This isn't meant to be a complaint. I have nothing to complain about--no child care to worry about, enough space & time to walk, the strength to get my own groceries (23rd Psalm motto: my mask and my gloves, they comfort me), a car, etc.
But at the end of the day, I'm hard pressed to say what I did, especially in terms of intellectual work.
- Some days it's a few hours of meetings: some colleagues, when I say "we've been on Zoom for 90 minutes; it's time to wrap up" will say "just this one thing then." Sometimes I simply say "gotta go" and bail anyway. But that still leaves a lot of time to read & write, so why don't I?
- Some days--well one day every 2-3 weeks--it's grocery day, so I mask up (I only have one mask, having lost the other) and drive around and get what we need. I come home, do the Silkwood shower, and get to work, or try to.
- Some days it's sit and obsess about the fall classes, which are not totally online, even though I'm trying not to.
- Some days, once I've gone for a long walk, which I try to do every day, I just want to admire the trees.
- If I do an article or manuscript review, well, then--I'm done, right?
- There's always cooking and baking and some laundry, but I look forward to those tasks, because I get to watch old comforting TV then and not otherwise, a self-imposed rule. Spouse has always done the laundry, but he has backed off after seeing from my woebegone face that I couldn't spend 20 minutes watching The Crown or The Office if I weren't folding clothes.
- If I sit down to write before breakfast, I will write.
- If I walk first, before breakfast, I will write.
- If I walk, then shower, then eat breakfast, I will write.
- If I change it up and eat, then walk, then shower, I will write.
- If I start at 8:30, I will get in the habit of it and write.
Then on Monday something snapped: it's just writing. There is no magic sequence. It's just writing. If you break out in a fidgety cold sweat when you sit down to write, well, pick up a book and start reading, and you'll want to write fast enough.
Someone Being Wrong on the Internet is nothing to Someone Being Incomplete in a Book for getting your writing juices going.
I control the process. Me, not magic sequences. It may be lousy, but what comes out is still writing.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
*Yes, I know: imperialism, yadda yadda, but it helped in the moment.