I have been neglecting this blog—between the fourth chapter of my dissertation, teaching, writing job applications and keeping up with some other deadlines, I am all blogged out. But I have been forcing myself to spend some time with my writing, even if it's 15 mins every day. I have also enrolled in a short story workshop, just so I can get some writing done. It is not that I am hoping I will achieve some huge feat, but just trying to keep up with some deadlines, getting some feedback for my work, all these little things make me feel that I am still within the process. Meanwhile, I am doing some work on the poetry manuscript. I have a better idea of where it is going. I know what poems I need to write for it once I am done with the dissertation. I am doing lots of thinking about it, drawing up a list of books I need to read.
But I am also learning, as I am writing the dissertation, that any long project, involves lots of painstaking moments. At this point, my mind and body are really ready to jump to the finishing point without going through the hoops. At the same time, I know, this is what the process is all about—taking a few pages everyday, editing them, making notes, writing a page or two, cutting things out, adding new stuff. And it takes time. I am not the same person who started this project. So has the project changed. There are moments when I sit down with it, and think about what I am writing about, I get enormously excited. Away from it, I feel sad, listless. Even more so when I think about the institutional paradigms within which I am working on it.
In the same way, I am slowly coming to accept, I might not be the best person to write in short prose-fiction forms. This week, I met with a new friend of mine, an Iranian-American woman with an MFA. After our conversation, I felt a lot energized about beginning to think about a novel once I am done with the dissertation. So, that's something I am looking forward too.