Something I thought about:

  • I’ve been behind and trying to catch up for weeks as I’ve been learning a new position and trying to figure out my new routine. On Friday I quickly assessed where I am and realized that I was 1 month behind on email and 10 days behind on anything that was not my full-time job. And this was actually progress! So I did some ruthless prioritization and time-blocking and did things like catch up on grading. As of today, I have completely caught up on that. And it feels really good – like a huge mental weight has been lifted (and sense of guilt!). Now I’m going through and chunking more things so I can relax and enjoy the short break next week. A few days off! I am so looking forward to cooking and eating and hanging out.

Something I did:

  • A lot of scheduling
  • Went to French class.
  • Went to book group. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. It was really lovely to be there in person together — seriously one of the communities I missed most when I lived in Switzerland.
  • Hosted authors Lisa Stringfellow and Tui Sutherland at Olin — they came to class to do a Q&A with students, and it was so lovely.
  • Taught.
  • Had a sick child at home for most of the week — the flu is no joke this year, even after flu shots.
  • Completely caught up on grading (!!!!).

Something I read:

Jesmyn [Ward] talked about having a period of time when she was struggling to write in her life. She is someone who has a real writing practice, where she sits down and writes 2-5 hours, five days a week. But there was that moment when she could not. Then a conversation with another National Book Award winner, poet Nikki Finney, changed her path.
Jesmyn was telling Nikki about the challenges she was feeling with her work. Nikki asked her about writing Salvage the Bones, and what place she had written it from. And Jesmyn said she had written it from a place of love. She loved the characters, she loved the story. Nikki suggested she return to her desk and write from that place. And so Jesmyn began to write again. And she continues to carry that idea with her. That she knows where she writes from. Love.