Now that I’m back to school teaching, I’ve been catching up with my colleagues. A common question is “How was your summer?” Now that I’ve been on an academic schedule for a couple of years, the importance of summer as a time to connect with my own work has become apparent. This past summer I tried to pack in all the work I neglected throughout the school year.
My spring semester schedule looked like this:
* Teaching four classes
* Grading for said classes
* Answering student emails
* Student advising
* Advising SPJ student chapter
* Planning Media Day
* Working on Ph.D.
I also tried to attend to personal things, like running, biking, and spending time with my husband and other family and friends.
I've changed my morning writing process slightly. In order to wake up, I used to do some web reading first, like newspapers or (gasp) social media. A half-hour might go by before I put a word on paper. But I read something recently that said to take advantage of the sleepy state, that rich transition between dreaming and waking. Write right away before other people's words intrude. So I have, and it's working. My mind is still fuzzy and tired that early, but I'm getting more done in that quiet morning hour. #amwriting #writingprocess #instastories
This summer I crunched to do the following:
* Supporting research for thesis (20,000)
* Finishing Part I of creative work for Ph.D. (40,000 words) and trying to write another 20,000 before the end of September to stay on track for a summer Ph.D.
* Various freelance assignments, including book reviews
* Readying essays and other proposals for submission to lit journals and festivals
* Prepping fall semester classes
* Teaching one online class
And as always, the aforementioned personal time with family and friends. I got in a couple of weekend getaways, plus running, biking, swimming, and walking the dog every day.
Is it any wonder I didn’t really start the school year as refreshed as I could have been? But I’m not sure I ever had a more productive writing summer, so that alone was worth the effort.