Monday, April 26, 2010

back to business…it’s a pleasure

Now that I have finally (almost?) unpacked from AWP and am back in the swing of things (kind of), it’s about time to get back to business. I am mildly entertained how a joyous bump in the schedule, such as a writing conference, can throw the equilibrium of my usual schedule. It always takes a few days, or sometimes a week, to get back into my usual uber-productive schedule.

I am grateful for this. I am grateful for the pleasurable disruption of outside forces that are firm in their schedule (as far as I can tell, no conference has ever changed their dates simply because I am running behind on my to-dos) and insist I break free from my own chaotic little world. I need this. Because, as it usually happens, I can get caught up in my to-dos, stay up way too late (or early) to get things done, and by the time a conference comes around I am in desperate need of a break. An example of what leads up to a much-needed break is this exact AWP. Stifled with deadlines and must-dos, I had done too many all-nighters the week leading up to the conference departure date. In fact, I even pulled an all-nighter the night before leaving, and packed my luggage in record speed the morning of. Crazy, I know. But that’s just how it worked out this time.

However, all that craziness from before the conference? It has somehow simmered down and presented itself as a pleasant run-of-the-mill list of to-dos now that I am home. The conference was whirlwind, hands down. I spent extra time on the road, too, stopping in various states along the way to Colorado and back to Michigan. Between magazine assignments and poetry readings, college writing workshops and other presentations, my “conference schedule” was extended in many joyous ways, keeping me on my toes and meeting wonderful writers along the way.

I am often worried that when I get back from a conference, I will feel the anxious heat of the to-dos as they were before I left. Each time, however, I am always relieved how walking away for just a little bit gives everything a new perspective. Oh sure, I have deadlines. I have submissions. I have classes coming up. But all the little things that seem to be so important before heading out have somehow either taken care of themselves, or reprioritized themselves on my list. Now I can segue back into a nice, calm schedule once again. At least for the time being. At least until another conference dents itself into my schedule.

As usual, I may be slow to get back to business, but it’s gradually appearing that I am picking up where I left off. With to-dos and deadlines, and some truly fantastic memories from the road. I hope to share some of my AWP-and-beyond experiences with you in the coming days (and perhaps weeks) on this blog.

If you haven’t already, please check out some of my AWP 2010 photos on Facebook. Here’s a direct, public link:

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