2013 update so far

Boy, did I start out this year with a fizzle!

At the very beginning I was so motivated, so determined not waste any time.  I jumped into everything.  I started volunteering with this organization that would aid me in my software programming goal.  And very, very quickly I realized I was barely keeping up with my life and, despite having finished my dissertation, I still had no time to spend with my family.

Then a nerve-wracking day that I had been anxiously anticipating for awhile finally came and went – it was bittersweet, but not largely disappointing.  (Although, it is not officially resolved just yet, which is driving me crazy!)  Then, I lost my dear companion – our 9.5 year-old cat.  That happened less than a week ago and this is the first day (so far) that I haven’t cried over his loss.

I think I was scared about being finished.  I spent 10.5 years working on my doctorate.  And the past year was filled to the brim with actual quantifiable work.  I was scared of falling back into old patterns where I would wake up late, then surf the Web for an hour or two, have some lunch, watch some Hulu, then realize I should get something done before my husband came home, but ultimately waste my entire day anyway.  I am getting older. I have more goals I want to accomplish and time seems to slip away faster the older I get.  It scares me.

Apparently the answer is not to stuff my schedule full of activities, because in the end I wasn’t doing what I really wanted to (or needed to) do.  I need to find a job.  This is paramount (and something I haven’t honestly started working on yet and here it is the second week of February already).  Beyond that I need to prioritize my goals.  Yes, I would like to learn how to computer program, and how to use Photoshop efficiently, and refocus my academic research, but what is it that I feel is most important?

A little less than a year ago I decided I wanted to finally write my novel.  I have a very short list of things I absolutely want to accomplish with my life.  I get to cross out “get Ph.D.”  What about “become an author”?  It is something I have always wanted to do, pretty much since I was old enough to write.  I put that aside for a more academic pursuit, which I do not regret.  However, it is time to move forward with this next goal.  And part of me feels that hour-glass heavy on my back, because I know that once I find a full-time job I will not have nearly as much free time.  I need a full-time job, and I feel having one will do me loads of good in a variety of ways, but I want to try and take advantage of this time now when I get to sit at home all day and not get dressed because I have nowhere I have to be.

So, the past couple of days I have been putting a lot of thought into this goal.  The reason I started this blog in the first place.  I have even managed to write about 1000 words of fiction in these two days – unrelated scenes, but still.  Where last year when this desire hit me I felt motivated and knew exactly where to start, this year I feel at a bit of a loss.  I feel like every one of those 1000 words sucked and were wholly uninteresting.  I feel like my new idea for a novel sucks and will never be interesting or intricate enough to work out.  I try telling myself it doesn’t matter. I try to remind myself that I’d rather have a sucky 50,000-word novel that would make someone want to scratch their eyes out than no novel at all.  I know my first novel will not sell.  I know this and should fine with it, but at the moment my inner critic is distracting me with all her blathering about how I’ll never be good enough, how I missed my window, how I cannot write creatively anymore, how I won’t ever be able to dredge up enough motivation to actually finish a complete novel…

Can I manage to take a breath and relax? Writing a novel takes time, just like writing a dissertation. Will I be able to shed this frantic need to see results immediately for fear the rest of my time on this earth will slip away before I can accomplish my goals?

Categories: Miscellaneous, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “2013 update so far

  1. hi verity,

    i identified a lot with your last paragraph. i often wonder if there are other people who think like me. i’ve been working on my thought process to make it more positive. it’s amazing what a difference positive thinking makes.

    i recently finished my doctorate too! what’s yours in? my is social welfare.
    i started writing my first manuscript in aug 2008, the same month that i started the doctorate program.
    i’m starting to work on the second one.

    i recently started a blog to document my journey in the writing process. thanks for liking one of my posts!


    • Hey Jackie! Thanks for the comment! I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one whose mind works the way I do. Positive thinking is so important, but some days it just seems to take so much work. My doctorate is in mass communication. It was a long, long road, but I’m so glad I successfully completed it – now just to put it to some use. Off and on I tried creative writing while I was in school, but I always got distracted or had to put it aside. Although, my favorite story idea, which at this point may never get written (it has lived for far too long in my head), was developed throughout several of my grad school years. I wish you lots of luck and good vibes in your writing journey!

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