I sit in the predawn darkness, huddled under a blanket with a cat snoozing at my side. It’s a Wednesday morning, and a cold one. Snow gleams under lamplight outside and asphalt shines through dirty slush.
Today is the last day before the start of the semester, and thus the last day of what I’ve come to think of as Neverending January. Which, of course, is ending.
The CUNY system, in which I teach, has a particularly long break between Christmas and the start of the Spring semester. Often my husband and I will take advantage of this time to travel, but for various reasons we did not do so this year. In fact, this is one of the first times since we’ve moved to New York that I’ve spent nearly all of Neverending January at home (under said blanket and next to said cat).
Once upon a time I believed that vast swaths of uninterrupted time would be super awesome for my writing process, but actual experience has shown this to be false. In fact, I work a lot better when I’m busy and have a sense of pressure. So Neverending January has been a struggle.
Here’s what I’ve accomplished (or not):
1. I’ve rewritten the beginning and ending of the same short story approximately 1 billion times (Sad. Also, frustrating)
2. I’ve Beta read 1 1/2 novels (Not bad!)
3. I’ve processed, organized, mulled, and begun to prepare revision notes based on Beta feedback from Project Awesome (Progress: acceptable but slow)
4. I’ve cooked a lot of things that take all day to make (Tasty, but not writing)
5. I’ve spent a fair amount of time staring out the window wondering if it was going to snow more/less (Also not writing)
6. I’ve binge-watched shows so bad I am unwilling to admit to them in a public forum (No comment)
At the end of all this, I’ve come to two conclusions.
First, we should always travel in January.
Second, it’s probably a very good thing the semester starts tomorrow.
And, on that note, I must go. After all, it’s my last day to pretend that January will never end.