Camilla Hall, creative nonfiction, narrative nonfiction, nonfiction, summer, Symbionese Liberation Army, writing
My mantra when I run is “forward momentum.” As long as I’m moving forward, I’m going to complete a run. That movement can be fast running, a slow jog, a walk, or even a crawl — as long as I’m not moving backwards or completely stopped, I’m going somewhere.
In writing, too, slow progress is still progress. How often have you thought if you can’t devote 30, 60, 120 minutes, etc., to writing that it’s not worth doing? Sure, there are some things that require you to sit down and get into a groove, but even a little bit of writing adds up.
July has been crazy busy. I have come to realize (I’m a slow learner!) that while I’m not in the office regularly and have a different schedule in the summer when I’m not teaching, I’m just as busy, just a different kind of busy. If you’re the type of person who likes to stay busy, you’re going to find ways to stay busy. (Honestly, there’s nothing more irritating than people who assume that you have a summer “off” when you’re a teacher.)
I did teach a summer class for MSU this month, and I also started teaching a weekly class at The Loft in Minneapolis. It’s also been a weird month in that every night I have something going on. What’s up with that? I’ll tell you what’s up with that — it’s summer! In Minnesota we try to pack in as much as possible in the warm months to make up for the hibernation we’re forced to do in the winter.
I managed to complete two big writing “projects” this summer.
- I finished a third draft of the first two parts of the Camilla manuscript (140 pages, about 40,000 words).
- I created a 10,000-word essay that distills Camilla’s story and I sent it out on submission.
I thought in July I’d have time to review Part III of the manuscript, but that didn’t happen. That’s OK. I’m going to receive reader comments on Parts I and II in mid-August, so that will be a good time to review Part III and have some added direction on where it needs to go.
Fitting in writing time during the school year will be a challenge, but it’s all about priorities and boundaries. I simply am going to have to say “no” to some commitments.
Take a look at your recent progress — what have you accomplished?
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