There are only a few occasions when I feel justified in pulling out what Hemingway would refer to as a “ten-dollar” word. But my mental state over the last few days is best described by the verb “perendinate:” to put off until the day after tomorrow. This is procrastination senior.
I took a few days off to see a bit of Amsterdam, but now I feel like I have lost stamina on both of my book projects. I am also realizing how tedious and boring line edits can be. I have 113 pages of line edits on my first book project, a project that I am now referring to as “Book X” (as opposed to “Book Y,” the second book project about communist women in Bulgaria). I suppose it is normal take a break, but I fear that I will completely lose interest in a project if I let it sit unattended for too long. This morning, I found myself just staring at the pile of paper with all of my red scribbles. I had no inclination to work at all. The International Institute of Social History is closed on weekends so I can’t go to the archives. If I am going to work today, it has to be writing or editing. But I don’t feel like it.
So the question is: should I force myself to work? Should I just take another day off? I think my inclination is to sit down and push through. If I start, then even if I only end up doing ten pages, I am making some progress. But the sun is shining, and there is an outdoor concert starting in Vondelpark in about ten minutes.
To perendinate or not to perendinate? That is the question….