It was strange driving to campus tonight. It seems like I’ve been away for awhile. And this is my last semester, so it hit me just how much work I still need to do before May. I have only one class, but there is a significant bit of reading and writing involved, not to mention a final presentation related to our own personal manifesto regarding the use of image in poetry and art. I am concerned, as I have never written a manifesto before, but also because it brings up the age-old question about poetic and other art-related theory and interpretation just being a load of bull.
However, I do plan to approach this semester with enthusiasm and discipline, which I know won’t always be easy, especially when there are so many other things going on outside of art. But I think that limiting the television consumption (don’t I say this every semester/every few months?) will be a good first step. I have recently been proving to myself that I can, in fact, turn off the TV when there’s nothing on, or, even better, refrain from even turning it on in the first place. So it’s a start. I just have to then turn my attention to writing and school work instead of to one of three financial books, a cookbook, an organization book, or that novel that engrosses me for hours each time I open it up.
It comes back down to time management. And time management is something that has never come easily to me. I am a big procrastinator, a time-waster. And more and more I’ve been unhappy with how I feel when I realize that’s exactly what I’m doing. So I’ve also limited my Internet consumption. When I’m done reading my regular blog feeds, I can usually move onto some real work, though I am a little bit of an obsessive email checker, so I do keep my mailbox open and accessible throughout the day. Other than that, though, I feel like I’ve been doing okay resisting the temptation to fritter away so much precious time reading god-knows-what as I sit in front of this screen.
I like being in a writing class because I’m one of those slightly lazy poets who doesn’t really do much writing unless it’s forced out of me by a deadline or assignment, or by a rare moment of inspiration. I almost dread graduating for that very reason. I will have to impose deadlines, writing times, and assignments upon myself, and I know all too well how that usually goes, and that is: not usually very far.
So in my quest to better myself and to form good work and play habits in the process, I promise myself to make the effort and to succeed in this class and in work on my thesis. I vow to work weekends on writing, even to the point of leaving the house occasionally to work in the quiet and less distracting environment of the library or local coffee shop. I will finish my book this semester, and I will graduate with a manuscript to be proud of and perhaps a bit more of this self discipline than I started with three years ago.