Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | November 17, 2014

November ROW80 Check-in

Have you ever been torn between wishing a difficult time would be over, and dreading that everything that has to be done will not get done in time?  Yup, that is exactly where I am. This semester will live in infamy alongside the one in grad school where I was taking three classes and finishing incompletes in two more, writing five final papers totalling 117 pages in fifteen days. Those of you who know me as a snail among writers can imagine what that entailed.

The last several weeks, I had four to five meetings every day, often extending through lunch. My husband had urged me to block time for writing and pulling together the tenure documents, or I would have been in even more. I shuddered every time someone started a conversation with, “I wanted to meet with you this week. . . .”

I was sad when I saw that the last time I checked in was mid-October, and that I have not yet responded to the comments on that check-in. I know I’m late for the Sunday check-in, but I just don’t want to wait for Wednesday.  So here’s my progress in the last month:

1.  1500 words written every week on my final tenure article.  This is finally a win.  By the end of the week, I will have  a complete first draft of the article, which should be about 6,000/7,000 words long.

2.  An hour a day writing, editing, and begging people to write nice letters for my equally fascinating tenure dossier. On the whole, yes. I still have some writing to do and lots of editing and documentation, but I’m on track.

3.  Every morning, yoga and meditation. Yes. Meditation is the only thing keeping me from running screaming down the halls at work.

4. Fill out worksheets, mandalas, mind maps and character sketches on the novella/novel/magnum opus as well as the memoir. Yes, although I have not had new words for several weeks.  I “visit” with my character and world every day, if only for fifteen minutes. When I move into the editing phase of the article, I will return to writing this story. The memoir has been shelved for a little while, too. 

5. I’m adding a goal for self-care.  I need more sleep, more hydration, and mindful eating.  I have recently been apprised of some small health concerns, none serious, that require taking better care of myself.  Like many (often, but not exclusively, women) who were socialized to be caregivers, I find it difficult to take time for myself.

My promise in October not to be a stranger was an abject failure, but I will try again, because this community helps me immensely.  My heartfelt thanks to you all.

Please go cheer on the other ROWers here.

smaller EM

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Responses

  1. Ah, at least it sounds like the end is in sight on some of these goals, and that you’ve been meeting the others. That’s wonderful. Keep sticking it out and soon…new goals. 😉

  2. yay for almost having the first draft. I’ve gotta say, meetings sound like the worst kind of hell for me.

    I hope things get a little calmer for you.

  3. You sound like you’re having quite the time and I applaud you for handling it well. Extra kudos for recognizing you need to also care for yourself. I hope everything goes great with the tenure stuff. Keep being awesome.

  4. that sounds like a lotta achievement to me:) well done –

    I know where you are on not finding easy to take care of self – I learnt to my cost it must be done – I think the second world war propaganda over here in UK had it correctly, when the government urged the mothers to look after themselves for the sake of the family – time to chill and rest is essential.

    I like that you visit your second world and talk to the characters , I found that a great help when I was laid up – keep them fresh and sometimes they do surprising things in those moments!:)

  5. Congrats on moving forward on so many fronts!

    I’m looking forward to the novel when you get back to it. 🙂


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