This week I had two very disturbing dreams about work. In one, I had just gone back to working as a midwife, but couldn’t find the right ‘scrubs’ or my plastic theatre shoes. I tried on one set of scrubs after another but none fitted right, and then there were lots of obstetricians demanding their scrubs back. In the second one, I had delivered a baby but forgotten about the placenta. I put both dreams down to anxiety about my ever-increasing workload. Today, the feeling that I am sinking rapidly in a quicksand of unfinished tasks achieved its highest level, resulting in me stopping everything to re-organise myself (and my desk). This reorganisation helped in many ways, by ensuring I could find what I wanted to in hard copy, but I am still left with a huge ‘to do’ list that seems to be growing rapidly despite my best efforts to try to clear it. MOST worryingly, the number of ‘pending’ writing projects still awaiting attention has grown, and there is no sign of any space in my schedule to attend to them.
Now, most of the time I write about fiction writing, because the academic side is my bread and butter. But I realised this week that I haven’t had any academic work published (apart from conference presentations) since 2009. I love writing, I write quickly, how can this be?
The answer is – academic writing takes last place when you are primarily focus on teaching and learning, and there is no protected time to write. So it seems that such writing would have to take place in my spare time.
But I don’t have any spare time.
When I am not working, I have a house to run, and a family. I try to squeeze in writing fiction, and I spend some time doing freelance writing to help pay the bills. However, I am more likely to be cooking, cleaning, and fitting in some quality time with my partner than hammering out an academic article to the dulcet tones of Eastenders in the background. Or, most likely, I have collapsed on the sofa after dinner and found myself lacking the ability to move, motivate myself or even consider finding an original thought to commit to paper. So it would seem that my dream of changing the world through the power of my words is going to be somewhat limited, and my academic and creative career sadly short lived, unless I can find some miracle potion that will give me a) more hours in the day or b) more energy and alertness.
And yes . . . writing this blog does take time, but not very much, and at least clears my ’emotional desk’ whilst I try to motivate my brain once more.
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