There’s this bit in Jo Walton’s (captivating) My Real Children where the main character makes a list that begins, “1. Make list.” For the past few weeks, my preparations for a 1-year sabbatical beginning July 1 have consisted primarily of 1. Fantasizing about what I would be doing if no one could make me do whatever it is I am currently doing; 2. Fretting about not knowing how to be in charge of my own time/activities; 3. Compulsive, inconsistent list-making.
I spent today, the last day before my sabbatical begins, 1. answering email; 2. listing all the things that Should Have Been Done Before Sabbatical (subtitle: And Which Now Must Be Done During Week One of Sabbatical), and 3. also listing things I Should Be Doing During Sabbatical Instead of the Things in That Other List.
This last list consists of only two items, which had not appeared on any previous sabbatical-related lists:
Jo Walton seems to do a lot of really excellent writing. Also, I discovered today, she still uses LiveJournal. This discovery fills me with odd anxieties about whether my abandonment of LJ indicates a lack of personal or at least writerly integrity. Is there a name for this particular logical fallacy, where the realization that updating your writing technology has not made you a better writer leads you to conclude that if you were still using archaic technology, you would then be a better writer?
If anyone out there has suggestions for not letting research leave be immediately overwhelmed by a host of strange fears and weird behaviors, I’m all ears.