In January of 2017 I posted a personal update of how my journey to become a writer was going so far. That was week 16 after I had left a job I loved to take a stab at a new way of life. It was a relatively arbitrary week. 16 seemed like a nice round number. Plus, it was the first post of the new year and a great way to kick off 2017.
At the time, I had absolutely no way of knowing the symmetry of the situation. But as fate would have it, week 16 was a halfway point for this phase of my life. This week, week 32, I’m working furiously to set in motion / finalize / work ahead on a bunch of things because my life is about to change again. On Monday I head back to the grind of a full-time job. I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m proud, I’m anxious: all of the normal feelings one has when starting something new.
Some of you may be asking why I’m going back to work. There are so many answers to this question, money being the blunt and obvious one. But, if it was just money, I wouldn’t be doing it. Truth be told, I miss it. I miss working collaboratively on projects. I miss having that dedicated focus to working on something larger than myself. I miss being challenged by work and truthfully, I miss not having my production levels be 100% self-motivated. I have spent days, weeks imagining editorial deadlines that were all in my head. It worked, but part of me is looking forward to someone telling me, “I need this by Friday,” and having that actually meaning something.
Also, a little hard to admit, but to be nakedly honest, I miss having an answer to the “where do you work?” question. I will always say I’m a writer. I will always be a writer. I have so much hope for the book I’m trying to get published. But, I can be a writer and have a different day job too. And that will feel good. I like my new answer to that question. I’ve learned that about myself.
So, at 32 weeks (16 +16 folks, in case that wasn’t clear… a note more for myself than anyone reading this because I’m still wigging out at the unplanned numerology of it all) I thought it was about time to do another recap.
A, “so how did I do during my time off?” recap. So, here we go.
And on a personal note:
All-in-all, this eight month “cubical sabbatical” was everything I could have hoped for. I opened myself up for some major soul-searching. I learned a lot about my personal motivations at this stage of my life. I gave myself grace for the days I wasn’t very productive and I let myself feel proud when I had major accomplishments. Of course, I am me, so I still feel like I could’ve (would’ve, should’ve) done so much more, but maybe that’s what this re-cap is for. Not to let all of you know what I’ve done, but to have it for myself for a few weeks or months or years from now. So that when I look back at this period of time, I don’t just think, “hey I took some time off, well isn’t that special?” No, instead I will look back and think, “I took some time off and DAMN I accomplished a lot.”
And, I’m pleased to say I’m confident it’s not over yet. I’m still going to query and query and query my book. I’m going to attend local events and stay engaged with other writers. I’m keeping up #WritersQuick5 and Amache’s America. My hope is that my writing will remain what it always has been - a safe haven, reprieve, and blessing from the craziness of world around me. And that after this time, my return to more a traditional workplace will bring with it new perspectives, a new appreciation, and the fresh eyes of a writer.
I’m sure a blog post about what it’s like to balance work and writing is forthcoming (I can tell you’re all excited for that already, lol).
32 weeks. What. A. Journey.
Thanks for coming along with me.