So sleep's not coming, and reading ain't happening, and I've watched too many films this weekend.
I've been having this same problem recently, always at a loose end about what to do. I've tasks to complete that just don't appeal to me, in particular my plan to reread all my articles that I've published so far in various newspapers/publications. Not purely narcisisstically - no, for me rereading is torture - but to learn from my mistakes and to try to not repeat them.
Having churned out a mere 12 articles for the London Student since November, I feel exhausted - and this despite the fact that alot of it is internet research, plus editing fucking press releases for general consumption. The one thing I'm happy with so far this year is my presentation of my MA thesis and the series of lies about Moll Flanders. And my academic writing has suffered too, almost, it feels, beyond repair. I still do not understand what a paragraph is and am beginning to feel I never will. For me it's simply there to give people a break, a sign [exit now if you wish for a break, or keep on reading]. Plus as I am currently heavily annotating Schopenhauer's World as Will and Representation and Swift's Tale of a Tub, I'm finding that they were equally unaware of the fabled academic paragraph, a unit beholden unto itself...
What else am I ingesting? Tom Raworth, Zen, Beckett, Mulholland Drive, The Elephant Man, Winter's Bones, The Deer Hunter, friends' blog posts... I think maybe I feel the incapability of action because this ingestion can cause little other than indigestion. (Then what of my plan to rechew the cud of my previous scribblings? surely this will lead to further constipation, not refinement?) Nietzsche says we can only act in an ahistorical moment. I hope one comes before my next deadline. Which is 6pm tomorrow, though that is only for a discussion I'm 'leading', on Samuel Beckett's Poetry: Expression, Zen, Tom Raworth and Talking about the Difficulty of Talking about a Certain Kind of Poetry. With titles like that, who could ever... [hiatus in MS]
This writing and rewriting ain't easy. I heard a nice anecdote from a pal recently, who was rhapsodizing the skills of a writer. He said there was a writer and a brain surgeon at a dinner party (though I'm not sure he can be trusted - it may have been a barber, or a farmer, or a banker, and the writer aforementioned), and the brain surgeon turned to the writer and said he would like to write a novel after he retires. "Really? well I was just thinking I'd take up brain surgery after I retire..."
The brain surgeon went on the win the Nobel Prize in Literature, of course.