I’m reading, as mentioned to some, Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett. In it, while discussing (memoirizing?) her friendship with the poet Lucy Grealy, she talks about being in the MFA program at Iowa:
For us, Iowa was an abundant sea of time, hours and days and weeks to torch and burn. No matter how careless we were with our mornings and afternoons, there was more time, and then more… we had invented time, and we could not kill it fast enough. After dinner, dancing, and baths, we read, wrote our poems and stories, brushed our teeth, and tumbled into bed, only to find the next day was exactly the same. We had not moved one inch forward in the night. It was like prison, not in the punishment but in the vast sameness of the days. We were impossibly rich in time, and we lavished the excess on one another.
Yeah, that’s pretty much it, except for the dancing. I keep getting stalled, in this sea of time; I sleep in because, literally, I have nowhere else to be. And I don’t work in the mornings, so that time feels like a waste for me to be up, anyway.
But! Patchett also talks about how she wrote her first novel, the enjoyable (if a little uneven) The Patron Saint of Liars, with quotas that she worked toward (and met) every day. So I’m thinking, you know, I should be doing that, or at least keeping track of how much I am doing.
So, tonight, I worked on a truly bizarre project that I thought up last term, what I’ll call “The Iraq Project,” for about 2 hours at Starbucks, and have 3,400 words to show for it. Well, it’s something.