"Nothing is harder to do than nothing," Jenny Odell wrote in her 2019 book, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy. "In a world where our value is determined by our productivity, many of us find our every last minute captured, optimized, or appropriated as a financial resource by the technologies we use daily." In this creative nonfiction elective, we will read Odell's book and determine how our own attention is a form of resistance we can use in our writing. Class sessions will explore weekly exercises in doing nothing, which will culminate in a final project in which we perform a close reading of our own worlds—the lagoon, an Isla Vista street, our pets or classrooms, attending to subtle differences, variations, and nuances not only on the page, but in everyday life.
Odell, J., How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy Melville House