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.
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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.