Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Grinding my nose

And so the academic year has started up again. I'm teaching 6 different classes - more than many full-time lecturers - but, hey, it pays the bills. For the practise of writing the start of the new year has two effects.

The first is the one you would expect. I am now busy with all kinds of teaching related activities. Preparing seminars and lectures, planning ahead for the term, reading the texts I shall be teaching, reminding myself of the theories I need to cover and, oh yes, teaching the classes themselves. As a result, the time I have to dedicate to writing has been vastly truncated. Where, in the summer, I had the luxury of time, now, if I want to write, I have to squeeze it in around my work. You would think the result would be less writing.

But that is where the other effect comes in to play. Over the summer, the vast endless tracts of time sucked up motivation and urgency. There seemed to be so much time that nothing had to be done right away. I did get a lot done, but not as much as I wanted, and probably not as much as I could. Now, with time short, the urgency is back and so the motivation is there to work on writing when I get the chance.

The other effect of teaching starting is like having my brain jump-started. A summer of reading and occasional writing and, let's face it, growing lethargy, didn't help at all. But now that I have to get up, have to get my classes ready, and have to go out and teach, my energy levels are up, my brain is firing again, and my motivation is returning.

I have had to devote the last couple of weeks to preparation for the new term. New courses meant new books to read and new concepts to get my head around. But now that it has all started, I can see how to fit in all the things I want to do with all the things I have to do.

So, more stories have already been finished off and submitted, and my head is once more bowing over my novel. Penguin are accepting unsolicited manuscripts up to the end of October, and I plan to get my book to them within that time. And November is time for Nanowrimo's 'write a novel in a month', and I'm already planning for that.

So, despite the new teaching load, I will carry on with the writing, and let the stimulation of teaching feed into it. And you'll be hearing lots more from me about all of this and more. So, all together... 'Hi ho, hi ho...'

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