At the end of the semester, I usually take a pause(s) to clear out the psychic energy that has edged my creativity into corners, that has cluttered my mind with webs of politics, with a depletion of energy. While there is truth in that, what usually prevents my start back to unstructured writing is simply the demons that have been sheltered for weeks.
For the fifteen weeks of last semester, I not only taught classes, worked on the textbook, but also enrolled in two back-to-back 8 week writing workshops at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Despite all my work, I produced all the writing assignments, at times finding myself banging out some of the crispest writing I've done recently. Now that I don't have regular deadlines and the pressure to be a good student, I find myself staring at the lists of pieces I want to work on and stopping, distracted by my fear of paralysis.
After all, my desk at home is cluttered with filing needs amassed from the semester, scattered notes, jots of writing, and various other distractions that scream clean me and then promise hours of carefree writing--hah! But, I know the pattern, and know that while I will appreciate a clean desk, the clutter and dirt doesn't stop the writing. It's simply that the demons are back in full force, mocking my attempts to produce.
And I know it's as simple as starting, as setting the time with the computer, with the paper, to dig into revision, to play with ideas, and to not stop, even when the laughter that shouts "you're so silly to think you can do this" keeps winning at our invisible arm wrestles. So I will start small, start with this blog to remind myself to write, to take things in pieces and not allow myself to be daunted by the insurmountable task of finishing. And even when daunted, to push through, because I have to, because when I don't, I am sleepless, I am chased by words, I am nagged by thoughts of not knowing.