i burned out this past semester. while revising my manuscript and creating a 25+ page literary craft paper. i hit rock bottom, writerly-speaking. my writing made no sense to me and neither did the books i was reading. i had to take a timeout. for about a week. no reading research, no writing the reviews, paper or revisions. just lay in bed staring up at the ceiling, trying to quiet my whirling thoughts…well…that’s what i WANTED to do. in reality, i still had a kiddo to care for & a job to show up for. but i was a train-wreck. in my mind i was screaming for relief. and there really wasn’t any. so i got it in gear. cried myself to sleep a few times, ranted to a few close friends who understood what i was going through, wrote rambling lines of nonsense and got back in the groove. but half-heartedly. i just wasn’t feeling it anymore…
being back together with my “community of writers” here at wilkes u in wilkes-barre, pa, is like being home away from home. i was both looking forward to and dreading the return. the first day or so, i was exhausted from driving straight through from south florida, stressing about my not-quite-finished craft project, manuscript revisions and paper presentation (i don’t have a problem with public speaking, just being unprepared), having forgotten to pack a few essentials, and the fact that internet access at the dorm was non-existent. i really wasn’t feeling like much of a writer.
after attending a few of the presentations on saturday, still had the blahs. spent hours in the computer lab polishing my presentation for sunday morning. because the internet STILL wasn’t working in the dorm. and the university “help desk” was an oxymoron.
paper presentation was successful. people complimented me on an interesting topic ( “Compliant and Defiant: How fictional authors use the craft elements of image, character and setting to successfully portray female Jewish protagonists” – just in case you were curious) and i got a few laughs at my initial attempt to pronounce “apocalyptic” – i always try to stress the wrong syllable & my tongue doesn’t want to wrap itself around the word.
catching up with old friends, orientation for the coming week, and attending the first night of readings helped me to feel more writerly. now that i’ve been immersed in classes for two days, building upon skills already learned in the ma portion of the program, i’m back! NOW the writer has returned. that thrum of excitement that comes with creating something from one’s own imagination is returning. excited about class projects and i expect the rest of the week to continue raising my energy level for the final stretch of the road ahead: internship (probably in publishing) and final (hopefully) revisions of my manuscript.