Writing's getting hard for me these days.
Not the word-smithery aspect: that comes as easily (and as painfully, sometimes) as ever.
No. The hard part for me now--and by "now," I guess I mean "in the last few years"--is the time-management aspect.
You see, when I write, I tend to get obsessed. I eat, sleep, breathe the piece, take hours on a sentence or a paragraph, getting the rhythm just so. I dodge email, drop other tasks, and focus. My shift this summer from blogging again (hurray!) to total silence? That was because I was writing--one conference paper, one thirty-page introduction to some essays. (Well, that and a LOT of editing.)
The trouble is, I can't sustain that sort of obsession. Especially when it's the school year, and I have to, you know, teach. Grade. Meet with colleagues and students. (Pesky things.)
Now, I have a lot of writing ahead of me this late summer and fall. A lot I want to do more generally. And if I'm going to get it done, I'm going to have to find a better rhythm for my days: one that incorporates the pesky stuff (students, teaching, colleagues), a lot of reading (poetry, fiction, scholarship), family duties (up at 6:30, makin' those breakfasts!), and somehow writing as well.
Haven't done that before, or at least, not in many years. Not well. And I'm not really sure how to start. Every time I think I should get started on an essay, there's something else that pops into my head: a grant application that's due soon; an essay to edit by someone else; another book I really ought to read.
What I need is some new rhythm to the day: a time for this, a time for that, in which writing takes its place w/o expanding to obsess me.
Any of you productive folks out there have any suggestions?
Today's song is "Raski Leila," by the Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila. I think it's about eggplant. Enjoy, while I go do some reading, or editing, or...you know...that other thing.