Productivity Take A Dive

Thursday, February 18, 2010
I have a penchant for quoting Bridget Jones. Although my all-time favorite quote of hers is “I will not be defeated. I chose vodka and Chaka Khan,” I’m also rather fond of “It’s a truth universally known to man that when one part of your life starts going well, another part fall spectacularly to pieces.” Things aren’t exactly in pieces around here, but after a wonderful writing week last week, writing has not gone well this week. It’s not writer’s block in the literal sense of the term, but writer’s block in the sense that other commitments are blocking me from spending time at the page. For one thing, I’ve worked quite a few more hours than I did last week. Then there was book club on Tuesday and Andy’s had the last couple days off, so yesterday afternoon was spent ice fishing.

In the years spanning the period of time between now and college graduation, I spent a lot of time thinking about how much I wanted to be a writer and spent very little time actually working consistently towards that goal. In those days, it wasn’t unheard of for me to go for days, even weeks without writing. Now that I average at least three hours a day working on writing, I find it off-putting to have projects lurking on the edge of my consciousness all day, yet never having the time to work on them. As Jane Yolen writes in Take Joy: A Writer’s Guide to Loving the Craft, “like an athlete or a dancer, I am uncomfortable – and even damaged – by a day away from my work.” Do I even need to tell you what I haven’t been working on this week? It’s February 18 already and there’s still a frightful amount of things on the February “to do” list.

The new all-in-one printer/scanner/copier is here and all hooked up. It’s wireless, which works great in my teeny office space. I’m excited to have the ability to make copies and scans just an arm’s reach away.

After a brief junket to town yesterday morning to retrieve said printer and the last of my tax forms for 2009 (I can file now. Yay!), Andy and I headed up to the cabin to spend the afternoon ice fishing before I went into work for the evening. I don’t think I’ve been ice fishing since I was six and most of that experience was spent playing cards in a cozy warm ice house with my great-aunt. This time I got into the action a little more and learned how to drill a hole. It’s not that hard, but it’s not that easy either. The trick is to keep ice auger straight and spin it at a consistent rate of speed. I didn’t quite master the trick and as a result had somewhat crooked holes full of slush. Andy can drill a hole in about 30 seconds through almost 30 feet of ice. It takes me a good five minutes, at least.

I can’t say I’m much of an angler. I understand fishing as an excuse to spend time outdoors, but I don’t care for the taste of fish enough to really be excited about catching them. Luckily we didn’t have to worry about hauling in a big catch. The closest we got to a bite was a fish taking a couple minnows off of one of the lines. But it was a gorgeous day to be out in the middle of a frozen lake. Although it was windy enough to cause some windburn, the temps soared into the 30s and the sun was bright enough to make sunglasses mandatory. After setting a couple tip-ups,

we wandered down the lake to check out what looked like a black box on the horizon, but which turned out to be a giant snowball. Now how did that get there? It's amazing what the winter wind can do on a flat surface.

Now that the days are getting longer and warmer, Andy’s keen to spend more time poking at fish through holes in the ice. I’m happy to come with, as long as there’s plenty of cocoa and I have some knitting with.

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