Quarterly Review

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Saturday, April 02, 2005
In the great tradition of internet navel-gazing, it is now is aprox 1/4 into 2005 - what better time to take a couple of moments to review how things are going? Plus, as always, I love a list. Things that were of great concern to me at the start of the year were a) pulling myself together after years of indifference; b) writing; c) job. Not necessarily in that order, of course.

A) The Swamp of Indifference - my own. After a couple of years of not having to get dressed to go to a job (and the last job I had I certainly didn't need to dress up for), I have fallen into some very lazy habits. Almost everything I wear on a regular basis I bought from the Old Navy Outlet, which looks just as exciting as it sounds. A great place for jeans and basics, but it should not be the entirety of my wardrobe! Especially with a room full of fabric (no lie) and garbage sacks full of patterns (or the .99 cent pattern sales). I made strides at the beginning of the year by getting rid of HUGE amounts of clothes that didn't fit or were woefully out of style. Unfortunately, that left me with all my jeans and most of my t-shirts, hoodies and not a whole lot else. This is fixable, and with summer coming on something that should be easy to work on. I need to do this not just for summer, but for the Job Hunt as well. In that same vein, I need a haircut. You know - none of that really gets at the real reason. I never feel like I look on the outside like I feel on the inside. I'll probably never get that completely reconciled (who does?), but surely I can get closer! Awareness of one's sucky habits and style is half the battle, if What Not To Wear is to be believed. Now I just need to do something about it.

B) Writing - I really fell off on this around the holidays. I had taken a small break right after Nanowrimo, and then went back to work editing/rewriting my 2003 nano piece... for a while. Then, well, it just fell off. I think this is coming along nicely, but not nearly fast enough. Part of the problem is that I allow myself to skip too easily. No more. I want to have this piece in readable (by more than just me and my critique partner) by my birthday in July. It is a doable goal, I just need to really focus on writing at least a little bit every day. Even if I have other stuff going on - Especially if I have other stuff going on!
Something I tried to set up in this latest round of rewrites was that I would not rely on my critique partner being ready with her stuff at the same time (we used to swap sections on X day) - that I needed to press on whether or not she had her writing done at the same time. There is nothing that makes me more likely to skip a deadline than finding out someone else is skipping it too. I recognize that this is not the most reasonable or results oriented policy, so I am really trying to do the work regardless of what CP is doing. It is difficult, but I just have to keep pushing at it until it becomes more natural! So sad!

C) job stuff - I need to find one! In contrast to where I was 3 months ago, I have picked up some freelance work. Freelance design work - which is luckier than I deserve. It's great, fantastic, even - but no substitute for a regular paycheck. I would love to continue doing this kind of work, but realistically it is not a full-time job. It would be a great augment to a full or part-time job, though! The great thing about the freelance work coming when it did is that I got a much-needed ego boost. I get in these stupid self-defeating loops where by the end of it I've got myself convinced it's a miracle I can even dress myself (even in jeans and a t-shirt!), let alone use my brain or any skills.

D) read more. I've been keeping track in this very blog - if I want to make 50 by the end of the year, I'll need to step up the pace. I think I'll go to bed right now and work on that.
2 comments on "Quarterly Review"
  1. My comments keep disappearing. Are you deleting them so people won't know you know me? It won't work you know. I'm like a bad rash, I'll keep coming back no matter how much you try to scratch me away!

    You know, sometimes when I read your blog, I realize how much alike we are. The only thing is when you do it, I think you're being unreasonable and hard on yourself, while when I do it, I'm just being realistic about my potential for suckage.

    I wouldn't be too hard on yourself about what you are calling your lazy habits. If you're comfortable in Old Navy and don't need to be wearing anything else, why worry? Of course, if you're not comfortable, then that's a different matter. It's amazing how little things like my slacks rule make a crazy person like me feel better. I think that once you have a good goal and plan set for yourself in terms of what you want to do, the swamp of indifference will transform itself into the sea of hope (or at least drain).

    As for your writing, you really have no reason to criticize yourself there. At least you DO it, unlike me. I mostly just talk and think about it. When you're ready to let someone read, let me know. I'd be happy to do it and I'll be honest, but you know I won't be mean, because I have such neuroses about my own writing and know how it feels to worry about people thinking your work sucks, or even worse, it sucking for real.

    Anyway, I think you're doing great at all your stuff. I'm really glad that you had your freelance design experience. That is an awesome thing to be able to put on a resumé. Good for you!

  2. I have deleted no comments! kicks blogger maybe it will work better now. I know sometimes I don't get email confirmation of a comment for a while, but I didn't realize it was eating them whole!

    Thanks for your kind words - I know exactly what you mean about the unreasonable for you/reasonable for me brain switch. It is so ridiculous, but so far knowing it is crazy hasn't made it go away. As for Old Navy - it's not that I plan to abandon my love of the sports stripe and cute sneaker - I just would like to be able to wear something else occasionally and not feel like I am wearing clown clothes. I hardly wear anything else nowadays, so when I do manage to scrape something together that does not involve denim I feel really self-conscious. It is rideeeeculous, truly.

    Thanks for offering to read over my novel! You are definitely on the list. I just want it to get as good as I can make it before I hit the next round of revisions. Or, if not good, at least as Un-Sucky as I can make it. you know...
    I think you should get going on your novel so I can make the same offer to you. From my own meager experience I can tell you that the very first draft will suck beyond the telling of it. I think Jennifer Crusie calls these "discovery drafts" where you aren't even up to first draft level. You throw everything you've got at it, and see what sticks. Then, you see what works for your particular story, start cutting and adding and stitching together. It's fun, in a self-torture kind of way. Once I'm really working at it, I enjoy it even though it is difficult. I just seem to avoid getting down to really working at it. That's why I have given myself a deadline for this round of revisions (July) and even going the extra step of telling people about it so I am forced to either do it, or come up with a better reason for not doing it.


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