-Call or instant-message a friendIndeed, if I get interrupted in my writing, I sometimes go through this process all over again: I settle down to work and within 60 seconds have lept back up to do something else.
-Discover a bunch of magazines or journals that I really have to plow through and get out of my life and my living room
-Look at pictures of shelter cats online and think about adopting a second one
-Browse sabbaticalhomes.com and fantasize about a summer or leave semester abroad
-Crack open those books from inter-library loan
-Balance my chequebook
Nevertheless, I am working, and I'm taking comfort in the argument that self-discipline breeds more self-discipline.
Right now I'm revising what was the first chapter of my dissertation and is now the second chapter of my book. I've got a core of basically strong readings that I have to rework to fit my now rather different argument, relate closely to a chapter that previously didn't exist, and strip of the embarrassingly tendentious and unscholarly surrounding verbiage that I was very proud of 4-7 years ago.
So I'm doing my usual plodding series of revisions by hand: 10-15 pages a day of careful, interlineated changes; input onto computer when done; print out new draft; repeat. With each round I know there's stuff I'm missing--I get so wrapped up in one paragraph that I forget what happens two pages later and that I need to set up or lead into in some way--but I figure I'll catch it in the next round. Or the one after that.
Gradually, it sucks less. In the end it might not suck at all. And the process isn't without its pleasures--but it's certainly not as compelling as kittens, apartments in Florence, or even the mysteriously tenacious crud in my bathtub.
*Dude, it's totally in the DSM.