This week is reading break for most colleges and universities in BC. It’s also the first year UFV has had a whole week, instead of the typical two-day break, and I am very thankful for the change.
I really enjoy teaching, seeing new work from students, talking about the process, offering advice on manuscripts. I enjoy a lot of it. What I don’t enjoy? Becoming so consumed with that aspect of my life that I find I don’t have time for my own work. I’ve had an idea for a new novel percolating since last August and an auspicious holiday, but I haven’t found the time to start it until now. I’ve had moments, of course, to scribble notes to myself, maybe even lines that I will include, but no solid block of time to sit down and write.
I completed two novels and two poetry collections by the time I was 30. Since then, I’ve finished [maybe finished? close to finished?] a draft of a new novel and worked on some poems, here and there. What was I doing with the time that I used to save, greedily and unabashedly, for writing? I taught four classes of Introductions to Creative Writing, four English Composition classes, two Children’s Literature classes, three classes of Short Fiction, two Poetry classes, two Historical Fiction classes, two Novel writing classes and three Directed Studies. And that was at one institution.
So this week off seems like a dream–the dream, once, of what my career would look like: at home, in front of the computer in my office, working on a new project. Researching, writing, drinking excessive amounts of tea. I know it’s not plausible [yet?] for this to be the way my career looks every day, every month, every year, but for this week it feels perfect.