Something I thought about:

  • This was a week of high emotion. My defense announcement went out to the department, which was a thrill, and the next day I got a call from the child’s school that he’d fallen and cut his head open, and they weren’t sure if he had a concussion or needed stitches and could I come? 11 months ago, the child had fallen and gotten a concussion, and we spent the night at the children’s hospital. This time we spent the afternoon at the hospital for some patching up. When we got home, I realized I’d been running on adrenaline and fumes and needed a minute to process and recover. I took the time. I’m behind on work and in triage mode, but everyone is okay, and that’s the most important thing.

Something I did:

  • Announced my defense to the department.
  • Spent an unexpected afternoon in the hospital with the child.
  • Caught up on grading for one course.
  • Attended the child’s piano recital.

Something I read:

  • I feel like I’ve mentioned George Saunders’ newsletter several times, but it’s so good, and his advice is generous. I thought the latest advice letter was especially good, which was in answer to someone who wanted to encourage a friend to keep writing. Saunders asked whether we all need to write for publication and why we may find other spaces for the writer parts of us if the writing career doesn’t quite fit.
So, a person has admirable qualities, considers using these to make some writing, or "to become a writer" but there are other qualities that being a writer requires and maybe the person doesn't quite have those - an instinct for, say, how to express themselves in a "publishable" way, for example.  But that doesn't at all effect or negate or lessen the reality of those positive qualities - he is just going to go off and find a more natural container for them, we might say.