I woke up with some fresh ideas and a scary to do list this morning. I’m currently editing 2 manuscripts and, while both of those projects are going well, they are taking a bit longer than I’d like. (I actually spent over an hour on one footnote yesterday — not a simple citation, but a longer, explanatory note that was tricky to write). These are both projects that have been hanging around my life for many years. I am looking forward to moving them both out and on to the next step, whatever form that may be. I love these projects in the way one loves a cranky old relative. They are near and dear to me and I want the best for them, but sometimes they wear me down.
I realized the other day that I need to do even a little bit of work each week on my new research, generating new ideas even while I’m finishing up these older projects. It is that spark of imagination, excitement and creativity that goes with the brainstorming of a new project that I think makes academic work so addictive, what keeps us coming back and helps us to push through the bouts of writer’s block, the tedium of revisions and the sting of rejection letters.
This is why, then, I found myself brainstorming about a new piece of writing this morning even as the two aged manuscripts were sitting on the corner of my desk, giving me the evil eye. A call for papers grabbed my attention and as I was going through my morning routine of making tea, showering, etc. I couldn’t stop thinking about that CFP. A proposal must surely be written, but what form will it take, what research will it draw on? I turned to my newest favorite thing in writing productivity, Dr. Wicked’s Write or Die and hashed out a few rough thoughts. Much more work needs to be done, of course, but it is a start. I’ll keep mulling it over in the back of my head as I return to my two old friends.