Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why I am still Writing While in Grad School.


I've heard there's a meter of perfect stillness in the center of those crazy tropical storms.  And I always wondered how the heck that was possible. But now I get it. Yes. I'm about to get ZEN on you. I've resisted blogging and/or talking about the whole "writing while in grad school and working fulltime thing", just because part of me was worried that people would judge me about how much I'm able to accomplish right now. Like for example, my grad school advisor, who seems to think my dreams of being a professional novelist are a quaint Generation Y version of a hobby. NOT TRUE. 

Yes, my days are turning into this weird ping pong schedule that somewhat resembles a flamboyance of flamingos trying to order a hamburger. I write in the morning, go to work and do story times, run graphic novel book clubs, read academic papers on the history of cataloging at my lunch break and after work, do more class things like ponder what is the point of metadata? (Seriously, if you know the answer, please tell me, because I don't know.)  And it has been suggested to me that maybe I should just pull the writing out, and I'd have a bit more sanity. Not true. First of all, I had no sanity to begin with. 

And secondly, the thing I'm finding out, is that the writing helps me stay me. School is draining, frustrating, and slowly pulling all the joy out of working at a library. Counterproductive, I know, but I love my job and would really like to be an official librarian. But far from being draining, the hour or two I spend writing in the morning energizes me. I go into work knowing I put words down on the page, and even if they weren't good words, (and let's face it, they're probably not,) I was able to kick out from all the other deadlines that circle my head all day, long enough to follow my characters around while they lived their lives. I had an hour to be me. 

So, I just wanted to throw it out there, that if there's anyone else who's being told, "you might be too busy to write." I get you. Don't feel like you're being selfish if you just want to sit down and write. Leave the dishes, forget the laundry, and start buying those little cans of tuna that come with spoons. Seriously. They are very useful. Lots of protein. 

Drop it all and write. Just write. Let the tropical storm go and knock over a hay field or something. For an hour, your only allegiance is to the words on the page. 

15 comments:

  1. If you wait until you have some good free time to write, it'll never happen. I feel you!

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    1. Here's to hoping you have pockets of time to write too...

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    1. Hang in there Bobby! So excited to see your novel when it's done!

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  3. Jess, I can tell from your blog posts that you are a writer. Go on living the dream!

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    1. Thanks JoLynne! I always enjoy the photography on your blog.

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  4. Good to see your advisor indicated you would fail. That's the second step. Later publishers will tell you the same thing, and then they will be followed by critics, who will be appalled that you were published. Then other writers will suggest the same thing because they can't understand why you're out selling them. The only person who won't join this bandwagon of negativity is the IRS. It is the way of things, the path to success is well worn and always has the same scenery.

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  5. Good to see your advisor indicated you would fail. That's the second step. Later publishers will tell you the same thing, and then they will be followed by critics, who will be appalled that you were published. Then other writers will suggest the same thing because they can't understand why you're out selling them. The only person who won't join this bandwagon of negativity is the IRS. It is the way of things, the path to success is well worn and always has the same scenery.

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    1. Well then, I guess at least it's the scenic route.

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  6. Excellent post. My husband saved me from quitting. I'd feel so frustrated and ready to just stop and he'd wisely remind me, even if I never earned a dime from writing, it was part of me. It made me happy and that was more than enough reason not to quit.

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    1. Mine does this for me too! He always has words of encouragement on my worst days. :)

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  7. Been there. Pretty much did what you are doing . . . and it turned out fine-o. :))

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  8. P. S. It is all evolving into something . . . greater . . .

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    1. And sometimes... the journey is the most exciting part.

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