Sometimes I really appreciate my university. Xavier has a policy whereby each semester one of our Psych department faculty members gets a lighter load so that they can work on a scholarly project. The lighter load typically means teaching 3 rather than 4 classes, but for me it means teaching only 2 because I already have 1 course reduced load due to being chair of the Xavier IRB research committee.
We rotate the light semester among our departmental members and this semester is my turn. I love it so. I have my classes scheduled for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I already have meetings scheduled on Thursday and often we have meetings on Tuesday, but every couple of weeks I will have a completely free Tuesday and I stay home that day and write. Yesterday was such a day. And I got so much accomplished.
I'm working on the nonfiction Darwin book that I've mentioned here before. I was able to get about a dozen pages written, which is actually tremendous progress considering that, with nonfiction, you're often spending half of your time or more checking and double checking facts and information.
On a standard day, I try to do some writing at home in the evening after dinner, but it's not always easy when you've already put in a full day of work. But yesterday I was rolling so well and so "immersed" in the work I was doing that I took only about an hour break for dinner and then was back at the computer writing until well after 11:00.
I think that is a key thing when one is able to essentially write full-time. The work develops momentum. You enter a productive zone where the ideas and the words to express them flow. And you don't want to stop. I knew I had to get up at 6:00 this morning but the sentences kept coming, the connections kept being made. And my fingers got a workout.
Finally, at 11:20, I purposefully shut off my computer because I knew I had to get some sleep. Only then did I realize that I'd ignored several minor tasks all day that needed to be done. I managed to get those finished and slid into bed by 11:45, but I couldn't shut my brain off. My mind kept coming back to the writing I'd been doing and more ideas gathered to demand my attention. I believe it was about 1:00 when I finally drifted off.
Although I only got 5 hours sleep, I'm still feeling pretty energized at this moment from yesterday's work session. I know by afternoon I'll be dragging, but right now I'm not worried about that. Unfortunately, I give a test in my comparative class today and that means grading instead of writing this evening. I'll be jonesing for the keyboard soon, and already looking forward to the next day when I can immerse myself in the flow of words and ideas. It really is a high.