Since I signed contracts in February for my new manuscript, “The Sacrificial Ceremonies of Cuban Santeria (the working title),” I’ve been reading, taking notes, and writing at a feverish pace. Still, while writing I’ve had other things to do – go to class, study, write papers, work, deal with godchildren, and teach students. Add to this the activities of daily living, and I’ve been working under a lot of pressure. I took the second summer term at SSC off hoping to get most of the second draft complete, but it’s nowhere near complete. Now, it’s time to be realistic:
If I go back to school in the fall, even for one class, it will cut into my writing time. Right now nothing matters more than the mission, and the mission is to write the best book possible on our faith’s animal offerings. I’m covering our history, the CLBA case, preparations, sacrificial ceremonies, possibly the preparation of ashéses and recipes for cooking the meats, and most definitely the stories from the odu supporting what we do. It’s a large undertaking.
It’s possible that I won’t be returning to class in the fall.
These are the decisions writers have to make. If we’re dedicated to our work and our craft, sometimes we have to sacrifice and rearrange our goals to sustain our work. No matter what one does on the side – education, working a full-time job, teaching – writing is always the major work of a writer, and everything else has to take a backseat to it. Add to this the November release of “Diloggun Tales of the Natural World,” which will require promotional work on my part, and soon I will be under a lot of stress. That’s not conducive to academic success.
So I’m sacrificing one more semester of my education for the greater goal, the greater mission. Unless my muse comes through and pushes me to create brilliant text and prose in the next four weeks, I won’t have time for even one class. But that’s okay – it’s only one more semester off.
Why is my work so hard sometimes?