I need to submit my book to the publishers by Christmas. The majority of the content is down already and has been for some time. Unfortunately, it’s the remaining 10% and the subsequent polishing which seems to be taking the most time.
I am working on little else at present and it reminds me of revising for my finals at university…
Then I would spend my days in the library, now I occupy a booth in the wonderful new Members’ Room at the RGS.
I used to pack a bag with text books but now it’s just my laptop. I take a packed lunch and arrive as the doors open.
I sit with friends working towards the same goal as me. We don’t talk much as we are all trying to work, except when we talk because we all need a break from work.
Lunch times are perfunctory. Conversations amongst our own clique tend to orient around progress, motivation and productivity. Conversations with other people tend to be peripheral, surface level, because my brain is thinking about how to improve the chapter I’m working on.
Sometimes I eat my sandwiches standing up outside the door in an effort to minimise time away from my desk. Just like I used to at uni.
I always stay until I get kicked out. Unless I get tired first. Or hungry. Or I just find I can’t concentrate any longer and no amount of will power will improve my productivity. In those instances, I don’t always stay until I get kicked out.
I am increasing my knowledge daily. Increasing my knowledge of facts utterly useless in every day life. Now I can tell you the daily water intake in litres of different explorers on a variety of desert crossings. Six years ago it would have been the year in which they first thought they’d discovered the engram.
I hate the pressure as much as I love it. I don’t like the fact that my brain is permanently at capacity but I thrive on it.
I am looking forward to it being over.
I will miss it.
How to Get to the North Pole:
and Other Iconic Adventures
Newly published for April 2012