Posts Tagged With: life issues

Day 1

Well, I have no outline. No scene list. No complete list of main characters. And, there are some serious decisions I still need to make.

BUT, I have 1,760 words towards my goal of 50,000. Yay, me!

I took care of my other responsibilities before I allowed myself to write today. I really want to accomplish this NaNo goal, but I really, really need a job. So, I applied to a job (which took longer than anticipated. I swear those online job applications are designed like weeder courses: they frustrate applications to see who is really serious about applying for the job). I already know which job I wanted to apply for today. Tomorrow will be busy with some other commitments, but I need to find a job, apply to it, go grocery shopping AND find 2.5 hours to pump out my 1,667 words. Think I’ll be able to sustain my productivity throughout July?

I am not wholly sure I understand why I’ve been dragging my feet with this job search thing. Well, part of it is wondering how I am going to ever get anything not job-related done once I have a full-time job: my days pass so quickly and seem so full of obligations rights now. When will I have time to clean? When will I have time to cook? When will I have time to wash clothes? Am I supposed to fit all that into the weekend? I also know part of it is because I am scared of having an 8 to 5 job. I spent the past 10 1/2 years in grad school, which essentially means I set my own schedule. I’m scared of being in the “real” work force. But I also want to be able to buy a house sometime in the near future and be able to start a family. So, I’ve made it a goal this month to write 1,667 words of my novel every day, but before I can do that, I need to apply to at least one job. Every day. Maybe that isn’t enough. Maybe I should be applying to more jobs in a day. But, at least one job app a day is better than one job app a month, which is what I have been averaging. Although, come August, if I still do not have a job, I am going to start freaking out about not having a job. At that point maybe I will start spamming.

Sometimes family members give me advice, but I know that, at the moment at least, it is my own fault I can’t find a job: I’m not really looking very hard. I’ve never had to look that hard for a job before. I’ve been really lucky about things falling in my lap. Well, that and finding teaching assistant gigs followed a regular pattern. I have been really lucky. But, the job market sucks now and I’ve never looked for a “real” job before. I keep telling myself it doesn’t have to be the job I stay in, and if I don’t like what I end up doing I can look for something else. In the meantime, though, I need a salary so I’ll still be able to pay the bills come August. My modus operandi is usually to wait until the last minute and let the deadline stress spur me towards my goal. Well, I keep waiting for that kick in, but it hasn’t yet. I don’t really want to be stressed, but I also would like it to kick in soon.

Okay, enough about my job woes. I have 1,760 words of my story! (Did you notice my bar to the right has some color on it now?)

It has been a long time since I have dedicated myself to writing. Today was kind of cool. I probably spent too much time looking things up (What is that hairstyle called they wore in the 20s and 30s? What kind of animals are indigenous to northern Norway? What are antique hat boxes made of?). Nevertheless, I feel like I had a scene in my mind and the words kept coming. I just need to meet myself at the computer for 2.5 hours everyday and allow/force myself to write. I know this sounds both trite and obvious, but today it really seemed like all I had to do was show up and the rest took care of itself.

Anyway, to all my fellow NaNoWriters, I hope your first day was as satisfying as mine. And here’s to every day in July being even more productive than my first day was.


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

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.   Continue reading

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

2012 Reflections and 2013 Propositions

Here we are at the end of 2012.  It often surprises me that we are so far into the 21st century.  It had its rough spots, but it has culminated in several good notes, and I think next year is going to be awesome.

Grad school

…is OVER!  You are now reading a blog written by a bonafide doctor of philosophy!

It feels really good to know that the past ten years of my life have FINALLY come to fruition.  Like so many others, the road to my doctorate was rough.  The past few years have truly tested my determination and in many ways it seems like I have sacrificed so much to get where I am today.  Honestly, I am not sure whether it was worth it, but dwelling on that question serves little purpose.  Twelve years ago I made a list of five things I wanted to accomplish with my life.  Two (and a half) of them are now crossed off.  Three (or two and a half depending on how you look at things) more to go.

Now comes the hard part.   Continue reading

Categories: Miscellaneous | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments


My dissertation is coming along…slowly.  I set a new deadline for myself.  We’ll see how this one works out.  The good news is that I finished the coding, so finishing the rest does not seem nearly as overwhelming as it did last week at this time.  The bad news is that I do not think it is going to be done by the end of next week, which means that pursuing my fiction-writing project will probably need to be postponed until July.  Once I have turned in the first draft to my advisor, I am hoping that I will feel the weight lifted from my shoulders and won’t feel guilty over spending my time writing fiction.  However, June is going to be a busy month for me, so I do not think it is a good month to try the write-a-novel-in-a-month thing.  July or August may be better.  On the other hand, turning in the first draft is only a first step: there will probably be major revisions and things I need to add.  One step at a time though.

Despite putting my new project on hold while I finish up the dissertation, writing is still something I will be working on.  Revising the diss, finishing the last chapter of the diss, writing some more entries here on my blog, repeating myself in my journal (I tend to feel like I write the same type of things over and over)…these are all exercises in the craft of writing.  So, I am not terribly worried about falling away from my dreams.  I’ll still be working on them in some form.

As far as this blog is concerned, I have had some things on my mind lately, so, while they may not all be directly related to writing, I have decided not to worry so much about the relevance of my posts.  The things I think and feel and believe all inform who I am as a person and that informs my writing, so in that regard they’re relevant.  And you know, one day, when I am a famous author (ha!) people will want to know these things about me.  Until then, at least they’ll serve to amuse me.

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

Time, time, time – where do you go?

Wow, it has been two weeks since I’ve posted anything.  I swear, as I get older time seems to speed up.  It slips away so quickly.

Well, I am still not finished with my dissertation.  I still have not started my write-a-book-in-a-month project.  And I still do not have a job.  What have I been doing for the past two weeks?  I am not entirely sure.  How does the time fly by so quickly without any visible productivity on my part?  *sigh* I have been distracted with a video game – one that has not even been officially released yet.  I have upgraded my computer to play said video game. I have 25 new books on my Nook.  I sent out one job application.  And I coded 50 articles.  In two weeks, these are my accomplishments.  That accounts for maybe 20 hours of work, in 14 days.  *sigh*

I have always had a problem with motivation and procrastination.  Stick a deadline in my way and I will wait until the last minute, BUT it is enough to get my butt in gear and I WILL finish.  I always have.  Give me all the time in the world to finish a project and I putz around and never finish it.  And giving myself deadlines has never worked very well.

So here I am.  A month before said game releases.  At the end of my self-imposed deadline to finish the dissertation.  On the verge of the summer.  Responsibilities piling up and what am I doing?  I am researching Fall 2012 television premieres.  There are a few really interesting looking shows, but there is so much I have to get done between now and then!!

That is all.  I have not abandoned my writing dreams.  I have not forgotten about my blog.  I am just trying to find a way to force myself to deal with the responsibilities I am dreading, especially finishing the dissertation.

Like driving an old car without power-steering, I am trying to turn myself around to get back on track, but it feels like I just keep putting one hand over the other, over and over, turning that wheel…

Any ideas to motivate myself?

Categories: Miscellaneous | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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