Tuesday, 29 November 2011

who can?

It’s dark so early. Who can concentrate on work? I sit at my desk and watch the clouds conspire, and then all of a sudden the day is gone. I’ve barely looked over the business plan I’m supposed to be researching. Every time I try, I swoon with tedium. And I can’t-stop-clicking on the internet.

I bought new lightbulbs: red for the winter. Actually, ‘fireglow’. They are bayonet, a word which always seems too harsh for lampshades. They make our skin morello-cherry-lickable when we skulk back to bed in the afternoon. I pretend I’m a girl in an Amsterdam window; I reek of frankincense oil and rosemary from the afternoon in the bath.

So yes, who can concentrate on work?

Miranda July’s new book came in the post lately, and I am inordinately happy. She’s my favourite. There is this:

“I was writing a screenplay in the little house. I wrote it at the kitchen table, or in my old bed with its thrift-store sheets. Or, as anyone who has tried to write anything recently knows, these are the places where I set the stage for writing but instead looked things up online. Some of this could be justified because one of the characters in my screenplay was also trying to make something, a dance, but instead of dancing she looked up dances on YouTube. So, in a way, this procrastination was research. As if I didn’t already know how it felt: like watching myself drift out to sea, too captivated by the waves to call for help. I was jealous of older writers who had gotten more of a toehold on their discipline before the web came. I had gotten to write only one script and one book before this happened.”

Nevertheless, I’m feeling happy in the company of words. Suddenly I don’t have any deadlines for writing and I have innumerable deadlines for work, so obviously I am writing writing writing, entering anthology contests, making up new words, and new plots, and character people.

Also, I read some of the novel I wrote a few Novembers ago and felt heady for those kind of word flurries. It wasn’t as bad as I had worried it might be. Maybe one of these days, I’ll start the edit.

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