Some good advice from feMOMhist, back in the day (2011):
- do not waste freebies
- stuff will happen that you cannot control
- always leave extra time
- life goes on
- make life easier on those people above you
- be nice to those people below you
- plan for the worst, be surprised by the best
- follow your passion
- work hard for yourself
- discipline, persistence and tenacity account for a lot
And for women especially:
1. Girlfriends, girlfriend, girlfriends. Trust me, they will outlast every man but the last one.
2. Remember, men are like cars. You always trade “up.”
3. Being alone is better than being with someone who makes you miserable.
4. Doors open, doors close. The trick is to keep moving.
5. Alone you will do more things that will make you even more fabulous.
6. Remember, but don’t regret. You can’t change the past, but you can learn from it.
And Jonathan Mayhew on unhappy writers:
“Unhappy writers trick themselves into not writing; they are very smart about it too, inventing infinite rationalizations. They view schedules and word counts as uncreative and constrictive, rather than liberating as they really are. On the other hand, they love deadlines! Only a deadline can really get them moving, give them that external pressure. (Remember they have no internal structure to their work so they let other people tell them when they need to get something done.) They don’t have a good idea of how much they can get done in an hour or fifteen minutes or a week. As a consequence they are hopelessly busy, confusing activity with accomplishment.”
I am not really an unhappy writer today. I wrote over 1000 words, half of it notes on a book, half of it in a chapter. But I spent enough time on these two tasks that I did not get on to any of the other things I hoped to work on today: two scholarly things, one Life Admin task. I was determined to finish with the book, but eventually I gave up because time was marching on, and my neck and arms hurt (bad posture: Sabra really wanted to be on my lap, but that made for a very awkward writing position). I would have done better to have stopped sooner on the book-notes, though I am pleased that I went on to tinker with the chapter and wound up adding a good chunk to it.
I feel like I’ve got pretty far off-topic, though. If I’m supposed to be working on Cheese in Chaucer, at the moment I seem to covering the care and feeding of French cows. I hope this is just something I need to work through and that when I look at this writing upside-down or sideways, as it were, I will see how to take the cows and make them fit into the chapter nicely, edited as necessary for brevity and clarity (I was going to say “boiled down” but that metaphor becomes too disgusting).
Schedules, though. How I would love to have a schedule I could stick to. One word, people: CATS. Sabra is beating up on Basement Cat and Reina. Basement Cat is taking out his feelings on Reina. Reina lets everyone know she is unhappy. Glendower thinks it’s all in fun and messes with the others just because he wants to join in. We’re trying to keep everyone as separate as possible from everyone else for a week, get some more Feliway, and then work on re-introductions. But if I could find a good home for Sabra, we might all be better off. She’s a lovely, affectionate girl, but she seems to want to be an only cat.