not-writing is like a bath running

“I attempt a ‘body conditioning’ class. . . . The next day, my legs are made of sheet metal, and I cannot bend my knees.  I resolve not to exercise so vigorously again and move like a robot to my writing shed at the end of the garden.  I don’t stop to glance at the crocuses this time.  This book has to be written.

“Despair, as ever, at how novels must be produced.  We see them in our minds, these metaphysical beauties, complete in the mist—but we are forced to take them apart, plot them out, word by word, minute by minute, every moment reminding us of our limitations.

“In the evening, off to a friend’s book launch.  She makes a wonderful speech . . . . All the time, I feel like I’ve left something on the stove or a bath running—then I remember, of course, that I still haven’t finished my own book.”

Jessie Burton, “My Week,” in Saturday’s WSJ.

Day 2

A thoroughly idle day.  The usual Sunday activities, including cooking and eating meals.  With Sir John, a walk and some outdoor tidying.  Another fun book down (didn’t enjoy this one so much; the hero was obnoxious), and a third started (much better).  More red wine, another bath, this time without bubbles because I’m out of bath foam.  And the Prologue of Paris-Nice.


It’s spring break, so I want to DO ALL THE THINGS!!!!

All the research!  Finish and send out an article, write fellowship applications, review another article, work on a chapter draft!

All the teaching!  Grade all the things, plan everything to the end of the semester, write and post all the assignments, plan brilliant tying-it-all-together classes, read all the things for grad class and independent study!

All the Life Stuff!  Taxes, house and personal maintenance, social life, shopping, mending, cleaning, exercise an hour a day, go to multiple yoga classes . . . .

Um.  I’m tired already.  Pick one category?  Or one from each category?  It’s only nine days, and I don’t actually have that much manic energy.

I should just go away at spring break, so as not to have to make these decisions, although of course that just makes all the work multiply and subdivide like some particularly nasty virus.

Most immediately: it is above freezing for the first time in I don’t know how long*, so I am going to go for a walk**, and look for signs of spring.


*Have I mentioned that I hate this climate?  The plum blossoms are over already in reasonable parts of the world.

**Or wade, since snow is melting, I devoutly hope; where are my wellies?