08 May 2008

On the Recent Decline in Productivity at the Mumpsimus Factory

The silence around here has been caused by my having to get a gazillion things done before moving back to New Hampshire (while also still teaching -- the last day of work for me is June 25). What I've discovered this year is that continually being overwhelmed and stressed out has a negative effect on my writing productivity -- imagine that! It's not that I'm lacking time so much as lacking the ability to focus. It often feels like I've been crowded out of my brain. Even just writing more than a few emails a day has felt difficult.

A year ago, I taught 3 classes, was head of a department, did all the various extra things required in boarding school work, searched for a new job, wrote the thesis for my master's degree, helped edit the first Best American Fantasy, wrote various reviews and essays and columns, still kept up with blogging, and felt guilty and miserable for not writing more fiction (I finished only a couple stories, maybe one of which was worth submitting anywhere). I did just write a new 10,000-word story ("The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid" -- with luck, coming soon to an anthology near you!), but my reviewing has been cut down to a quarter of what it used to be, and blogging has been, at best, erratic. Ugh.

But! There is a light at the end of this tunnel, and this month is probably the last really overwhelmingly busy-draining-numbing one I'll have for a while. I have my fingers crossed that at this time next year, I'll be back to my previous level of productivity, if not higher, and I'm planning on devoting a lot more time to writing stuff other than blog posts and reviews, because I miss the other, more demanding, things.

And to think I began this post intending to just say, "Sorry for the light blogging -- been busy, in case you didn't figure it out!" If I'd had time to write a shorter blog post....

2 comments:

  1. Good to have you back!
    deborahb

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  2. I identified so much with this. I'm amazed that you've managed to write anything at all with your university load. I find I have to be spacious to write, as I can't do the mental gymnastics involved with a head full of lumber. In fact I'm in the process of altering my university job beyond recognition so that the majority of my time is given over to writing. Who knows whether that will work? But life is short and I might as well risk a try. Good luck getting to 25th June and hope the landscape is inspiring when you get there.

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