Time has been bending and shifting for me in unexpected ways over the course of this semester. I’m trying to think objectively here, and while the actual workload is probably not so much greater than that of semesters past, the nature of the work is different, and that’s what’s thrown a strange haze over everything.
This strange haze, I think, is the byproduct of spending more time than usual on creative output. In other words, operating more in the subconscious mind than is ordinary.
It’s an interesting place to operate within. There are negative side effects (ie, exhaustion, spaciness, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating at work). But I think (tentatively, anyway) that the benefits might outweigh the fog. For instance. In this fog, I’ve managed to turn out some of the most finished first-draft short stories I’ve ever done. They clearly need work still. But they are notably different than the mode I’d been writing in before, which is a relief and exciting, as I had started to get worried about being a sort of one-note short story writer. Of course there’s the novel itself, which has moved along in interesting directions (interesting to me, at least…).
I take my novel with me just about everywhere I go, so it literally follows me around even as my thoughts constantly turn to some aspect of it. I have two, related places in the ten pages I turned in this past week that are WRONG. That are not true. This is so not a big deal. People may notice and point them out, but BFD, it’s a first draft. These moments haunt me though. And they’re everywhere in the book.
When I first tried my hand at novel writing, the thing that really tripped me up was the sheer intellectual effort required to keep a handle on that much material. I didn’t know how to do it. The size of the document – the actual words – was overwhelming. Now that’s less of an issue for me. I don’t know what shifted exactly, but that’s no longer the focus of my angst, which is, let’s face it, an ever-changing thing.
This is less about time than I intended, but what can I say. I’m operating from within a strange haze.