Monday, October 13, 2008


First of all, congratulations to president Ahtisaari for the well-deserved Nobel peace prize. The list of his successes is long and impressive, ranging from Namibia to Kosovo and Aceh. The one aspect of his work that epitomises his qualities as a statesman is the work he has done in building the international infrastructure for crisis management and resolution. In this work he has provided many young people the chance to learn international cooperation at a top level.

Then, from the Italian to the English pace. I'm slow. Way too slow. Lately, everything has taken me ages. To write an email, to decide which article to use as course reading, to formulate the essay question... It's all process writing for me, even a simple note. Writing involves pauses, drafts, redrafts and leaving the work for a while, then coming back with fresh thoughts (ha!). And anything, even when done in a focused fashion takes a lot of time, just like the poster I just finished which took literally all night to put together. Looking at the finished product, I really can't say where all that time went. It's not that special, au contraire.

Every book has its own pace. I think I've written about that before. Thrillers, the Grisham or Clancy -type of affair needs to be read quickly, you get physically pumped up not just from the unrelenting pace of events, but also the speed at which you race through the plot, your mind's eye rushed along on a dolly from fight scene to the car chase. Then others slow down time, and slow down your reading speed as well. Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a good example of this genre of books.

At the moment, something slows down my writing all the time. It's like wading in a pool of jelly and is very annoying because I have a lot to do and so work keeps accumulating faster than I clear it from my desk. Hmm. Maybe it's the long distance running, my resting heart rate is now slower than it was a few months ago? Not enough/too much caffeine/sleep/chocolate? Or perhaps it's the autumn, cold weather and growing darkness? Perhaps it's just laziness or lack of focus. I don't know, but it's annoying, as it's not even good and proper procrastination, just everything happening in slow motion.

I need to wake up.

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