My brother Jeff used to say that the third wall’s the hardest. What he meant was that when you’re painting a room, the first wall goes well because you’re excited about getting started, and the second wall’s OK because you’ve found your rhythm, and the last well isn’t bad because the end is in sight, but the third wall—that’s the hard one. You’re tired, you’re bored, and you still have a lot to do. That’s when you make your mistakes.

Or, if you’re an amateur author, that’s when you give up. I’m 40,000 words into one story and 33,000 words into yet another revision of another and I really have to push myself to do 500 words on either. Similarly, Toby Hodges and I have written about 32,000 words of our tutorial on JavaScript for data scientists, and I’ve written about 19,000 words explaining R for Python programmers; what both projects need now is a bunch of holes filled in and diagrams drawn and citations tracked down and examples cleaned up to be consistent and honestly, I’d rather do dishes and laundry and watch inane YouTube videos than look at any of them.

But as Bernd Heinrich said, the will to succeed means nothing without the will to prepare. So I’m off to the land of Antarctic fairies and ninja cats and tiny robot dinosaurs, just as soon as I finish writing this procrastinatory blog post and making another cup of tea. Speaking of which, we’re almost out of tea—maybe I should go and buy some more…