After three months of graduate school, I feel as though I’m finally slipping into a routine with my work. (In a good way.) My semester is set up so that I submit 4 packets—one each month—to my faculty advisor. Each packet contains a reading list, critical work, and creative work.
Because of the way the scheduling worked, I had very little time—just over two weeks—to complete my first packet. I was focused and steady with my work, and I was pleased with what I produced.
As soon as I’d shipped off the first packet, it was time to concentrate on moving to a new house. There was much to do…from cleaning to painting to packing. By the time we were in, it was once again two weeks before deadline for my second grad school packet. And again, I was scrambling. Working mornings, evenings, weekends.
When it came around to the third packet, I thought, Wow, I have a whole month! I can take my time!
And I did. Oh, I was still working, but I again backed myself against a wall of tight deadline for creative work. And it just so happened that this was the month when I decided the story I’d been writing might not be worth continuing. I read a lot and I was a bit of a grump. (Cheers to Mike, for helping me get out of my grumpy self.) Finally, I came around and finished the packet.
And then, for an entire weekend (last weekend), I breathed. I visited my parents. I stepped back. I did some wedding planning.
When I returned to my desk this Monday, I was ready to work. My story is still not where I want it to be, but I feel as though I’m heading somewhere with it, at least. And I’ve been reading fantastic children’s books that inform and inspire my work.
My last packet is due on May 1. May Day. Then my first semester of graduate school will be complete. And I’ll sigh the sigh of someone who is free (at least for a little while), and of someone who hopes to keep creating, even without a deadline.