Wednesday, March 27, 2013

NaNoWriSpr: On Guilt, Conference Season, and Novel Writing

Okay, so no new pages lately--teaching and other academic endeavors have been winning the cage match lately, with two academic conferences this week and next at which to present my dissertation research, subs to get and prepare for when I'm gone, midterm grades having just been finished and handed back, various professional development opportunities to apply for, etc., etc., etc.

When it comes down to it, Livelihood has quite the right hook, especially just after spring break, when midterms coincide with Conference Season. It's a good thing an amazing stack of well-written midterms softened the blow. I love seeing my students learn and begin to grasp difficult concepts in depth.

But that doesn't mean Creative Writing and the DNiP are down for the count, by any means. For one thing, I just workshopped my third and last novel installment of the semester in my fiction writing class yesterday, and it went well. It feels good to know I'm on the right track. And I'll be taking the files with me while traveling in case of a spare hour or two. Hotel rooms can be good places to write.

Furthermore, it's not like my academic activities are really divorced or separate from my creative writing endeavors. My diss was about author-audience relationships in storytelling situations, after all, and I love that I get to go talk to others who are interested in the same things.

Plus, after a week away from the novel-writing absorption of spring break, I was reading through my current manuscript again last night and could see the benefits of the down time. I'm a bit worried about spending TOO much time away, but I'm in a really good place with it right now, so a couple of weeks of lower writing activity won't hurt, I don't think.

Plus, talking to other humans who are interested in similar things--and hearing interesting papers about a wide range of topics--will be good for me, and I'm sure to enjoy it. If there's one thing I've learned over the years, stimuli that doesn't always seem to move my immediate projects forward can inspire me in ways I would not have expected. And as I've been realizing more and more lately, one of the things I most love in life--that animates me the most, and drives projects stemming from all my selves, whether professional or creative or social--is a good nuanced dialogue about interesting and important things.

[With great effort, picks up boulder of DNiP guilt and sets it outside of the suitcase she's packing.] This will be a good week and a half.

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