Maybe I should start giving myself deadlines for my poetry and fiction writing.
I just finished a harrowing summer semester course for my master's program -- Administering and Evaluating Program Resources. A 16 week course compacted into 8, it proved to be the toughest semester of my college experience, with one 3-credit class requiring more work of me than when I was taking 24 credits my first few semesters. The weekly assignments were enough to keep me busy at my computer for hours a day themselves, but then we also had four major projects to complete: an advocacy plan, a grant proposal, a needs assessment, and a school library manual. Each one was rigourous enough alone. Together, though, they demanded every spare waking moment of my attention over the span of the semester. Nevertheless I learned more about administering an effective library program, and about what it takes to be a good school librarian, than I could have ever expected before I began the course.
I also learned that I can write a 5-6 page paper in a single day--and even be pleased with the results.
Writing fiction, it was always my goal to write 4 pages per day, or around a thousand words. Away back before I started college, that goal remained elusive, but I reached it every once in a while. Now, my goal is just to keep present pieces moving forward, even if it's a single sentence or stanza. Some days, I'm happy just to make important notes. Whatever it takes to maintain measurable progress. That is thanks, in part, to having to concentrate my efforts on my schoolwork, forsaking my "real" writing for the sake of assignments. School has all but ruined me for my literary endeavours.
And yet, perhaps it has been helping me. Even though I am not a fast, fluid typist, I am improving. More crucially, I am also getting better at letting my ideas flow freer so that I can reach the end goal of a finished report or paper. It's deadlines. Deadlines are helping me refine my writing ability.
Now, with only two semesters to go until I earn my master's degree, I am more excited than ever to be finished so I can fully return to my fiction and poetry writing and really start getting some good work done. I expect whole new era of production. A renewed wellspring of words. To ensure it, however, I'd better not let myself get lackadaisical. I have to keep striving for challenging goals. And I ought to keep imposing on myself my own "encouraging" deadlines.