I really did have the best of all writing intentions when I woke up this morning. Intentions and a Plan. I write best in the morning, so the Plan was to get up, have breakfast, and get right to work on Big Book Project. Oh and also try to solve that nagging little problem about a broken rec. letter link in a fellowship application portal. This meant I had to check my email (bad). And right there was an email from said recommender with broken link reminding me to please contact the fellowship administrators, because he was ready to upload his recommendation. One does not want to disappoint letter writers. So I set about trying to solve the link problem, which required the installation of a newer web browser, two emails to the system administrator, and careful tinkering with the application itself. Which led me to read the fine print. Which led to questions about my eligibility for the fellowship. Turns out, since I have not yet had my Ph.D. for two years (two-year Ph.D. anniversary is in September), I am ineligible for the fellowship this year. So. All that tinkering and emailing for nothing. Disappointment aside (It was an amazing opportunity.), the morning I had set aside for writing had also evaporated. Or almost evaporated. I wrote for a whole ten minutes. Woot?
Not really, because this point I need to be cranking out two pages/day. And ten minutes won’t get me there. So instead of going to the archive this afternoon as planned, the new Plan was to go to the Lenin Library and sit at my desk in the reading room for longer than ten minutes. And then, boom! I ran into a colleague from New Zealand, who has come to Moscow for some summer research. Instead to heading up to the reading room, we went to the “bufet” for some delightful instant coffee. And she showed me the proofs of her new book about Cold War-Era Soviet political posters. Now, those visuals are amazing. Also, we enjoyed the coffee. In this particular case, I have no regrets about not getting right down to work.
When I eventually did sit down at my desk, I did get work done. 1.5 hours of serious focus allowed me to crank out another page. Not two, but then one is better than none. And everyday the rest of the chapter seems to come slightly more into focus. So I’m grateful for that, because this next bit is tricky. Because it is tricky it makes me nervous. I’ll get back to it tomorrow, when the New Plan is the Old Plan: get up, get to work, go to the archive.
We’ll see. For now, a view of the Kremlin from the Lenin Library reading room. At least they spoil us with the scenery: