I’m spinning. I admit it. I’m literally (and literarily) spinning. With mid-July quickly approaching, my list of summer writing goals now seems a tad ambitious. In my defense, I compiled the list toward the end of the spring semester when, during the month of May alone, I wrote four book reviews, a research paper on mythology in Middle Eastern literature, and one chapter of my novel for workshop. Of course, I was nearly drunk on adrenaline at the time and shouldn’t be held accountable for my overreaching exuberance.
With three seemingly interminable months without classes, workshops, lectures, readings, and conferences stretched out before me like Yellow Dog, I felt giddy with the sheer volume of work I was sure I would complete before classes resumed in September. Three essay revisions, two poems, an article for the Sigma Tau Delta newsletter, a short story, and three new chapters of Time of Death seemed perfectly achievable – and exhilarating. I even planned to read two of the required Woolf texts for my fall Major Authors class and Hermione Lee’s 900-page biography for additional perspective.
Yeah, none of that has been done. I did, however, read some Anne Lamott (hilarious and insightful – no regrets there), start Jacob’s Room, get distracted from Jacob’s Room by Atonement, draft the article, catch up on some literary journals, get distracted from Jacob’s Room by Wonder Boys, calendar a couple of lectures, and connect with some fellow literary bloggers, but, beyond that, I’m woefully behind.
Then it occurred to me that part of the reason for my current creative stall is that what I want to write about now is happening right now. I want to write about now. I’ve been writing primarily about the past, about all that has come, tramped around, wreaked its havoc, and then gone. Don’t get me wrong; reflection has its place. I, for one, am an avid fan of reflection. Ah, yes, to be in one’s head, wallowing around in all that lovely muddled muck…yep, huge fan. But just as yesterday’s living is today’s narrative, today’s living is tomorrow’s. There is a story in this day and wonderment and Aha! in this moment, and it, too, needs a voice – right about now.