Many times this summer I have admitted a kind of mental exhaustion with poetry, a fear that after seven years (and how many drafts of that one chapter?) I have ruined a perfectly good hobby.

I even told the Future Mister Doctor that I was afraid if I taught poetry classes for a living that I wouldn’t be able to think of enough interesting things to say–a fear that I certainly never had as an undergraduate, when my hand shot up dozens of times per class period.

And yet, to paraphrase Keats, the ideas in the mind are never dead. Here I am, about to enter my eighth year of graduate school, battling weariness at every page. And there are still new ideas coming. Even this summer, which I have described as a period of stagnation, I have had major insights, major discoveries. Stagnation has in fact been punctuated, all along, with flashes of thought that excite me.

I experience these flashes as relief–not dead. not dead. But in fact, I should expect them. They are going to continue to arrive, in steady (if not completely predictable) increments.

Typically, I make resolutions at the beginning of the school year involving organization, accomplishments, and work habits. But I have a new and better idea this year: resolve to trust your brain. If you keep working, it will too.

Writing–7 days     Exercise–5 days (I’m still on track–planning to go to yoga this afternoon and something with the Future Mister Doctor this weekend.)


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