Don't get me wrong. I am enjoying working with two huge projects (beginning the MA and getting the book-show on the road) at the same time. It's just that sometimes I feel a bit disintegrative.
The MA head needs to read, reflect, re-read, make a note or two and carry on reading. It is a quiet, creative process and takes time. And I love it - though it isn't always easy. My mind seems to find new ideas in quiet spaces; I notice things between the lines in a way I don't when I'm simply reading for fun.
Meanwhile, the book is at the typeset stage. It needs reading for mistakes. My head is looking, not for ideas (please not ideas - this book is, basically, finished!), but for sentences that don't scan. Or the confused 'thats' and 'thans' and 'ifs' and 'its' and 'it's'. The lonely lines at the top and bottom of pages. It needs a logical, more detached, clinical approach. I cannot let it get under my skin - not now. This is a mechanical process and I am trying to approach it as such.
Which means I am asking my head to switch from clinical to reflective mode, like brain-skipping. And, though it's rare that I move directly from one task to another, they may be separated in time by nothing more divisive than a cup of coffee. I am aware that my thinking is beginning to feel like a sort of cognitive soup - a soup with bits in coalesce in an almost unidentifiable way. (Surely we've all tasted soups like that - they might have begun life as vegetables, but who knows what they are now?) When I wake in the morning one or other book is at the top of my thinking agenda, but in a floaty way. It will neither make itself knows as an identifiable problem, nor sink to the bottom so something recognisable can appear.
I will, I tell myself, get used to this. And my book will, before long, be on its way, with a real cover and read pages and (gulp) real readers? Which will clear the decks a little.
But in the meanwhile, I'm drowning in thinking-soup. Anyone have any ideas how to start swimming?