Look at this:
On the right you see the text of Lichtenbergianism: procrastination as a creative strategy that I started the summer with. On the left, the manuscript I printed out yesterday.
Even I am impressed.
You may recall that I started by putting a sticky note on every page of the manuscript that needed to be worked on/fleshed out/started:
That was a plethora of sticky notes, as we say in the business.
Each sticky note was labeled with what needed to be worked on. All summer, I've been pulling those from the notebook and affixing them to my monitor, kind of like a mini-kanban. I'm down to the final three.
Of course, I added more to the new notebook, but those are more extra-textual tasks, like "design a dingbat" or "clean up appendix references."
What did you accomplish today? Oh wait, did that sound smug?
Don't hate me yet, though: I still have to finish the text, let people read it, fix it, design and lay out the book, and there's still the cover to design. (A recent nothingburger tweet about cover design at least made me realize my name wasn't even on the cover...)
More than that: I am now faced with what Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn called the Last Inch:
Now listen to the rule of the last inch. The realm of the last inch. The job is almost finished, the goal almost attained, everything possible seems to have been achieved, every difficulty overcome — and yet the quality is just not there. The work needs more finish, perhaps further research. In that moment of weariness and self-satisfaction, the temptation is greatest to give up, not to strive for the peak of quality. That’s the realm of the last inch — here, the work is very, very complex, but it’s also particularly valuable because it’s done with the most perfect means. The rule of the last inch is simply this — not to leave it undone. And not to put it off — because otherwise your mind loses touch with that realm. And not to mind how much time you spend on it, because the aim is not to finish the job quickly, but to reach perfection. (In the First Circle)
OK, I have work to do.