Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Love's Daughter

I wasn't going to write about this, but I feel like I have enough motivation that it's safe. For some reason, while most people tell family and friends their goals so they'll feel accountable, I suffer the opposite reaction. I tell people I'm doing something and promptly stop doing it. I'm not sure why, and, honestly, it bothers me that I do that, but there you go. Anyway, the thing I wasn't going to write about, but now, am, is my novel. I started working on Love's Daughter again.

I was sitting yesterday, feeling completely and totally defeated when, quite suddenly, I was struck with the urgency to work on my book. I was at work at the time, though there were no students given that the semester only began last week and no one really has any writing assignments yet, so I dug up my flash drive and hunted around for the file. I was having a particularly rough day and working on the novel was a welcome distraction. I've started teaching this semester and I don't feel like it's going very well, you see, so I'm feeling pretty blue. In the name of diversion, I read over what I'd written, spent a few minutes calling to mind what I intended to change to make it work, cut from the file the stuff that wasn't working, and dove right in.  I got the re-written portion about half done before leaving work and was feeling pretty good about it.

Then, last night, I was sitting alone in the living room, Matt having gone to bed, when the feelings of defeat began to creep back over me. I like my job, but I can't help feeling overwhelmed and somewhat small, I feel like I'm not a very good teacher and it's not the students making me feel low, it's the fact that my boss observes the courses.  She's a great boss, a very nice woman, and a great teacher, and all of that makes me incredibly nervous. Nerves are making it difficult for me to concentrate when I'm giving my "lecture."  Anyway, I turned off the TV, opened the file, and finished writing that scene I began at work. I got about 1,000 words written in all yesterday, but that's more than I've done in a long time and I feel amazing about it. It's the one thing I've done recently that I've been able to take any amount of pride in, and it's got me remembering why I wanted to write to begin with.

Now that I've gotten that scene re-written, I can get back on track with no road blocks, or at least, none for the time being. It feels so good to be back on track, especially since I've been procrastinating on re-writing that scene for months and months. Today at work, after my labs, I sat down and worked on sketching out an outline about what'll happen for the next two or three chapters. It's the first time, ever, that I've been able to outline without any trouble! I'm not much of an outliner, I never know where to start, but when I took out my pen and paper today, it just came to me. I'm taking it as a good sign, especially since this idea will just not go away.

I'm not completely sure where the motivation is coming from, or if this is my way of building walls around myself, but it feels good so I'm going with it. I've not procrastinated on any classwork to work on it yet, so no harm's done... yet. I feel a bit like the more stressful the semester becomes, the more feverishly I'll work on it, but it might just be the outlet I need to stay sane until summer. By then, I might just have it done. That would be lovely!