1. Make list.

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:

1. Meditation

2. Blogging?

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.

2 thoughts on “1. Make list.

  1. Zugenia (a moniker that is so cool and which I envy so much): meditation is a great idea. It’s helped me enormously in the past six months, not only to add a level of structure and ritual to my day, and to release that knot in my poor gut, but to learn how to step back and be an observer to the work chaos around me, which I far too often let control my life. Enjoy the sabbatical!!

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