Post-Conference Post

The most amazing thing about conferences for me is always how energized I am during and after them, how excited I become about whatever project I’m working on and how much I look forward to getting back to work.

The worst thing about them is that I always return to a pile of mail or grading or letters of recommendation or committee meetings or reports or god knows what all else that absolutely positively must be taken care of before I can start writing again.

MSA was no exception. The conference was amazing — fantastic panels, great people, wonderful colleagues both old and new — and it left me really, really excited about my project and the connections it’s drawing. (And the amazingly flattering response after my plenary didn’t hurt. I didn’t have quite the rock-star turnout that Fred did — his talk was literally standing-room only, and for mine, the enormous room was, I think, a little less than half-full — but the feedback I got was positively overwhelming.)

But now I’m home, and have crazy amounts of teaching and administrative work that simply will not negotiate with me. So I’m hoping to force myself, starting tomorrow, back into my get-up-early-and-spend-one-half-hour-writing-before-anything-else mode, so that I can at least remember what this feels like when the paperwork cloud has cleared…


  1. You did a plenary talk at MSA? That’s pretty rock star, I’d say. Welcome back to the real world (i.e., your desk and inbox).

    I used to get the same kind of blissed out feeling of euphoria after presenting at a good conference — energized and invigorated to carry on writing. Grading, etc. really does suck the wind out of the sails though.

  2. I always admire the people who can do the hour-a-day writing schedule. For me it’s teach for 18 hours, admin for 18 hours, read/write for 18 hours and so on. I’m a sprinter, not a marathoner. Though I have to say with a lot of editing in front of me I’ve started just keeping drafts with me and going through a sentence or two when I’ve got a chance…

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