Tally terror

In something of a panic I realized that today is the end of January, which means it’s time to report my writing progress on the tally sheet that hangs on the bulletin board in my office. Said tally sheet is a highly motivating factor for me–the shame of having little or nothing to add to last month’s totals is guaranteed to get me to write something, even if it’s ridiculously bad.

After spending most of yesterday re-reading Koloss I was planning to spend much of today writing anyway. I really struggled, though, partly because the more I become acquainted with the novel the less I like it. I also have a kink in my neck and a draft in my campus office, so I was letting myself get distracted by any excuse for a while. Finally I just decided to slip on my big down parka and wear it while writing! I thought for sure I would overheat, but I guess seven years of living in Arizona made me almost immune to heat. Once my neck and shoulders warmed up I found it easier to concentrate on the writing, and managed to find a few interesting cabin tidbits in Koloss that I think are worth analyzing. Thank goodness my office door doesn’t have a window, as I’m sure any of my Norwegian colleagues would have thought I was insane had they caught me with a winter coat on inside…

My net total for the cabin book in the month of January isn’t all that great–only thirteen pages–but considering I had so many other tasks (like the Peer Gynt revisions) that I had to get through, I guess I can’t complain. I made it to 106 pages total for the manuscript, which makes my minimum goal of 170 pages suddenly seem totally do-able by the end of spring term. According to the writing schedule I’ve set up for myself, the next goal is to finish a full draft of this chapter by the time I leave for London on 19 February. That means a mere 14 or so pages in just over two weeks. Of course I have to be working on the London lectures and a few other things (job application, guest lecture here on campus) in tandem, but I still think it’s a realistic goal.

Words written: 1170

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