Saturday, October 29, 2005

Saturday morning grading and 'just not feeling it'

It's Saturday morning and I'm grading exams. So far a very bimodal distribution- the "have a clue" and "clueless" groups. Very few "I'm partially getting it". The 'clueless' have me stumped--they are hung up on the very basic things which I have said so many times in class that the "with a clue's" are rolling their eyes. What to do....what to do??

Meanwhile my own projects are greatly suffering as of late because it seems there are only enough hours in the day to keep up with teaching and attend the necessary meetings. Any remaining time has been spent putting together job applications. I seem to have all the necessary items in place for those now, so future packets can be assembled rather efficiently. It's time to figure out how to get back on track with writing.

I've tried to make writing a habit and when I get a few days run going I am rather successful. Unfortunately, it is difficult to come back to working on something that has been left out in the cold for days or even weeks. A large part of my time is spent rereading what I have written and looking over notes and outlines to figure out what comes next and what I should be working on to advance the project. There must be an easier way to pick up the process without having to backtrack so far just to get going again. I've read a few writing tips online and 'how to' books but so far none of the suggested techniques have worked for me.

I only have this problem with some of my projects, other projects are constantly 'playing in my head' and I will have a writing breakthrough at the weirdest moment--while brushing my teeth or filling the cat's food bowl. So maybe the problem is really with my own level of engagement with the project, I'm just not 'feeling it'.

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