I'm back in front of the computer after a hectic couple of months of house selling, house hunting and estate sorting, not to mention childcare. Luckily I was able to do it all without feeling guilty or anxious about being away from my writing for too long as I knew that I was about to take up a 12 month position as the writer in residence at Canterbury University in Christchurch. It was quite refreshing actually, because since I became a novelist I have never really been able to have a holiday from it - just periods of non-writing where I feel, well, guilty and anxious. But the idea of those 12 months stretching ahead of me with an office, a salary and a more or less full time work schedule made it possible for me to relax. Or I would have relaxed if it hadn't been such a stressful time doing aforementioned activities.
So here I am, now safely ensconced in my lovely new office, with the sun coming in and only the tops of plane trees to look over. It's so quiet here. I thought my first day would be a day of procrastination while I eased myself into it, but there must be something in the air here because after checking out the library and the bookshop, I sat down at my desk and actually wrote for a few hours.
Perhaps I was spurred by nostalgia. Nostalgia for when I was a student - that excitement I always felt at the beginning of the academic year, when I had a clean slate and no late essays, when I was about to learn new things. As I floated around reminiscing, I realised with a bit of a bump that while I have always thought of myself as a "young person", it was exactly 20 years ago that I was walking around my campus for the first time. Gulp. I think I no longer qualify as a young person. Maybe I was momentarily confused into believing it was 1988 again by all the girls wearing almost exactly the same clothes that girls wore back then. Until yesterday, I would have looked at them and imagined them as being the younger end of my peer group, but of course, when I was starting university, they weren't even born.
Whatever it is in the air here - probably just the general buzz of academia and learning - I feel that this will be my most productive year yet. I have a lot to work on and that is a much better place to be in than to have nothing on which to start. Onwards.
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