Spent the morning on teaching, because deciding to go on a week-long AirBnb novel retreat doesn’t actually get me out of my day job. But the afternoon can be writing again (with some grading this evening, probably — I want to get their papers back to them in a week, if I can.)
I could wish I didn’t have a new, challenging prep this semester, in the midst of COVID spring, but I suppose it has to be done by someone, and I have the capacity, so ah well.
On the plus side, it turns out I actually do like teaching lit. theory — it’s a little like teaching a philosophy class, I imagine, and rather fun in that way. Lots of thought experiments. Would be even more fun in person — maybe next spring. (In the fall I’m teaching advanced fiction again, and my sci-fi writers of color lit. class, both of which will also be fun.)
Novel drafting progressing. I’m almost through the sections I’d drafted earlier, and have started writing brand new material, which is all a little rough, but that’s okay, that’s okay, it’s a first draft, it’ll be fine.
It’s funny how long it’s taken me to internalize that just because I can usually write a very clean first draft of a short story, one that’s very close to what the finished version will be, that I can’t do the same with novels, and that’s OKAY. It is okay to revise, even if revision means redrafting and throwing out thousands of words because you’ve changed your book structure. That’s been a weirdly emotional thing for me to work through, as a writer. Anyway.
On the plus side, I do get to work out some of my little frustrations as I write. Like this paragraph I just drafted, dedicated to all the men who never clean up after themselves.
(No need to ‘not all men’ at me — if you clean up after yourself, I’m not talking about you!)
He clattered out the door, leaving his mess behind – the food had come wrapped in thick leaves, which Saila supposed were meant to be thrown away. She was happy enough to take care of it, since it meant that she and Arvind would actually have a little time alone together, which was more than she could have hoped for tonight. But it was just like Neelan, wasn’t it, to leave his mess for them to clean up?
31,223 words. Onwards.