The Daily Slog

When I have work to do I dream of writing. I pine after my manuscript and think, if only I had all the time in the world, I would write in a state of perfect Nirvana in a coffeeshop with my Mac, trendy glasses, and coffee that never grew cold.

When I have a break from editing papers about measuring carbon in Antarctic ice cores (Spoiler Alert: We’re all going to die), I look at my manuscript. I look out the window. I do the dishes and check my email. A thousand times. I research desk lamps to see what would fit on my tiny secretary surface. I indulge my fascination with bags. So far I have enough self-control not to buy them.

In short, I do everything but writing.

Persistence is part of what makes a successful scientist. And the same is true for writing. The sheer bloody-mindedness of forcing my damn brain to engage with the damn manuscript for the 50,000th time is what is going to get me to the end.

And then I’ll do nothing but lie on the couch, reading and eating bon-bons.

How’s February where you are?

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3 responses to “The Daily Slog

  1. I think about running when I’m not running (and stopping when I am) and writing when I’m not writing (and continuing when I am). But I fear that if I were ever in a state where I had my days free to spend as I wished, instead of writing my stories in the mornings and reading great literature in the afternoons, I would spend most of my time with Facebook and Buzzfeed and garbage like that, and what little time I had free I’d spend loathing my wasted life.

    February looks cold where I’m from, but I’ve spent the last week in Portland where the temps have been mild, even warm. Got some writing done (and some running done) too.

  2. February is warm and wonderful where I am, and I am pleased to say that finally, Paul, I don’t think about running all the time. I used to. And then the wheels (ahem, feet) fell off. Now I think about mountain biking all the time, but I was a far better runner than mountain biker. hmmm. But where I was going with that was that I do have the formula for thinking about running all the time without stopping thinking about writing. I am suprised Indy didn’t say.

    I wrote about running. That way, I could think about writing or running or writing whenever I was running or writing or running, and I’d always be on task. I’ve got more books about running than I have about [scholary subject redacted], and when I stopped writing books about running, I wrote articles about writing books about running. Then I wrote articles about not running. And of course I wrote articles about wishing I was running. Oh, and about thinking about running. And about bonbons (no not really). I haven’t started writing about mountain biking yet, but that’s probably coming.

    I have a doctoral student just starting whose subject is going to be running obsessions. Funny, that!

    Oh wait. what was the question?

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