It is very heartening
to write a blog post after the absolute silence of my study. I love hearing right back from everyone. The book is particularly lonely these days as I have been getting up at 4 to write before any of my 10 million students can ping onto my computer or knock on my door. I love them, but it is hard to write once they wake up because the moment they swing their legs out of bed, they realize they have questions for me, and none of these questions are existential (What is the meaning of life? Or why is Kafka Kafka? And which do you like better Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights?). Instead they want to know: When is the quiz? What will be on it? How long should the paper be? Is it ok if i miss class on Friday? Sorry to miss class today (and on and on). This is why my students will go on to great things; they are really on top of pragmatics.
I used to go for a walk or go to the gym first thing in the morning which makes it hard to choose sitting still in front of a computer. I miss the endorphins. But I am consoled by the memory of talking to a friend, an old student, who has two young sons. She is very familiar with this choice: to exercise or write (right, Kate?). We agreed it is hard not to get both. Still, I feel a little ashamed to want to exercise so much. I can’t imagine the modernists, for example, fussing about exercise: Hemingway’s brain was not cluttered up by heart rate, weight, and blood pressure. I am trying to push all this wellness-stuff aside because I am in a stage of the book where missing a day of writing, makes me feel sad, sick, anxious. Of course, a day of writing also makes me feel sad, sick, anxious. But I have done a great job, if I do say so myself, of immersing myself in the Marys. Their world feels real, just as real, and more real, than this one.