Final Round 4 check-in from a writer

Well, here we are at the end of Round Four, and it is time to look back at my progress in this Round.  The short and sweet of it is that, no, I didn’t get everything done I wanted to do:  I didn’t lose as much weight as I had planned; but I did establish some new habits, and that, to me, is more important.  I did finish an article, but wasn’t able to start any particular WIP,  but again, I kept up the habit.  
Most importantly, however, is that I stopped seeing myself as a librarian who dabbles in writing on the side, and began to look at myself as a writer with a day job. I continued my friendships with writers I met in Round 3, and made more friends in Round 4. I would have liked to have been able to visit more of my friend’s blogs, but that is one of my goals for Round 1.
I am going to post my third Gratitude post tomorrow.  It is about the writers I have met, without whose support I would not be here.

To look at progress since the last check-in, well, I fell off the wagon again.  My plane had to return to the airport on the second leg of my flight on Sunday to check a faulty nose landing gear.  I’ve never been met by firetrucks upon landing before; I must say it is a real thrill.  I was on my way quite efficiently, considering we had to find another plane and another gate in Atlanta, the latter being far more scarce than the first.  To say the unexpected landing blew my concentration for writing, commenting, or thinking is an understatement.  I ended up arriving 3 hours later than planned, missing the dinner with staff that had been planned.

The interview Monday went well, or at least I think so.  I’ll find out next week what they thought.  It started at 8:30am and finished about 9pm, with an hour break before dinner. It is really difficult to be “on” all day, especially meeting well over twenty people.  I had figured the presentation attendance would be sparse, but there were about 30-40 people in the room.  I have to say, though, that everyone was extremely nice, but I was just shattered by the end of it.

Tuesday was a travel day; getting from one medium-sized airport to a tiny rural airport (well, we have three gates) took nine and a half hours, mostly sitting on the floor in the Atlanta airport.  I should have been able to do some commenting then, but I was still exhausted.
Yesterday was “pack for Christmas break” day, washing all the laundry that needed to go.  There’s a question for you–why is the stuff you want to take always in the hamper when you finally locate it?  Today we are driving the dogs to the kennel on the way out of town, going to Siesta Key for 3 days and then Sarasota for Christmas Day.

A look from the finish line at my goals:
I began to eat more healthy foods, and to avoid the old temptations.  I started to add more walking progressively through the Round as well.  I only lost 7 pounds, but I’ll take that happily.I am still working on contacting my family and friends more consistently.  I am better, but far from where I want to be.

The biggest changes this Round were in the writing and the day job.  I continued to gain confidence in my writing during the Round, witnessed by my putting up excerpts, something I was unable to do in Round 3. I also gained more confidence with my academic writing, as I have two articles going out for queries in the next few weeks. With your support, this hermit crab has finally crawled out of her shell.  Just watch me go 😉

As for the day job, I did a lot of meditation, prayer, call it what you will.  I played with the idea of going for a writing job, but realized I didn’t have the portfolio to succeed in that quest. However, I could find a better position, with better support from my colleagues and superiors, and I am in the middle of that quest.

As I said above, though, I went through a fundamental shift in self-awareness.  I am a writer; I work in a library.  It doesn’t look like much spelled out that way, but it has made a huge difference in how I look at life.  The self-confidence it takes for me to write that sentence was not there when I started this Round.Thank you all for all you have done for me this Round.  I cannot begin to thank you.As always, please go encourage the rest of the ROWers  here.

29 thoughts on “Final Round 4 check-in from a writer”

  1. So glad you were able to re-adjust your thinking – “I am a writer; I work in a library.” That in itself is a great accomplishment, one which I struggle with. Being a closet writer, none of my friends or family even know my blog exists, let alone the 1000s and 1000s of words in the various stages of novels. Glad you could fully realize yourself. And I LOVE your stuff! Though I’m a wee bit jealous that you work in a library – I spend all day teaching doctors how to use medical software. Bleh.

    1. Thank you, Lynette; I do feel as though I’ve turned a corner. None of my sisters or brother know I’m writing a blog, or anything else, for that matter, so I totally relate. I have some good friends who know, but really only a handful.

      I’m so glad you like my stuff; it’s really hard for me to put it out there, so it helps to know someone likes it. As for working in a library, well, let’s just say it has its days, too. Most of the time, the work is pretty interesting, though.

      Have a wonderful holiday!

  2. I’m so glad you are thinking of yourself as a writer. There comes a time when we really need to do that and take it seriously. That’s why I wrote that post on the ROW80 site on December 7. This is a real job. 🙂

    Good luck in the next round! Oh, and btw, ONLY seven pounds??? Don’t use the word “only” when you mention losing seven pounds. LOL

    1. Ha, thanks for calling me out on “only” seven pounds, Lauralynn–I wasn’t looking at the half-full glass, was I?

      Also, I loved your post on writing being a real job; that is part of what got me thinking through how I see myself. I read it, but *blush* didn’t comment. My bad!

      Have a wonderful holiday, and a great 2012.

  3. It’s amazing how rearranging the order of words can affect your consciousness. Now you’re a writer who works in a library. Writing is first and foremost. Once I made that shift, things started to snowball. I hope it does for you, too.

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Suzanne. It’s funny how we are all aware of the power of words, but I hadn’t thought of how I defined myself being so powerful. I hope the sea change happens for me, too!

  4. Congratulations on meeting many goals and on being a for-reals writer. The way you think shapes who you are.

  5. “a writer with a day job.” – Yep, huge corner there. Just be careful, once I started thinking that way, I really began to resent the Day Job. Seriously, it’s like this evil entity that is actively conspiring to make me unhappy. Sort of like Dementors in Harry Potter. Yes, exactly like that. In fact, I think some of my colleagues bear a striking resemblance… no, that’s just the holidays and lack of sleep. 🙂

    Habits are good, too. ROW is all about habits.

    It’s hard for me to believe that, really, this is just the first year of ROW and I’ve really only been lurking around for two of the four rounds. Even with a lot of collective baby steps and setbacks, we went burned through a lot of goals and words. Think what next year may hold!

    Great (second job) work this year. See you on the flip side! Have a wonderful holiday.

    1. Thanks, Matt. I hear you about the resentment, and it is a danger. I will have to watch that I don’t start seeing dementors. I also am looking for a better place to do the day job. I find that redefining myself has made me less willing to put up with uneven work conditions; I hope I can find a day job that will impinge less on my off hours, so wish me luck!

      I used to be really bad with habits, so I am happy that the ROW80 habits seem to be sticking. It is amazing the strides that some of us have made–look at you go with releasing two novels in roughly six months!

      Have a wonderful holiday, and I’ll see you in January!

  6. I think changing habits and self-awareness is the right path towards seeing your writing goals knocked down. It’s kind of amazing how writing goals can take care of themselves when you know that as a writer, it’s time to get some writing done. It’s a closed loop of awesome. It’s just making that first adjustment in your mind that’s the most difficult step.

    More than that, I wanted to chime in to say that shedding weight (7 lbs, excellent stride to make!) is a really fantastic endeavor to pair with writing. I built up quite a few of my own unhappiness pounds while in grad school; now that I’m out, watching (some of) them disappear just makes me feel motivated. And healthier. And less of a hermit crab.

    So congratulations on the progress! And see you in the next round. 😀

    1. That’s so true, Tracy! Somehow it is a sea change to rearrange the words. And “unhappiness pounds,” how spot on that is! So many people are stress eaters, like me. I really hope to get a less stressful job soon, so that I can continue to lose weight.

      Thank you so much for the encouragement. Have a lovely holiday break. See you in January!

  7. You wrote: “Most importantly, however, is that I stopped seeing myself as a librarian who dabbles in writing on the side, and began to look at myself as a writer with a day job.”

    I love that! I’ve just been in travel mode, too… and that can certainly sap one’s ability to think/write/even read. Congrats on all you’ve accomplished. Group goal setting + accountability works!

    Looking forward to 2012, round 1! See you all there.

    1. Thank you, Julia. It is a testament to the power of words that a statement like that can cause such a change in thinking.

      I look forward to getting to know you in Round One. Have a lovely holiday!

  8. I was exhausted just reading that. Sending you a huge hug and lifting my wine glass in your honor.

    I’m looking forward sharing more fun and experiences with you in 2012, and wish you the best in 2012 and this holiday season.

    1. Thank you so much, Tia. I greatly appreciate the hug, and the toast. Have a wonderful holiday, and a great 2012.

      I’m going to try to read Depression Cookies before I go back to work. I enjoyed the sample, but seem not to have bought the book. *hangs head in shame*

      1. I so get it, so no shame at all. I’m so far behind in reading! I’m hoping to do some catch up over Christmas break, but I do have all my kids home, so… 😉

  9. I didn’t nail all my goals either but I did learn even more this round then the last. The important thing is that we’re going forward and learning every step of the way. Congrats on your progress, especially your fitness!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Sonia. So true that the progress is what is most important; and I certainly did learn a lot this round.

      Have a wonderful holiday. I’m looking forward to ROWing with you again in January.

  10. That one big step to saying “I am a writer” is a biggie. Once you admit that, it opens up a whole new world. I took me quite a while to actually say it, to own it. I learned alot from everyone during ROW and look forward to more in 2012. I think I’ll be jumping in with exercise and healthy eating goals as well. Congratulations on all your accomplishments. What job are you interviewing for?

    1. Isn’t it interesting, Robin, how different just rearranging the words makes one feel?

      The job is supervising the folks who create the catalog database for SUNY Albany. I hear soon, but universities can take a long time to get through the red tape. I also have an interview for the same kind of job at the University of Utah in mid-January.
      Have a great holiday. Looking forward to Round One!

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