...but I'm finding it hard to keep up with all the stuff coming at me. Some of it of my own making.
I know there's a calendar on my computer that I could write things in instead of using The New Yorker desk calendars I've been using for years. And maybe if I did keep a calendar of impending deadlines and meetings and events etc. I'd feel less harried.
But I have the sense it was easier in the old days when I just stuck a flyer or postcard announcement on the refrigerator and threw them away (or saved them for the overflowing archive I've yet to try selling though I've had offers from university libraries to take it for free).
Sometimes I feel like just emailing everyone in my email address book that I'm sorry if I didn't respond to a request or invitation or just keep up the e mail correspondence because, whether it's age or the brain surgery or the times, I just got overwhelmed by too many things to deal with that way.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, just explaining. I'm grateful that people want me to write recommendations or blurbs for their books or read their books or listen to their CDs and respond to email updates and exchanges of personal news or edit their manuscript or etc.
But I just forget. The way the emails disappear from the screen once the next several hours worth appears makes it difficult to go back and find some of them (I know I can do it by approximate date if i can remember when I received it, or by name if I remember who's name the e mail was under).
And now I've added another impediment. I've been posting daily on this blog, sometimes more than once, since I started it, except for when I was in the hospital for the brain surgery. But even after I got out, when typing just a few sentences took hours, I still made an effort to post every day because it made me feel better, gave me a purpose and gave a purpose to my thoughts and opinions and taste and discoveries etc.
But recently I figured out a formula that is helping me focus and organize thousands of pages I've written over the last several years of a seemingly endless memoir about the people I've know in my various "careers" and locations etc. It's an obvious solution that it's taken me decades to discover or rediscover. And it's got me so energized and excited I stay up half the night writing and rewriting in my mind (and as we all know, or at least I do, the writing I do in my mind in bed at night is always much better than anything I come up with at the computer the next day, including this post—I woke up at 4AM and turned the light on a few times to jot notes but basically wrote in my head until the alarm went off to get my fourteen-year-old up for school three hours later).
I don't want to underestimate the real problems people have with real obsessive/compulsive disorder or graphomania, but I do tend to spend a lot of time and energy obsessing over and compulsively writing as I have all my life (twenty-seven published books and tens of thousands of unpublished pages of prose and poetry and more) because it seems to keep the fear and doubt at bay, and usually makes me very happy.
But it has caused trouble over the years, like lack of sleep, or mates not being happy with what they thought of as wasted time of mine when it seemed like I was just sitting around reading or doing nothing but I was actually writing and rewriting in my head, or people, including my kids, who took the look on my face for anger when it was really just me working over a sentence or line in my mind and the concentration (some would say distraction) made me furrow my brows and look all upset with something.
I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's though, nor my obsession with writing, mine or others (I've been known to be such a print junkie I've read about everywhere possible including years ago I'm sorry to say while driving!). I felt at 5:15AM like writing something like this after my son left for school so I did.