If you follow this blog even semi-regularly, you know that I spent most of my summer focused on my writing (specifically the draft of a new novel and a little short fiction) as well as preparing for Can*Con. Both the first draft and Can*Con were finished just in time for me to start my new teaching position for the semester, which worked out perfectly in terms of timing, since teaching outside the alternate system again means I have a ton of work to do creating lessons, assignments, etc, in order to engage my students.
I take my teaching fairly seriously, and so my course design taps into a fair bit of my creativity. Unfortunately, that means that once again I have to figure out how to balance my creative energies between teaching and writing. You’d think that into my fifth year of teaching I’d have figured this shit out. But, as it’s been pointed out to me by a couple of my friends in the artsy world, I’m doing a lot more now than this time last year: I’ve got that novel draft to begin editing, two short story pitches accepted by TEGG (and hopefully more to come), and a list of other projects to begin working on, as well as being newly-inducted into a critique group, beginning to blog on Black Gate and already thinking about Can*Con 2017. Part of the challenge is that getting back into the teaching groove takes time (I’ve only really been back at work for a week) and I have to make sure I keep up my diet and gym regimen, otherwise days when I’m prepping lessons and writing will leave me exhausted. That said, I’m careful not to feel like I’m complaining about the fact that I’m employed in a job I enjoy and have enough time for my creative pursuits – but a good life doesn’t come without challenges.
The key, I think, and what I’ve been trying to achieve for a while now is balance. I don’t need to write every day. I won’t need to prep for work every day, once I get ahead. Using the organizational tools I already have (like the WIN chart idea I learned from Ron Collins) I need to make sure to balance my time and not overwork myself on any given day. Helping with Can*Con showed me that I actually have a bit of a workaholic tendency; I like to be doing something, and it takes effort some days to sit back and truly relax to the point where I’m not thinking about other things I need to do.
So my goal for this semester is to maintain a better balance. Expect me to blather about it here from time to time. And if you have any tips for balancing work and writing, I’m always all ears.
On a totally unrelated note, I’ve decided to start a quarterly newsletter to spread the word about what’s going on in my writing. Each newsletter will discuss upcoming publications, recent news, events I’ll be at, promote some of my friends and colleagues, and offer previews of my published work. If you’d like to sign up, click the link on the top of my sidebar. The first one should be sent out in mid-October 🙂