Notes from the first day of the year

It’s six o’clock in the evening as I write this, sitting out on the balcony of my tiny apartment listening to the train line and the bird song and the upstairs neighbours drunkenly mispronouncing the words ‘mortar and pestle’ over and over as they talk on the phone. Which makes a nice change from the screaming argument on the street that kicked off the afternoon, reminding me why spending time inside the apartment generally trumps sitting out in the muggy summer heat.

The wind is piking up and the clouds are hanging low. It doesn’t smell like rain yet, but the rain is coming later this week.

This is how we start 2017.

The rest of the day was exactly the kind of productive first day I always want out of a new year and never quite achieve. I wrote the first two scenes of a new novella draft; I read a bunch of things; I acquired new notebooks through nefarious means; I folded laundry; I washed dishes; I cooked food that required prep work and ingredients, rather than simply eating toast or throwing a vegetarian schnitzel into the oven.

I am fretting about getting things done this year. I am wary of slipping into bad habits once I wrap up the current day-job and head off to do the PhD full-time. I know how easy it is to look at a day devoted entirely to study and writing, yet still do very little.

My sole goal for 2017 is to guard against that slippage.

  2 comments for “Notes from the first day of the year

  1. 02/01/2017 at 11:16 AM

    I used to worry about not writing as much as I thought I should. But for me, at this point, is is something I love doing (I have no deadlines, other than self imposed), not something I do for a job, so I feel that worrying about it is like worry about not playing enough golf (if I particularly want to play golf). I found I needed to let go of the idea that there was a certain amount that was “the right amount.” Of course, you may be different, (and obviously study is different) but finding the balance between writing/stress/rest can be tough.

    Good luck with it all this year.

  2. 02/01/2017 at 4:23 PM

    Good luck with the PhD Peter. Getting paid to research and study is a wonderful thing so enjoy every moment of it.

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