Last week I finally finished writing three chapters for an encyclopedia on motherhood. I thought it was a cool idea for an encyclopedia and naively agreed to write three of the chapters in areas that were somewhat related to my research. As I've mentioned before I am trying to stretch my writing voice and I've never written anything encyclopedic before. Somehow I imagined it being far easier than it turned out to be. The good news is that they are in and I definitely feel like I've learned and stretched from the experience. They are far from my best work but I'm sure when I get the reviews back I'll have plenty of opportunity to stretch some more.
This month I also had to do a final proof of a chapter I wrote about a year or so ago. Again this chapter was very different from what I am used to writing. It was part scholarly argument/part memoir and I was really unsure how to weave all of the pieces together that I felt was essential. The editor gave a very helpful review and I felt the second version was much improved. I was actually quite pleased to reread it now--several months later--and to find that I really enjoyed it. Its a good chapter--not perfect but good--and far different from anything I've written before.
After finishing these two tasks and preparing for my courses I took a little time to relax and found I had an idea for reshaping a novel I had started writing in 2005. (The idea actually came while on a long walk with Pupzilla--I love when things like that happen). I spent a little time re-reading the chapters and again was surprised that they were better than I remembered. The idea I had while walking wouldn't quite work--at least not without sacrificing something I didn't want to sacrifice--but a related idea would and I started reshaping. I'm not sure how much effort I can put towards it during the semester but since it doesn't have a deadline I figure it can just be something I reward myself with when I've done my other work.
Funny thing is that shortly after doing the reshaping I got an idea for another novel (while taking a shower--all my good ideas seem to come in the shower or on walks). I really liked the idea so I sketched it out (after the shower). Again who knows when or if I'll get to it, but it felt good writing it all down.