Warming Up

A sabbatical is a good thing. As is the change of scenery that comes with a trip abroad. R. and I are definitely on vacation, but these two weeks are very much a working vacation for the both of us; he’s got a long-term project that he’s hard at work on, and I’m attempting to transition myself into this leave, as well as transitioning into several new projects. So we’re spending most “mornings” writing, and then “afternoons” wandering the streets and “evenings” enjoying the bars.

Times of day go in quotes because they’re most loosely used here; “morning” has in the last few days encompassed the span from 9 am to 2 pm one day, but 3 am to 9 am another. Honestly, at any given moment I haven’t a clue what time it is.

But, again honestly, only those “evening” segments of the day are coming easily. Sitting in a pub with a beer is ideally effortless, producing no strain on the jet-lagged post-holiday self. The “afternoons” of touristy exploration have been made somewhat less appealing than usual by the fact that it continues to grow colder here, which, coupled with my weather wimpdom, has resulted in a kind of huddling indoors, with a pretty steep energy investment required to get me over the threshold and outside. (This is exacerbated by the fact that I’ve done Amsterdam before, under less frigid conditions.)

And the writing “mornings” have been pleasant, but not terribly productive as yet. It’s hard to get the brain to find a way into a big new project, particularly when said brain thinks it’s 1 am but is pretty sure it just finished eating breakfast. I have several new projects I’m hoping to work on during this sabbatical — two articles that I want to finish, a new narrative project that I’d like to get well underway, a volume I’m co-editing that I need to get jumpstarted, and of course ElectraPress, which I’d like to see off the ground. With that much in front of me, and with no clear point of entry — no place I’d left off, for instance — getting started has been daunting. Once I’m settled into the sabbatical proper, after the vacation, I’m hoping to find ways to divide my time amongst these projects, to keep them all moving forward. But this morning, my energies just feel as though they’re dissipating into the cold.

Writing, including here, is not coming easily. I need to find my way back into my regular practice.

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