I had plans for a sane and sensible work routine this week: work out first thing, then come home to feed myself and the cats, get to work from 9-1, put in roughly an hour each on Revisions, Translation, and Work-Related Administrivia, then spend the afternoon on House and Life Admin.

Cue hollow laughter. I’m not good at transitions. When I’m in the Zone, I want to stay there.

The present Revision material is the MMP-1 (for its history, see here, here, here, and, well, just search this blog for “MMP”). I love this project. For (mumble) years now, I have been living with its protagonist. When I’m working on this project, I stare at Google Images of his tomb and his lands (as they are now: so far, I have not convinced Google to cough up overhead shots from earlier centuries, though there are some nineteenth-century images of his parish church and nearby bridge). I am obsessed with this manuscript owner. I don’t know why the MMP-1 has not yet found a home, when the MMP-2 and MMP-3 have done so. Probably because it’s a large and unwieldy project. This version is going to be much better than the previous two submissions. I know where I will send it this time, and I know where it will go after that, if that’s what it takes. I believe in this project. Sooner or later, some editor(s) will love it as much as I do.

Ah, so, anyway, this morning I skipped the gym and sat down at my desk at 7:30 and put in two solid hours on the MMP-1. That was after about an hour of tracking down an obscure reference last night. When I could no longer ignore the cats, I took a break for about an hour, trying to get my head away from the MMP-1 and around translation. Or Administrivia. I thought I’d done it. But when I went back to my desk, from 11:00 to 1:00, I was immersed in the MMP-1. I cannot quit it.

I’m re-writing the whole thing, this time, because it has gone all patchworky and awkward from having too many bits imported from earlier drafts, a real Frankenstein of a piece. I’m very happy about writing 1769 words this morning. I want to write this piece in big chunks, because that will make the style much smoother. But I’m sure not sticking to the plan. There’s a translation deadline, and at least one Administrivia deadline (two days off, plenty of time), and I really prefer to go to the gym early in the day because it’s better for sleep and organizing meals and such. And a lot of Life Stuff to deal with, including travel plans for this summer.

Tomorrow is another day. Either the plan will work, or I will stay immersed in this project till it’s done. Again. Either is an acceptable outcome.

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4 thoughts on “Down the rabbit hole

  1. The switch-every-hour-or-so approach wouldn’t work for me, either, because I, too, am bad at transitions. I’ve yet to find a solution to this problem, especially when I’m all too aware that I have several at least somewhat urgent and/or important tasks on my plate, and am thus somewhat distracted, or at least stressed, by the things I’m not doing, even when I’m doing something that engages my attention pretty well. I’m glad you’re in an “either is an acceptable outcome” space; that seems like the ideal (only real?) way to handle the problem.

    1. I think switching might work better if I were at the editing/footnotes stage. But the throes of composition are another matter. I did get some administrivia done today, at least, after another 1100 words on the MMP. Life/House stuff is still getting skimped. But the bills are paid! It’ll all happen eventually, I suppose.

  2. Yes, I’m terrible at transitions. I admire those who can say “Work for 30 minutes on project X” but if I get into project X, it will be *at least* two hours, and I often forget about dinner.

  3. You’re in love with MMP-1 and it’s wonderful! Don’t mess with that feeling of flow, especially if you’re writing an impressive 1100 words in a day.

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