After Two Years, I Have a Draft! Now What???


A couple of Sunday mornings ago, I closed my laptop and felt pretty good about myself. 

I had a draft. 

A completed draft. 

Don't get me wrong, it's a flaming pile of mess. But it's my flaming pile of mess. 

It was two years ago when I started an exercise in self-discipline wherein I committed to writing a minimum of 30 minutes a day for 30 days

It was a success, insofar as I was able to stick to this commitment. 

But it also succeeded in helping me to develop a new habit. In the coming months, I continued writing for at least 30 minutes on most days. Have there been lapses? Yep. Plenty of them. But with a little bit of effort, I've been able to recommit.  

Ever since closing my laptop on that day, though, I've let the metaphorical dust gather around the manuscript. Most days, I wake up thinking that this will be the day where I turn it around. But then the day finishes, and I'm telling myself "Tomorrow you'll do it. Just wait until tomorrow."

But tomorrow comes and goes.

Maybe it's the recognition of what lies ahead. I have written a book proposal before. I have revised a messy batch of chapters into a book. I have done battle with deadlines. I have felt the alternating emotions of elation and rage when receiving reader reports.

So perhaps this is like imagining biting into a lemon, and the resulting rush of saliva at the mere thought of it. Only here, the lemon is all that stuff that that awaits me. It's going to be hard. I'm going to want to throw things. Possibly sharp things. Possibly expensive things.


There's also the fact that we're living through an extraordinary time in human history. 

Teaching during a pandemic has been challenging, to say the least. Zoom, masks, social distancing not to mention the explosion that is my news feed. Indeed, I've been doing this thing called professoring for a while now, and I will never, ever forget this semester. 

But irrespective of the uniqueness of this moment, the classroom remains as rewarding as ever. So as much as I want to, I can't blame my writing woes on teaching... or at least, I shouldn't. 

So upon further analysis, this is probably why I'm writing this post in the first place. To sort out what's happening, and to confess that I am, in fact, stuck. 

I suspect that getting unstuck will involve setting my timer for 30 minutes, and finding a place to begin digging into the flaming mess that is my draft. 

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