As the new school year begins, I am thinking about practical ways of sustaining my writing amid the demands of the semester.
This Fall I am teaching three classes–2 sections of the first half of the United States history survey course and an upper-division course on colonial America. I serve on three very active college committees and advise a dozen or so students. I also attend regular faculty and department meetings. Some think this load is very heavy. Others, including my readers who are high school teachers, might think I have it easy.
This Fall, in addition to teaching, I need to finish a book manuscript, which is due at the publisher on January 15, 2010. I also need to complete a few other smaller writing projects and prepare a few public talks. I usually start the semester with high hopes of making progress on various projects, but within a few weeks I become overwhelmed by the day to day life of the semester and end up punting on everything else. This Fall, with deadlines approaching, punting is not an option. I need to sustain my writing during the semester.
I know some of my readers have become quite good at balancing their scholarly/writing work with their teaching responsibilities. What works for you? When do you write during the semester? How do you balance writing with the busyness of the semester? Is such balance possible.
Any tips would be much appreciated.