So here I am, on research leave, plugging away on various things: two sets of revisions, notes to an essay I dashed off last summer and then put aside, book-in-progress, regular work on dead languages, tons of reading for assorted projects—many of which intersect, so I use color-coded post-its and I keep having to check what the code is, and I need to buy more blue ones. Where was I? Right, plugging away, and like Undine says, progress is incremental, but it’s much better to keep going slowly and steadily than get impatient and screw things up. Like Jonathan says, mediocre progress is actually great. It adds up.
So anyway, I keep returning to assorted blog posts from around 2010-2011, like Jonathan’s advice, and especially feMOMhist’s sabbatical year, which was inspiring in all sorts of ways. Enthusiasm, primarily, which I share, but sometimes it’s hard to take that first plunge down the rabbit hole. Good general advice, too. I miss her.
And I’m sure that many of the bloggers I miss are now on Twitter or Facebook or whatever. I mean, I’ve been assured that they are. But I’m still a conscientious objector to those venues, for many reasons. One is that I can do fairly well at fragmenting my ability to concentrate all by myself, without any help from the interwebs and especially not from super-short-form stuff. I want to get down that rabbit hole into the past, and spend hours thinking about the same things, mainly in the distant past. If I’m going to look to blogs for inspiration on some mornings or for refreshment in the late-afternoon slump, I want to read entries that require me to engage for more than a sentence.
Yeah, so. I still like showing up here. And yet I have fantasies about unplugging completely and trying to live the research-life of Maria Rosa Lida de Malkiel or M. D. Legge. Pure fantasy, because AND and MED! I’m not going to go to the library and flip pages when I can sit at home and type in a word or pick from a list. But there’s this push-pull feeling about needing modern connections and yet also wanting to get away from them.