Congratulate me, dear reader. I have just survived the Week from Hell.
As many of you know, I am a damned scribbling woman with a day job. Specifically, I am a high school English teacher. Last year, I also became co-department chair. What does that mean? It means that my already inadequate prep time is eaten up by meetings. Lots and lots of meetings.
This year, I'm teaching five class periods, three different preps (one of them AP English... which is basically a college course). Two of them are new classes--including the AP--which means I'm creating curriculum from scratch. Normally, this is something I can handle. And yet... this past week, I was staying up until 1:00am (and getting up at 5:30am) just to be ready for the day's teaching. (We won't even talk about the grading and long-term planning I've managed to avoid...) To add insult to injury, I actually had two meetings this week about another meeting. That's right: meta-meetings to anticipate and then reflect upon another meeting.
I wouldn't mind if the meetings were actually useful, but most days it just feels like I'm climbing a mountain of pudding. I expend lots of effort, but never seem to get anywhere. My work desk is a pit (see above), and my house is a bio-hazard. I haven't worked on my novel at all in months. And perhaps worst of all, I'm starting to resent a job that I used to love.
I want to focus on my students (the reason I'm there in the first place). I want to develop my own brain (and novel). I want to spend time with my new husband, in a home that's not oppressively disorganized.
Ah, well. I don't know if I'll ever clear the dishes from the sink, but I do know that I can take control of my writing. If there's one thing I've learned through our years of blogging, it's easy to whine. It's much harder to actually change one's circumstances. This is why, prodded by Anneliese, I'm making my writing goals for the school year public:
- I will stay at least two days ahead of my students in terms of planning and reading.
- I will write EVERY day, including weekends (even if only one paragraph)
- I will attend at least 6 GSRWA meetings during 2009.
- I will take an online writing class with Patricia Kay.
- I will begin sending work to my critique partner every two weeks! (Look for an email on October 5th, A.L.!)
- I will create and implement a plan to achieve PRO status before the 2009 Emerald City Writers' Conference.