As the frenzy of back-to-school shopping subsides and the kids settle into their school days, I find myself pacing about the house, pawing at the carpet, circling, circling, circling as I search for just the right spot to settle. Meanwhile, my colleagues post gleeful publication announcements on Facebook, even as they prepare to teach full class loads this fall. Me? I linger over the thin pages of the Standard Examiner and dawdle on my walk with the dogs. Yesterday, I set some goals: finish the divorce education essay by the end of the month. Then delve into the history of my great aunt’s murder–this project will involve lots of reading and research. After that, I’ll return to my other topics: polygamy & suffrage (maybe) and…what were the others? So here’s the problem. These topics are not gripping me as I thought they might. Who cares about divorce education? And what do I really have to say about it? I need to make myself finish something then send it off to multiple places. But publication seems like such a futile and frustrating endeavor. I’d rather write for myself, though that feels self-indulgent and not conducive to future sabbaticals. Debra encouraged me to focus on small projects. I do like that idea. Around the house, with my writing, small projects, baby steps. Just keep going.