To Willing Conflators Of Barbara Pym And Jeremy Todd (first letter)

Dear Folks,
Today I have been reading Of No Importance – Rom Laudau’s diary of February-October 1939.  Many things in it I understand so well – the reluctance to sit down and begin so that one finds oneself doing all sorts of unnecessary tasks to postpone that moment of starting.  And also the feeling that no day is really satisfactory if one hasn’t done some sort of work – preferably toward an art-related project of some significance.  Personally?  Socially?  Something useful?  Why is it that one is still surprised to discover that other people feel and wonder these things too?  I am beginning to be less surprised now.  I used to think that I was the only person who the night before setting out on some sort of vacation would give anything not to be going, but the hardened go-getters I’ve known say they’ve felt this too.
My days can pass so uneventfully, sometimes even pleasantly, but really with nothing accomplished.  I have created so little this year.  But at times it’s not quite the pleasure it used to be anyway.  I’m no longer so certain of a glorious future as I used to be — or what a glorious future could be — though I still feel that I may ultimately succeed in ways I wouldn’t of considered successful in the past.  Perhaps I need some shattering experience to awaken and inspire me, or at least to give me some emotion to recollect in tranquility.  But how to get it?  Sit here and wait for it or go out and seek it?  Volunteer at an artist-run centre peeling potatoes and scrubbing floors?  I don’t know.  Falling violently in love doesn’t help.  I seem to have decided already the sort of art I want to make.  Perhaps the horrendous state of the world will give me something.  Perhaps what comes of it will be acknowledged and understood by others.  Perhaps…
But careerists are different from non-careerists.  They don’t get caught up in small domestic things.  They avoid being occupied with drifting, washing and ironing, walking, tidying, helping those around them, the sorting of reliques.  I think I could spend my whole day doing such things, with just a little time for reading, and be quite happy.  But it isn’t really enough.  Soon I’ll be discontented with myself, out will come my thoughts for projects, and after a few preliminary actions in relation to them I shall feel on top of the world again.