the trouble with reality

I'm having trouble believing that school starts Monday. In my little universe, there is more time, at least two weeks more before I have to appear presentable and together to students. Sadly, the calendar gods missed the memo that we were running on Devon time in 2008 and have chosen to ignore all messages and/or pleas referring to said memo. So, inconsiderate!

I don't feel like I got much of a break, though I know it was fairly significant. I just got very little done. My goal of setting a writing schedule is kind of working just not as quickly as I need it to. I was talking to someone recently about the curse of the creative writer. There's a part of me that wants to "be inspired." My typical writing process is read, think of ideas, talk to someone about what I'm thinking, make a few notes, think some more, write a preliminary draft, get madly inspired, throw out everything I previously wrote and start over, writing for days without hardly moving, barely make my deadline and veg out for two days. Graduate school wore most of this process down, depriving the creative part of me that takes an idea and runs wild with it. I think part of the problem is that I've felt a pressure to edit as I draft or to turn in stronger, better drafts initially. I don't know exactly the source of this pressure but it manages to do a number on my head. I realize I've bought into the creative myth. I know that great ideas are made through revision, collaboration, editing, that very little is done in one shot. But the poet in me resists this knowledge at every turn and I need to learn to feed her in new ways because she's in my damn way.

So, my semester goals include:

1. Learning to stand up to whoever and whatever distracts me, including myself
2. Prioritizing demands on my time
3. Sticking to the "so many pages a day" plan
4. Forgiving myself and moving on to a new semester of exciting possibilities
5. Re-energizing my drafts with a new perspective, new theories, new readings
6. Enjoy teaching