workstyle, writing

more on that “writing schedule” business

“…two years later, promoted to the position of chief clerk at the Insurance Institute, he [Kafka] was now on the one-shift system, 8:30 A.M. until 2:30 P.M. And then what? Lunch until 3:30, then a sleep until 7:30, then exercises, then a family dinner. After which he started work around 11:00 P.M. (as Begley points out, the letter and diary writing took up at least an hour a day, and more usually two), and then “depending on my strength, inclination, and luck, until one, two, or, three o’clock, once even until six in the morning.” Then, finding it an “unimaginable effort to go to sleep,” he fitfully rested before leaving to go to the office once more. This routine left him permanently on the verge of collapse.”

– Zadie Smith, “F. Kafka, Everyman,” Changing My Mind.
She goes on to quote the biographer, Begley, assaying that “As he [Kafka] recognized, the truth was that he wasted time.” Yep. Appropriate, on what has turned into another w[or]kend.