Le lundi

Today I had a leisurely breakfast with my guest and took her to the station, after which I did some errands. I came home and started laundry, looked at e-mail and did some financial things, and then it was noon. I had lunch and sat down to write, taking short breaks to wrap packages, make a hotel reservation for October, and look at some possible renters to help pay for that and other things. I finished at about four and I have been wandering around the house and the Internet since. I am about to go buy canned air and packing tape, and go to the gym.

I think I wrote for about 2.5 hours — my magical amount — and I know I wrote 774 words. I had set out to work for .5 of an hour and write 100 words, so I am ahead. The reason I got so many words was that some had been written before in notes and because I did not polish them. But it is a good draft.

A Boicean, from my experience with these creatures, would not have allowed himself to relax all morning or to do any puttering while writing. He would have set an alarm clock and probably several other timers. He would have stuck to the .5 of an hour and the 100 words, and he might have polished these. He would have rushed onto the next thing, and finished all the teaching tasks that still await me this evening.

I, forsooth, would rather not do these teaching tasks this evening, but leave them for tomorrow, yet I am perfectly happy with the way I have spent the day so far and I am glad to have gotten so much writing done.

Trollope, that great novelist of the middle class, wrote three hours a day. First he would read what he had written the day before. Then he would write 2,500 words or ten pages, concentrating very well. During the summer I intend to do the same but I only expect one page of myself, or 250 words; they will be polished words. I will also read for two or three hours, for a total of five to six hours of work.

On a five-day schedule that will make for 25-30 hour weeks, very nice. Sometimes the three hours of research will be spent on class preparation, and sometimes I will work more hours.

Looking at this I do not think I will try to get a summer job beyond my hosting job — which I will try to step up. I will also try to find a way to be allowed to pay into Social Security myself. Doing this will be my summer job, as vesting in Social Security is the most intelligent thing I can do.

I will try to spend as little as possible. Everything I do not spend, gets me closer to paying for a trip to California and to the three conferences I now have — one close to home, two a plane flight away — between October and July.


2 thoughts on “Le lundi

  1. Sounds like a good day to be truthful. Interesting to hear about how you wrote and for how long. Reading what you wrote about Trollope reminded me of the numerous times that I’ve heard about when x writes and for how long etc. I think that each of us has their ‘best writing times’ and the onus is on each of us to find it. Hopefully we can use this time, each time, to the best of our advantage.

    1. I am always truthful and I have only recently realized so many people are not.

      Here is another magic disposition of time: 15 hours a week. This is according to many formulae the amount of time one gets to spend on research (it is 30% of 50 hours, or 35% of 45; 16 is 40% of 40). According to Neil Fiore it is the amount of time you need to write a book in a year. I used to do it precisely, instinctively: 2.5 hours evenings, M-Th, reading and taking notes, writing a little; Friday off; 2.5 hours Saturday afteroons, in the library; 2.5 hours Sunday afternoons, writing. That is 15 hours.

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