When The Rent’s Due Soon


“After opening my post on many mornings, I indulge in a few minutes of anguish and muted screams, then devote the next hour or more, if necessary, to tackling the mess.

When I have satisfied myself that I have done the best I can by letter and telephone, I stand up from my desk and try to pretend I am not me, that I have no problems, that the past hour or more has not really happened, because I have to think myself into a state of innocence and the absence of worries of any kind in order to work.

I suppose it’s a measure of how professional one is, how quickly one can do this. The ability does improve with practice.”

Patricia Highsmith, in Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction (1968). Resolution: follow her example for the next few weeks.

Jeremy Hatch is a writer, musician, and professional bookseller leading a cheerful, aimless life in San Francisco. He is the Junior Literary Editor of the Rumpus and has a blog which he updates once in a while. More from this author →