Wednesday, December 3, 2008

another late night. . . . writing

I'd forgotten how much I hate late night command performances in front of a blank word.doc screen with only the prospect of having nothing to say to those expecting to hear a presentation of your paper to goad you on.

I sit and jiggle my legs.

I get more tea.

I check email.

I wrestle three more sentences onto the screen.

Inevitably I remember Annie Lamott's Bird by Bird and her command to write a "shitty first draft" and then hope you don't get run over by a bus before you can get to it the next day and revise it before other people read it and think "what a crapola writer she was, after all!"

I write something here and wonder if I should look for a picture to ease the nakedness of the words.

I stretch my neck and back muscles - looking upwards - and notice that the chandelier has cobwebs in between the candelabra lights. The feather duster is 7 steps away tucked into the bookshelves. Maybe I could dust it real quick and then take a look outside to see if Jupiter and Venus are still visibly aligned. The cold air would revive me.


The house alarm is on. Setting and unsetting it makes loud beeps which will wake up the king, who's asleep.

And I want to be asleep!

Okay. So push "PUBLISH POST" and return to pulling words out of hiding and push-pinning them onto paper. 22 hundred of them so far - a little more than half the amount that proved too much for the last academic conference I attended not too long ago. That was a real academic presentation, though. The thing tomorrow is supposed to just be an informal 'work-in-progress' discussion among colleagues. What's more, the head of department has already edited the blurb describing my work to cut out the more academic references. "Don't want to scare anybody off before they get there!"


For this, I'm still up at midnight, agonizing.

I'm considering forgoing the ubiquitous powerpoint presentation as a mute protest. Thinking is not about entertainment, it's about thinking.

"Physician, heal theyself?" Philosopher, think thyself! Stop looking for rest and entertainment.

Then, maybe I can get some sleep.


Lee Anne said...

Good luck with your presentation. I'm wondering if I'll ever want to write again after the past year!

Isn't Annie Lamott wonderful?

prophet said...

Yep. Annie and I are one first-name basis - from my end, anyway. She wouldn't know me if she fell over me! Oh well. . . .

The presentation was "interesting". "Robust discussion" ensued. Effectively, I was critiqued for failing to present physical, psychological evidence to support my philosophy. Interesting, that.

Hey - I leave tomorrow to attend the PhD 'conferral' on Friday! After all that, you got yours before I got mine! Congratulations, again.

prophet said...

That would be "on first-name basis" rather than "one first-name basis". . . .