Sunday, July 09, 2006

Them Sunday Blues

Sunday nights find me at my most brooding (and cranky). It's been this way ever since around fifth grade. I get gloomy, pensive, nostalgic, nervous, vaguely guilty for not having made more of my weekend -- which could mean either wishing I'd done less or wishing I'd done more. Even times when I am extremely content with work or school or whatever else awaits me on Monday morning, Sunday night remains a challenge. Oh, for those Sunday nights of yore -- when, at 3, 4, 5 years old, I was allowed to stay up late (until 8:30?) to watch The Muppet Show if I got into my pajamas and brushed my teeth before hand. There was no angst then. Only Crystal Gale and John Denver, singing with hand puppets.

Anyway, what am I brooding about on this particular Sunday night? Primarily the fact that I miss Vermont, or more specifically, my state of mind whilst there.

Not that I wanted to stay longer, exactly. I was ready to come home -- I really was. I missed my husband, my home, my bed. I was worn out from so much writing and tired of so many days, so similar.

But, damn, was it good to be in a place (mentally and physically) of such pure purpose. Nothing to do but write. And write I did: 70 pages of novel in the span of 12 days. That is an unheard of level of productivity for me. Sure, I met some great people, had some good talks about craft and process in writing and visual art alike. But the real gift was the total lack of distraction. The glorious boredom of getting up every day and doing the same damned thing. The most exquisite torture you can imagine.

At home, my mind is infinitely more cluttered. Here, there is yardwork, there is internet, there are bills, there are friends, there are stacks of unread magazines, there are dust bunnies under the bed, there is Zoolander on the Comedy Channel while I eat dinner. There are always, always other things I could be doing. And I lack the willpower not to do them. I strain to focus. I fidget and fuss and waste time.

My residency, by contrast, in retrospect, feels like a meditation.

I really want to finish a draft before the babies are born. That is my goal, but I don't know if I can do it. It's so easy to make excuses, so easy to get off track. Like this: an offer came via email on Friday afternoon for a freelance job from an agency I do occasional projects for. It would be good, easy money (read: 2 cribs, a double stroller and a few months insurance on the second car we're going to have to buy) but it would be above and beyond my normal part-time job. In other words, it would cut into my writing time. I told myself I wasn't going to take on any extra projects between now and January. But...but....writing copy is so much easier (and more profitable) than writing a novel, dammit!

If I were still in Vermont, I think I would say no, absolutely not. I am a fiction writer -- and a pregnant one at that! Get thee behind me, freelance! But I'm home now, where everything's much more muddled.

Back to work tomorrow morning. Everyone's going to ask how my "vacation" was. Pbbbt.


Blogger SER said...

Am I your only reader? People, comment!

This post struck a huge chord with me. For one, we watched Zoolander on Comedy Central during dinner last night. But at a higher level, I also find Sundays to be melancholy and/or stressful, although the effect was more pronounced when I was in school - more things hanging over my head, I guess.

And I haven't solved the freelancer's dilemma either. At present, I am working on four (4) projects outside of my regular job. The money is so good, even if the projects themselves are a bit (um, or a lot) soul-numbing. I haven't written any fiction in more than a month. Pathetic.

Is your next ultrasound this week?

9:32 AM  
Blogger MSF said...

not the only reader, ser. just the only one with things to say right now--i'm too cluttered. but this post and the response really resonated--having found myself with six jobs this summer besides writing, i understand the urge to overextend work-wise to get sorted out financially. haven't written a word either. very sad. i want a vermont!

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's been so long since I've written any fiction I don't even think of myself as a writer any more. Really.

And I feel the same damn way about Sundays!

Next time I comment, I'll say something cheery, I promise.

11:06 PM  

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