Writing Big Year: Immersion in a decade

At Archie & Kirk in Marrickville, the ideal spot, in a superb suburb of Sydney, to submerge the brain in the most important chapter of my book so far. The decade from the mid 50s was when the global battle between different nuclear power reactor designs roared. Every skirmish cowered under the more fraught peak of the Cold War. All the histories of this country or that country or some aspect . . .  well, they gloss the drama and reality with myth-making. Only one person can decipher the truth. Or so I tell myself this cooler morning.

I’m five days into seven of this work here, a bewildering period on many levels. My mind writhes at night and I sleep in every morning, technically breaching the Big Year rules. I struggle with jogging and cycling. Progress through my stacked notes is tardy, though it’s quickening. Several times I’ve longed to give up, just give in.

But the welcoming hospitality, just being away from home (where so much side work awaits), and a steady, dull routine . . . all these have worked a magic. I’m perceiving the rhythm of the past, absorbing the sins of our fathers, spying patterns. I smile.

Fitness Big Year: There is joy in steadiness . . .

The past three days, I’ve been moaning about this Big Year. I forget that last year, I was quite preoccupied with the notion that maybe, just maybe, forcing oneself to take a given daily action could lead to a habit. I realized today that even if my jogging, cycling and gym’ing cause me angst, every day I go out and exercise. Every day. It’s no longer a question mark. Exercising is one of my habits. How wonderful!