In the spirit of positivity and John Steinbeck, I'm going to start the morning not with a warm-up letter to my editor but with a warm-up post.
It's that time at the beginning of the semester when no matter what you are writing, there's a voice in your head screaming "Must stop now! Must work on syllabus!" If you're working on a syllabus, it screams "Must stop now! Must get writing done lest Boice descend and strike you dead!"
But there's a middle ground for all this: manuscript reviews for journals or presses, book reviews, letters, colleagues' proposals, and so on. For those, there's a clear path: You read the materials. You bring your critical judgment to bear. You write it up in a helpful manner. You send it. You move on.
You feel better because it is a professional task and you did it. Somehow, you can tackle the other stuff again. And also--here is the big advantage--you get to cross an item off your list, a sweet reward in itself.
I have more of these to do, of course, and plan to get at them in a minute. But every one I complete is a step, and I'm envisioning this process as being like those cartoons where a character stands stock still, then takes a halting step or two, and then is off and running.