While the sweet girl is trying out her muscles and learning new found skills in sports and arts camp, I'm at home trying to get through overwhelming piles of things to do. I can roughly sort the piles (like socks?) into categories like these:
~scholarly reading and fall course prep
~writing projects (research, actual writing)
~housecleaning and organizing
It's a lot easier to sort than it is to do the actual work, especially the writing.
That's because I'm discovering how flabby my writing muscles are. I thought I'd done a pretty good job of keeping them exercised this year, but now that I'm faced with some actual daylight hours (read: I'm awake!) to dive into projects that have been simmering on the back burner, I'm discovering how painfully slow I am right now at crafting essays and stories.
I'm also re-discovering how easy it is to let myself be distracted. I'm actively looking for venues where I can send some of my work (both work I'm writing now and things in the files ready to submit or re-submit) so I legitimately need to look through some online journals, read samples of other people's work, etc. It's fun, but way too easy to while away "just a few more minutes" reading instead of diving into the waiting projects. And far too easy to let myself fall into discouragement when I read an essay or story by someone else: I remind myself that good writing should enlarge my creativity and give me hope, not make me feel diminished when I inevitably compare my creaky prose to someone's final published draft.
At least my writing log makes for amusing reading!
I'm also discovering it's easier for me right now to go back and forth between kinds of work: the practical, nitty-gritty work of household tasks (so pleasurably measurable...there's the "J" in my INTJ personality type) and the more ephemeral work of getting well-crafted sentences onto the page (harder to see immediate returns or quantify your sweat equity!). So it was that I turned with some relief to bandaging the sweet girl's scraped hand and getting her a popsicle when she got home this afternoon -- yes, she was covered in paint, dirt, and scrapes, but filled with enthusiasm over the day's fun adventures.
When I look into her smiling face, I find myself tapping into that enthusiasm and remembering something important I don't want to forget: writing is fun and I love to do it!