This week has been a good one in terms of my writing. I haven’t produced a ton of new work, but I have revised some of my stuff. I have come up with a title for the book (perhaps I’ll reveal that soon, but not yet), and I have seen my students produce some great poetry. All of these things make me happy and pleased with the writing life, at least for today.
Part of pleasure this week has been because I had so many fewer meetings this week – only one, in fact (in contrast to the 7 I had last week). Thus, I had more time to teach well, more time to write well, and more time to just be idle and think. I didn’t have a lot more time to do any of those things, but even a little bit more space helps. It’s when I’m absolutely overwhelmed with things to do that everything, especially my writing suffers.
Reading Barbara Ueland’s If You Want to Write has also been really great because it reminds me of the enthusiasm and energy I can have about writing. It reminds me that there’s great pleasure in writing and in reading good writing. The book is like one of those motivational speakers, but without the hokey smile and the quaint aphorisms – just good cheerleading without the pom poms and “ready? okay!” hokiness.
And this week in my creative writing classes’ poetry workshops, we’ve seen some really good stuff. Their poems are taking the clothes and mannerisms of sunflowers and leaves, tattoos, thought, death, and destruction (we are kind of a dark group, some days) and lofting them into the ether where they grow big and vast like constellations. It’s such a pleasure to teach on these days.
So it’s been a good week, if you can’t tell from the gushiness of everything. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s fully fall now and I have to wear socks to keep my feet warm – today, my socks are very, very soft and striped in pink and gray, which clashes perfectly with the salmon top and blue pj pants I’m wearing at the moment. Oh, the glory of writing – no need to match . . .
– “Mismatched Love” by Sassenach