If I really do have the food thing whupped – and it's really starting to look as if I do – then I'll gradually start having cycles free (as we old computer geeks say) to devote to other things. And one of those will be to make some policy decisions about what I want to do with my time and energy. I have been managing various life upheavals for a long time. If, by the grace of God, the current peace endures, I have only one piece of my life that really needs tinkering, or might need tinkering: I don't really know any more what I am doing with my writing time, and what I want to be doing with my writing time. Do I want to write books, and if so, what kind do I want to write? Do I want to pursue poetry? Write self-help books? Just go on journaling happily into the sunset? Write fiction? Independent literary criticism? Mysteries à la Michael Innes, or fantasies à la Peter Beagle? I've toyed with all those notions, all seeming at some time or other good. I don't know if I want to write commercially: in general it seems that people make money, these days, by writing the same thing over and over, which doesn't much appeal. The few times I have tried to write for markets, I've done it badly and unhappily; but I knew a lot less about myself and how I work, then, than I do now.
What my morning time has filled with, in fact, has been Facebook, a thing I have mixed feelings about. I like my Facebook communities: they're porous – new people show up all the time – and they keep me in touch with the various facets of my diverse interests. It's the main place I strike up new friendships and have serious talks with people I don't know well. It's entertaining. It's also a huge, huge time-sink. Sometimes I think I'll just check my Facebook notifications one more time, and find that I'm ninety years old and ready to hand in my keys. But I'm suited to it: I'm a bit too expansive for twitter, but I do have an epigrammatic turn that fits well into Facebook's constraints.
So it's fun, but I don't quite think that I want it to be what I do with the lion's share of my writing time. Do I want my epitaph to read: “He was a kindly massage therapist, he kept a good database for the Library Foundation, he whupped food, and he said some clever things on Facebook”? A man could do worse, but I feel an itch to do a bit more than that.