Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | January 11, 2012

January 11. 2012

The beginning of this Round has thrown me for a loop.  During the break, I realized that I had to organize my writing more than I had in the past. I decided to take a new job the day before this Round started, so I realized that I had to organize my detritus.  Still, for the past week, I have felt as though I’m swimming in molasses. Some of it, I’m sure, is the allergies exacerbated by working in the dust and dirt of the garage over the weekend.  However, I recognize some of it as feeling rudderless in the face of so much change.

I made the grand statement at the end of Round 4 last year that I was a writer who works as a librarian, not a librarian dabbling in writing.  I still feel that very strongly, but I am not sure who that writer is.  I’ve shoved her into closets for so long, it’s a miracle she’s alive.  I realized one way to find out who she is would be to let her write; I’ve been  intrigued by Kait Nolan’s test mile concept, and I think it might be time to strap on the running shoes to see what happens.

As further disturbance to the comfort zone, I ran across Chuck Wendig’s post on 25 things writers need to stop doing.  It seemed to be the final push to make me sit back and think hard about my life.  Jenny Hansen’s post this past Monday on fears was a great follow up to a series on fear done on the Writers in the Storm blog; all these ruminations and fears and nervousness and change boiled over when I read the 25 things post.

I am so scared, I’m gibbering in fear.  I’m scared of success, I’m scared of failure.  I’m scared of the move to a town in which I’ve spent less than 36 hours.  The new day job is a step up in responsibility, which my logical mind knows I am thoroughly ready to do, while my inner child is cowering in the corner.

Perhaps because of all this teenage angst (and I’m middle-aged, so it doesn’t seem fair) about who I am, I have totally dried up on writing.   I hope that letting myself write a test mile of 500 words a day, I can find out what the heck I want to write.

So, for the next few weeks, I think that is all I’m going to do with the writing goal.  While I feel the pressure of promised reviews and blog posts, I don’t think it will work to have an assignment every day. I need to dig out the well a bit, and wait for the water to clear to potability.

I will continue the other goals, as they are helping quell the craziness of my life a bit.  While I wish I had progress to report, I find it very helpful to have the accountability to all of you.  Please go cheer on all the other ROWer’s here.

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Responses

  1. You know, having the sole goal of writing your test mile daily is fantastic. I have a goal of 500 words daily on my novel and I find that doing that first everyday at 11 AM via #wordsprints I am doing so much better in ALL my writing.

    Kudos to you about being honest and open… and sometimes I discover free writing my way into my fears or whatever emotion is tangled within me helps the a-has to suddenly become visible….

    Looking forward to hearing more writer-who-spends-time-as-a-librarian!

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Julie. I am definitely using the 500 words to get out a lot of the fear and angst; it is helping greatly. I may be able to join the #wordsprints–they’re at 2pm my time, and the day job sometimes gets in the way, but I’m still keeping it in mind. :)

  2. Starting a new job is hard. Not only does it take adjustment during work hours but it comes home with you too. I’m sure once you’re settled in things will start to look up.

    • Thanks, Nicole. I needed to hear that it is hard; and I agree that the job comes home with you, at least at first. I’m hoping that I can leave the new day job at work more than I did the curent one, at least once I’m settled!

      I am also planning the move in bite-size pieces. I think that helps me from becoming overwhelmed.

  3. Well done for facing your fears; you are a brave woman!

    • Thanks, Janet. I do better if I face my fears, rather than pretend I’m not scared–that way lies madness for me. ;)

  4. Fear is essential. Without it there could be no heroes.
    You’ll do great.

    • Well, Lynette, I’m not sure I’ll ever make it into the hero category, but I appreciate your thinking I’ll do great. There is a lot of excitement mixed in with the fear, thank goodness!

  5. May I make a suggestion? Because you’re so stressed and scared, doing reviews can make things worse. So maybe you should start refusing to do them. At least for awhile. Just explain that you’re not up to it right now. You are putting enough pressure on yourself right now without having the pressure of other people, too. Take some deep breaths. Sit down at your computer with your favorite beverage. Put your hands on the keyboard and see what comes out. Maybe you’re ready to write, maybe you’re not. That big move is what would stress me out the most. You may have to focus on that first and let some other things go until you’re settled in.

    I hope I haven’t sounded too preaching or bossy. Your post just touched me and made me want to just give you a big hug. I’ll just send you a virtual hug and some good thoughts. :)

    • Lauralynn, you do not sound preachy or bossy! I will gladly take the virtual hug :) You have some excellent points. I have stopped saying I will do reviews, so that is a good thing.

      Sitting calmly at the keyboard is good advice–the first several hours have been stream of consciousness, drivel, but very much the leaves that were choking the well. It’s been good to get them out.

      I’ve moved huge distances before–from southern Indiana to Seattle after graduate school, for example. But I still don’t like the change, and I need to remember that even good stress is stressful. I am planning it down to bite-size pieces, which is helping too.

      Thanks so much for dropping by. I appreciate the support.

  6. I definitely think the test mile is a great idea! I have set mine at 250 as I had lots of plotting and planning to do and I know without that declaration of 250 words a day I possibly would not have written a thing.

    I am terrible with coping with change so can relate to your feelings about moving and your job. I hope you start to feel more secure and confident in these changes soon.

    • Thanks, Em. There are days my logical side is in ascendance, thank goodness, or I’d have run gibbering into the swamp. I’m finding sitting and writing, no matter what comes out, very helpful, too.

  7. Hey, redefining yourself as a writer takes time. I’m all for word goals, they help to keep you focused, but make sure you allow yourself to use them for play, especially at this stage. Have conversations with yourself where you play with ideas, try to figure out what grabs you enough that you can stay with it for months or years — however long it takes to finish. Forgive yourself. Think of it as a lovely time just for you when you get to let your imagination wander. (My favorite stage of writing is brainstorming, can you tell? *g*)

    Take care and have a great rest of the week.

    • Thank you for the suggestions on what to write about, Ruth. I have been writing out the teenage angst, but that is petering out, thank goodness! I look forward to the conversations with myself. Yes, I can tell you like brainstorming–so do I! ;)

      Have a lovely weekend!

  8. I love your job – a writer moonlighting as a librarian – just doing research for your real job! Thanks for the link to the 25 things to stop doing. That was really interesting…

    • Wendy, it is interesting that just rearranging the words makes the meaning so different. I like Chuck Wendig-I know some people are offended by his profanity, but he is so down to earth, it doesn’t bother me.

  9. My goodness this really spoke to me of the many feelings we share. Writing has been an on going thing in my life but two years ago after a great loss the well of ideas seemed to dry up. I am still in a place of constant struggle as to what to write and just recently decided to write through the pain.
    I sincerely hope your fears abate soon as you settle into your new life. You know you have a cheering section cheering you on to success in all of your endeavors. Looking forward as always to your writing.
    Tess x

    • I think you’re very brave to write through the pain, Tess. What I’ve been writing these past few days is stream of consciousness about the fears, and the excitement, ahead of me.

      I very much appreciate your support and belief in my writing. x

  10. OMG, I am so very proud of you! Do you have any idea how few people are brave enough to do what you just did and shout it out when they’re scared?!

    You GO, GIRL! Write that test mile and be proud of yourself for doing it. :-)

    • Thanks, Jenny. It didn’t feel all that brave, really! I have been writing every day, and even if it will only be used if I have a crazy character in the future, it feels good! ;)


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