Monday, November 28, 2016

Writing inspiration: Reaching for the stars

In the spirit of those old commercials that said "don't hate me because I'm beautiful," I christen this post "don't hate me because I'm on sabbatical." I know it's crunch time for everyone, but it's writing time right now for me.

As Flavia wrote about in her recent posts, I have to keep reminding myself that when you're on sabbatical there's nothing wrong with wanting to write and losing yourself in the pleasure of writing. Being off Facebook helps enormously, in that I'm not getting stabbed by "completion envy" every time someone announces something they've finished or published. (Not a pretty fact, but true.)

Sure, I'm still avoiding some of the things I should be working on, including Big Sabbatical Project, but gathering low-hanging fruit still means that you've gathered some fruit, right?

The project that was 95% done is now sent, so that's two articles submitted this semester. Now, it would be better if they were the ones that are (1) overdue and (2) hugely overdue, but they're out of my hands and the folders are back in the file cabinet rather than on my desk. 

I'm now revising a third, one that seems fairly finished to me and that seems to say "why didn't you send me out for review before this?"  Because, like everyone else who's not on sabbatical, I couldn't put together the necessary consecutive hours of thought time and creative excitement to do the work on it, that's why. During a regular semester, we're all in triage mode all the time (attend this meeting or grade these papers?), but that's not what sabbatical is supposed to be about.

For the two submitted articles, I reached for the stars and sent them to some--what would you call them? aspirational?--journals in which I haven't published before. They might or might not get published, but at least I should get some feedback unless it's a desk-reject. As I've mentioned many times before, I don't have a writing group or trusted writing partner as some of you do, so conference presentations and article reports are about it for feedback.

These three articles are an elaborate avoidance strategy for the real projects, but at least I'm getting somewhere.


sophylou said...

Yay for the pleasure of writing! Sending good aspirational-journal thoughts.

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

I've got sabbatical envy! If I don't leave my job for another, I will take a sabbatical asap. The job I want may be coming up in a couple of years, though, so I'd have to time it just right.

gwinne said...

I've got grant leave coming up next semester (yay!) and would love to hear more about your strategies. Sounds like you've done good work, if not the work you'd intended (a version of productive procrastination? that's my M.O.).

undine said...

sophylou--thanks! I'm hoping, anyway, for a good outcome.

Fie--a sabbatical is worth it, unless you change jobs.

gwinne--productive procrastination FTW! Thanks--I'll write a post about this soon.