I could complain. After all, until this novel is revised, I refuse to work on the next one, and that means, day by day, I am missing out more and more on NaNoWriMo. But that type of outside push can never invigorate me in the way so many other things do.
Including grading papers.
Okay, for those of you who haven't just given up on my blog entirely, give me a little time to explain. Think of it like a vacation--like Christmas. Once a year, it's festive, you get to listen to some great tunes, wrap all sorts of stuff up in pretty paper with curly bows, light candles, and eat tons of food. What's not to like?
Now imagine that same season all year round. It doesn't take long for that music to turn from lyrical to grating. The presents are just a nuisance, all the Christmas decorations would start feeling cluttered, and the food would go straight to your hips. Not so nice, is it?
That's what grading does for me. It presents a shift for me. It's still all about writing, for my grading consists of reading, responding to, and assessing all sorts of writings. I hone my editing skills, help students improve their writings' clarity and organization, and do so with some of the key writing needs in mind: audience, purpose, focus, description, climax, drama, etc.
Yet I don't get to release all I've collected, not until I take the time to sit down with my own writing and use all I've learned to revise or write for myself. And I am always amazed by how much I've grown in the few days it's taken me to get back to my novel. I needed to do that work to be able to get where I am now. And more work is coming on Monday...
I wonder what I will gain from that batch of papers. Probably more than I expect.
What grunt work do you do? What does it do for your writing?