In the weeks since classes ended, life has, if anything, been more stressful. That doesn’t make sense at all, but as I write this I’m glad I’m taking care of something that counts as definitely being productive. I need this summer to be productive. If this summer is not productive, then I will feel as though I have wasted an opportunity to be productive. I am reminded of something David Foster Wallace said to Charlie Rose:
ROSE: And so what will you do with that year [off on a grant]?
DFW: I will — if past — if past experience holds true, I will probably write an hour a day and spend eight hours a day biting my knuckle and worrying about not writing.
ROSE: Worrying about not writing?
Though I’m also worrying about what to write and what I want my manuscript to look like! Oh, and I’m also submitting to magazines (collecting rejections like I did from the site above), and that isn’t helping.
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Of course, on the bright side, it’s only been summer for a few weeks, and frankly there’s still a lot of time left for me to do stuff! Every day is a new day! There are a zillion lit mags out there to get rejected from, and some might even accept some of my work! Enthusiasm! Things aren’t bad at all right now!
Part of my problem is that I work remotely, and so my entire day consists of motivating myself to accomplish tasks so I can accomplish more tasks without having very much in the way of outside motivation. I can always put something off for a while if I don’t have energy, or find something to read, etc. Especially reading. Right now I’m reading a biography of Ralph Waldo Emerson. That feels useful. But really I should be writing and submitting and doing my other work and doing my blog posts and working out and staying in touch with friends and planning trips to see friends and leaving the house and not spending so much money and hanging out with my girlfriend and not ordering these things in any specific way.
So you see, sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed. As a creative person, sometimes these moods end up with really great work, and sometimes it ends up stifled and awful. The important thing is to keep moving just as well as you can.