Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Year of Writing: Half-way Point

Holy crap.  So, with the advent of this whole thing we're calling "August," I find myself at the exact half-way point in my Year of Writing.  That means a couple of auspicious things:  one, the severance pay has stopped.  I think that part will sink in gradually in less and less comfortable ways as the month progresses (don't worry: phase II of the YofW is funded through some savings I budgeted for), but I'm actually surprisingly relieved to be completely free of The Company.  I am now no longer beholden in any way, can't be sued as easily (teehee, nervous laughter), and don't have to follow certain rules to keep the money coming.  Not that I'm planning to go on a tear, or to cease to edit myself.  It's just a surprisingly huge relief to be really really unemployed.  I realize that by writing that I'm pretty much inviting some future regret, but that is how I feel right now.

Whenever we hit a new month, I am caught off guard.  So the fact that six of them have already passed since I last put on a pair of work slacks to sit in a cubicle has me pretty scandalized.  Part of me is quickly tallying if there's even enough time to accomplish all those little things I meant to do.  The rest of me however is really just finally sinking into a feeling of joy and purpose.  It has taken me six months to finally be able to begin to feel like I could (possibly, if I had to) approach the task of finding the next job with a clear perspective.  I'm just finally able to see the ways I made the last situation much worse than it needed to be, and resolve to never again enter into work with that mindset.  It had a lot to do with completely compromising who I am because what I did was more important.  Highly ironic, because what I did was often so unimportant.  But there were a few things I did that I'm still proud of, and those are the things I can finally begin to extract and create meaning with.  I may even do some blogging about them.

Other things I've learned so far in the first half:

  • Even with sufficient time to do them, some tasks are still abhorrent.  See submitting stories and query letters.  Yet they remain critical to the whole life of writing.  
  • Being able to be yourself for 24/7 is one of the biggest gifts in the world.  I need to not willingly choose a job where 40+ hours a week of that is compromised.
  • Even with sufficient time, sometimes writing sucks.  It just slogs and makes you feel like you are the most boring, untalented human ever.  Or worse, just plain mediocre.  
  • If you don't leave your desk as often as possible for a coffee or cookie break, it turns out you lose a few pounds.  
  • Looking relaxed sometimes creates envy in others.  Envy can be uncomfortable.  But apologizing for being relaxed is probably some kind of terrible sin and isn't worth it.  
  • Laptops make for really great resting places if you're a kitten.  
I do feel like I need to step up my game for Phase II of the Year of Writing.  There are some projects I haven't even begun.  I'm trying to trick myself into starting the next novel by telling myself I'm just writing a really long short story.  But all this rest and writing and kitten-petting really does feel like the best form of health insurance, or more accurately, like a health investment, like I'm socking away rest and joy in a 401K of life and the universe matching program is really generous. [Sorry, I'm listening to the Beatles' album Revolver and it's making me feel very peace, love and happiness-y at the moment.  Perhaps I should just go hang out with the pretend hippies on Haight street]

The beautiful underside of Golden Gate Bridge

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous photo of the bridge. I really loved this post. You are doing exactly what you are supposed to. I love it when life works out that way! Keep up the good work:)

    ReplyDelete