources feed one another and sometimes they can be identified in distinct ways. Most writers would not view their writing process as manufacturing, but in fact that is in essences what the writing process is, manufacturing a document, a creative work, a work product, the summation of hours of labor.

An expert opinion on the matter of creativity in this writing process holds, “Given that a lot of good writing is achieved through this day-after-day, draft-after-draft, down-to-earth manner, calling what we do the "creative" process is a bit of a misnomer, and a dangerous one at that. The term leads us to believe that we actually need to be feeling creative in order to write successfully. As such, we wait for inspiration to get started… and there goes another month or year with no pages to show for it.”(Cole, 2009, p. 26)

In a careful review of the data collected, the study reveals no lack of creativity on my part; I have notes and notes, drafts of poems, partial poems, made carefully on the days I simply could not be at my computer. The true bottleneck in this process is too little time. Some days it may be lack of careful discipline on my part, some days it is being too tired, given the demands of the day and over the period of the study, issues have cropped up, which have eaten into the carefully created weekly process plan. Could these issues have been mitigated, in part no, some are well and truly outside of my control, such as ill children and my mother needing additional supportive care. Going forward, I may need to revise my planning process or accept that for as long as I am attending the University of Phoenix, my expected creative writing time, may well need to be pared back. There truly are only so many hours in the day.


Cole, J. (2009). The (not so) creative process. Writers, 122(10), 26. Retrieved from

Gill, A. (2008). Identifying potential bottlenecks through activity under-utilization cost. Manuscript submitted for publication. Retrieved October 16, 2009, from

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