I haven’t been reading.

I haven’t had it in me lately, which is bugging me, but nothing changes. So, clearly, it’s not bugging me enough.

I have plenty of options [i.e. stacks of books], but I’m not motivated to immerse myself in a new world. I think it’s because I’ve been immersing myself in my own new world.

This writing project is wonderful. Wonderful and slightly aggravating. But really just wonderful. It’s mine, my creation. My imagination and thought processes resulted in a story, a plot, and characters that I truly love. Now all I need is time to devote to its progress.

What I find tricky is I don’t want to delve into the project for 15 or 20 mins when I have a chance. I want like 2 hours to get in there and be present.

There’s a coffee shop nearby, and I work well there. I don’t work well at home. Too many distractions and reasons to not focus. I’m hoping I’ll get in some good writing time tomorrow since I’m off from work, but I have to go somewhere else because I’m not at home.

I have to remember- this book isn’t going to write itself! And I can’t edit a blank page. All those clichés that are meant to induce encouragement and motivation, they work, let me tell you.

Witchiness

I last wrote about my idea for a witch story. Well, I’m excited to report that I’ve stuck with it since then!

I spent a considerable amount of time developing characters and an actual storyline/outline! I wish I could work on it more regularly, like every day, but due to my job, I’m left with weekends. And that’s been working well.

I have so much planned out that I can see myself writing everything in between. After so many failed attempts and not-even-started ideas, it’s kind of surreal to have something remotely viable.

In addition, I’ve re-embraced my own witchiness. Not like Wicca or anything because I’m firmly non-religious. But crystals and candles and herbs and oils. It’s called cottage witchery, which is new to me. I don’t remember that term being around before, but I wasn’t able to research as much as I can now. It’s all very natural & earthy. One of my bffs is very into it as well.

I’ve worked some of that into my characters’ lives too, which is helping me learn more for myself. I’ve always been interested in all of this, and I’m finally able to be myself about it. Relatively. My boyfriend is so supportive of it. I expect it to bother people or come across as crazy, but he was totally accepting.

Side note: That’s the kind of relationship I recommend. One where your partner doesn’t try to change you or belittle your interests/hobbies/passions. One where your partner accepts you and only wants you to be happy and safe. And vice-versa of course. That’s love.

I’m happy to report that I’ve been pretty busy these last few weeks.

I had a few leads on jobs, but none have worked out.

One in particular was disappointing; it took me a couple days to get over it. And even now when I think about it, I feel a twinge of sadness. But, as people in my life have said, there will be other jobs!

I’m trying to stay positive. It obviously wasn’t meant to be.

I’ve been reading more. I forget if I mentioned that last time. I was reading Lolita, which I didn’t finish. The main character guy started to bore me with his whining on that 500-year-long road trip, so I gave it up. Now, I’m reading The Witches of New York by Ami McKay, and I am quite enjoying it. It is much more my style. Witches are by far my most favorite supernatural being, and I love stories about magic. So much so that I have an idea to write my own witch story. I fear though that the topic is overdone, like the vampire thing.

Over the last two days, I’ve been brainstorming the whos, whats, whens, wheres, whys, and hows of it, and I keep thinking, Oh, that’s been done before. I feel slightly discouraged, but I also remembered the saying:

Write what you know.

So, my own perspective on a supernatural story may be worth it.

And who knows, it may be the “job” I’m looking for!

Alright, it’s time to get serious.

It’s time to figure out what I’m doing with this writing degree that I’ll be spending the next three decades paying for.

What is a legitimate obstacle for me though is I work full-time. Some weeks, more than full-time. So, by the time I get home, I’m too tired to think. I don’ t know how to get around this. The only time that I’m creatively productive is when I’m on vacation from work, which is a few weeks each year.

I am desperate to not waste what I worked so hard for the last three years. But I feel like I have zero time or energy. As I write this, I’m yawning every other minute; my eyes are watering; and I’m pretty much ready to go to bed at any time.

I have to figure out something. I don’t want to waste this. I don’t want to waste this. I don’t want to waste this! You got that, Me?? You’re officially on the clock.

I also don’t read as much as I’d like to for the same reason. So, something has to change.

I wrote a poem yesterday, which makes me feel a little better. But it’s only the tiny beginning of what I really want.

Summer, Sunshine, and Perpetual Self-Discovery

Well, I graduated. What a load off my back (and mind) that is.

My college career came to an end on May 10, 2019, assuming I don’t go for a graduate degree. The very idea turns my stomach, but I did find out that Masters degrees in creative writing are real, so who knows what the future holds.

My degree title is as follows:

Bachelor of Arts, University Without Walls, Journalism and Writing Studies

Yeah- *fist in the air, à la John Bender, minus the long coat because it’s too hot out for that*

Now, if I could just receive that stupid piece of paper in the mail.

My advisor confirmed that I graduated. My grades and degree completion checklist told me that I graduated. But the “3-4 weeks” that it would take to receive my diploma have passed. I can’t help feeling a little afraid, like it was all a joke or a lie.

I want to hang it in a smart, classy frame and stare at it while I pay back the loans I owe so that I can be reminded of why I did this in the first place.

Back when I first contemplated giving college another go, I had a lot of worries to sort through, but where I always ended up was, if I had already started, instead of continued to worry, I could be like a year into it by then.

So, finally, I decided to do it. And three years later, here I am. Done.

It’s pretty surreal.

At first, I was like, I have all my free time back! I can do what I want! I can write! I can read! I can travel!

But you know what? For this last month, I mostly just binged on Netflix. I did a little reading (finished The Great Gatsby; started Lolita) and a little traveling (bookstores; beach) and a little creative thinking (random stuff). But mostly, I was a total bum.

And it was fantastic!

Eventually, instead of being annoyed with myself for not being more creatively productive, I embraced the bumminess and let myself ENJOY it! I realized that I needed time to detach from thinking like a part-time student. I needed to get to know myself again, who I am without “student” as a descriptor.

At this point, the Netflix binge has ended, thankfully. There’s been an uptick in social media activity though. I would like to quash that, but I’m also getting into the mindset of using it for creative purposes, so I’m putting a pin in that one. Happy to report, however, that I’ve been reading more. Still on Lolita, which is an entirely different topic, but I bought a bunch of new books and am very excited to get into them!

Here’s to summer, sunshine, and perpetual self-discovery! 🍹☀️

The “winter blues” got the best of me this year.

More so than ever before.

I’d never felt it this strongly. I spent about a month having ZERO motivation to do anything, and what sucks the most about the timing of it was that it started around the same time as the new semester. So, I did a few initial assignments and then got very behind. I’ve mostly caught up in one class, but the other… I’m still struggling. Luckily, it’s currently spring break, which means no new assignments to add on.

I think it started with the indecision about my financial aid, which I found out about a week before classes were to begin. And it wasn’t fully resolved until after they began. The week before classes, I usually read over the syllabi, get my textbooks, and get myself in the mindset of the assignments and subject matter. I didn’t have that this time.

Also, I was sort of forced into the classes I’m in. It’s my last semester, and I needed two 300- or 400-level courses. All that was offered for Journalism was Opinion Writing, and, out of the English creative writing courses, I chose TV Pilot Script Writing. Well, much to my dismay, that pilot script class was eventually cancelled due to low enrollment. The other options were Creative Writing, Writing the Graphic Novel, and Writing for a Living. I have no interest in graphic novels, but I considered it because it would mean focused creative work. The regular creative writing course wasn’t too appealing because I’d already taken that type of course the previous semester and a couple of times back in high school. I wanted something more specific, hence choosing the pilot script course. And as for Writing for a Living, it seemed more like the utilitarian class of writing curriculums. There would be no creative projects or soul-feeding writing. It would simply be about writing queries to publishers and agents. Ultimately, it’s what I chose because it seemed to be the most useful, and it’s been alright. It’s had interesting assignments that do make you think and figure things out.

As for opinion writing, I am less than excited by it. I think part of it is I don’t think my “voice” jives with the opinion style. Plus, I’ve learned that I’m not as interested in journalism as I once thought I might be. So, that adds to the lack of motivation.

But that’s why I went to school in the first place- to figure out which types of writing I would like most. And that’s what is happening.

I just have to get through this last part, and it will be in my rearview.

I already am considering taking a one-off screenwriting course at some point. NYU’s Tisch School offers one online, so maybe that’s in my future!

I have always loved New Year’s.

Both Eve and Day.

I’ve loved it when I’ve spent it with family, when I’ve spent it with friends, when I’ve spent it alone, when my dog was my midnight kiss, and as I’ve spent it with my Love for a few years now.

That moment when we move from the end of one period of time to the beginning of another… it’s a fully emotional experience for me. It makes me happy. It makes me hopeful and awakens my spirit. They say that the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest at Halloween. Well, I think there’s a thin veil on New Year’s Eve and Day too. A veil between contentment/complacency and wanting more, making changes and decisions. All you have to do is be open to it.

Happy New Year! 🖤🥂🖤🥂🖤

I might want to be a sports writer.

I started introducing sports into my journalism course assignments this week.

I think that may be the direction I’d like to go in, much more so than current events and politics or, like, “hard news.” As much as I like to stay aware and pass along important information about the world and government(s), if that were my job, I’m pretty sure I’d hate it. And that’s not what this college thing is about. It’s about doing what I want to do–what I’d love to do–every day.

I’m already hugely into sports. Mainly hockey. But I find it fairly easy to catch on to other sports. (They don’t call me the “sports guru” on my trivia team for nothing!) And I think I would be good at reporting on the results of games/matches and the goings-on in the various leagues and with players/athletes. My only concern is that I’m definitely emotional about the players and am not at all someone who brushes off disappointing trades or other deals with a shrug and “It’s just business.” I’m not one to complain about losses like they’re ruining my life. I’m a celebrater, if that’s even a word, of everything good and a consoler, same thing here, of everything sad. And that makes me doubt if I’d make it in the sports journalism world.

But maybe when I’m thinking of “sports journalism,” I’m mixing it up with sports commentary and analysis, two things I can enjoy listening to and weighing in on with my brother and our friends, but I wouldn’t be interested in officially participating in for the aforementioned reasons.

I’m not even sure that journalism is exactly the route I want to go in, but the sports area is the most appealing.

The Story of the Roman Family

I’ve always wanted to tell this story. I’ve only told a few people, and even they don’t know more than that the family exists and minimally about why.

I am reluctant to share this because I feel like it makes me sound crazy. If you’re a writer too, I am going to trust that you understand where I’m coming from with this post. If you’re not a writer, please know that I do not have any sort of personality disorder.

So, the Roman family. They have existed, to me, in my imagination, for 20 years now. I realized that recently–Twenty Years. Such a wonderful milestone.

The main person in the family is a version of myself that, at the time, when I was 13/14 years old, I wished could be the real me. I made her have traits, both physical & character, that I wished I had, and I made her be a part of a large family. She is the 6th out of 10 kids. The part that I, of course, didn’t wish to be my life–she just had to have some sort of tragic back story–was that her parents had died. I think it was symbolic for me because that year was when I was moving and having to switch schools and, therefore, make new friends. I felt very alone and lacked self-confidence. I think this version of myself and her siblings was a coping mechanism. And they remained that for several years.

I wrote many a story, both short and long, chroncling her life. I have Word documents detailing each sibling’s individual family as everyone grew up. I have education information figured out. I have photos that I searched for online as a way to put a face to a name. A few celebrities are in there, which is funny to me, but they’re sort of-kind of what the character looks like in my mind.

About five years ago or so, I started working on the first story, the one that starts them off, the one that defines them. The one about the night their parents died. I know how each sibling reacted in the short-term and in the long-term and what it meant to them as a whole.

It feels like I know them and like they’re real. So much so that, when I considered the possibility of writing their initial story and self-publishing it, I had to change all of their names. It felt like I was divulging personal information by using all their original names. I felt protective of them.

Now that I’m in a writing course for which I have to write creative non-fiction and fiction, I wish I could use their story as non-fiction because it’s not fiction to me. I have to remind myself that it actually is.

Hopefully one day, I’ll see their story through. I think it would mean a lot to those who might read it.

I couldn’t decide on what to write next.

I had an idea, but it wasn’t coming out right. It was sounding more like a persuasive piece on why one should do what I was talking about, not just my meandering thoughts on what I was talking about. And then, every idea I had after that was missing something.

My voice wasn’t there.

Everything felt forced, like I was painstakingly tryyyyying to maaaaake a blog post blahblahblah blahblah. And that’s not what this is. I mean, sure, in the most literal sense, this is a blog, and I’m making posts. But the material isn’t supposed to be so planned. It’s supposed to be sincere and raw and straight from my head, hence the subtitle.

I remind myself of that- Forget that there are readers. It’s only you having one of those mental soliloquies that you have so often because your mind never turns off. But still, nothing felt right.

Does this spell trouble for future posts? Will it be a struggle all the time? I grimace at the thought.

I do have a lot on my mind these last few days. Maybe that’s jamming up my creative channels.

  1. School starts up again in exactly 2 weeks. I feel slightly panicked because of how much work it is, but I’m excited because it’s the start of my “senior year.” And that shows me that I’ve made progress. Two years down; two to go!
  2. Work is stressing me out. I work in an industry in which sales is a large part of the job. We’re supposed to try to get people to open accounts and sign up for services. Our performance reviews depend largely on how well we each meet our quarterly goals. And not only that, my manager’s performance depends on how our branch performs as a whole, which also affects how I perform and my subordinate performs. AND my subordinate’s performance affects mine. It’s this huge web. So, while I’m having to sell crap to people, I’m also having to pretend that I care about it when I really, truly don’t. I couldn’t give two shibbity doops. We’re having to make lists of people who we can sell things to when we see them next. And honestly, it’s just not the line of work I belong in. Finishing my degree is supposed to solve all of that, but that’s still two more years of being this underling whose value depends on other people’s choices.
  3. One of my best friends just had a baby.
    • That may not seem like something to be overwhelmed by, and I’m not. It’s so great, and I’m happy for her. And I visited them at the hospital when her baby wasn’t even a whole day old yet, and it was wonderful. I’m planning to be as present as I can be and happily so, but it’s kind of worrying me. Will I be present enough? Will I be a good enough friend during this time? I really freaking hope so.
    • It’s making me feel like I’m severely behind schedule. I’m older than she is by a couple of years, and I don’t have that many good childbearing years left, maybe one or two. They say that, as women age, they have less and less chance of conceiving, and I’m pretty sure there’s something about the older the mother, the more risk of certain health issues for the baby and difficult pregnancy. I’m very concerned about that. It weighs on me a lot, to the point of tears. I think about how I have two years of school left, and then I’d prefer to establish myself in a career that I love before I have kids. But by then I could be 40. So, I don’t know what to do about it. Have kids first? Put a career on hold even longer? That doesn’t seem fair.
    • And then of course, my friend’s experience with giving birth wasn’t the best and makes me even less excited about that part than I already was. And she’s a labor & delivery nurse, so she knew what to do for herself. I, on the other hand, am more than skeeved out by anything medical. But I’m thinking about going to some kind of therapy for that because it’s kind of a problem.

Maybe this is what I needed. To lay it all out there. I would say it’s pretty sincere and raw. And it’s definitely straight from my head. Success.

And now, I can go to sleep.