Thursday, February 07, 2008

Write it Out

Write… something. At this point, anything.

What?

Oh, I’m sorry. Pardon me. I’m just talking to myself again. Well, writing to myself to be precise. I am looking for clarity, for just a little bit of understanding. In my experience, the best vehicle for me is the written word. Although I cannot say right now whether this will be published or not, you, dear reader, already know; you’re reading it. Of course, when I say published it must be understood that there is a difference between publishing my work and selling it. I am quite clear that no one is going to buy this dribble - not while I’m alive anyway.

Excuse me? The point?

Yes, I guess it would help if I got to it.

For the past few weeks, my life has slowed considerably and rapidly. Indeed, it feels like it has come to a screeching halt and in some respects, it pretty much has. Those of you who have been following along know the success my recent past seen. After a stellar undergraduate experience capped by a BA in government-journalism from Sacramento State, the future looked very bright indeed. Don’t get me wrong, it still does, but I have had to reframe the time period in which that future will take place. It is not, nor has it proven to be immediately bright. That is not to say that my life is in some kind of tailspin, but it is in a holding pattern.

Realistically, even in a thriving economy, the transition from the scholastic world to the professional takes more time than just getting a job. I knew this, and to be honest, having no pressure for a few minutes was looking pretty good, but enough is enough. I am deadline driven; if I don’t have anything that must be done, nothing will get done. It’s much more than a natural tendency towards procrastination - although I am afflicted with that as well. And no, my house is not falling apart at the seams; no, I have not turned into some kind of recluse. But my metabolism as it applies to being productive has slowed - noticeably. And that I am aware of this potential hibernation setting in is a good thing, because of it I know that something must be done.

So I do what I do best: I write about it. I did not know where, exactly, this string of words and punctuation would lead me, but experience tells me that once I start the words just come. It taps into an area of my conscious that is otherwise inaccessible. Maybe because the process of writing slows my mind down (I “type” very slowly) or perhaps the added task of encoding my thoughts into words helps to organize them… I don’t know. I do know that once the floodgates are open, the words just flow. It gives me a different perspective and helps motivate me to do more - even if the rewards are not immediate.

Or are they?

The clarity I gain from thinking all the way through an issue, even one that is abstract and has no concrete definition has a calming quality. The fact that I have now, at this moment, laid down 543 words is an accomplishment all by itself - productive all by itself. As elusive as the source and nature of my discomfort is, writing about it anyway brings relief even if I can’t figure out why. Could it be that I am working under a deadline of a different sort? Is it possible that my complacency limit has been reached and it is now - right now - that I am forced by some equally abstract deadline to do something about it?

Maybe.

And perhaps that is all there is to it. Tomorrow, I have a couple of things that I need to do and several more that could be put off. The question tonight (currently 1:32 A.M.) is simple: Am I sufficiently motivated to get the stories done? At the moment I can say yes, my intention is to get back into life and work. The new deadline? I have had enough relaxation, I am quite done doing nothing. I know that the long-term career perspectives are still just that, but I also know that when the time comes to pounce, I will only have to redirect my efforts; I will not have to get motivated all over again.

I’m writing that out right now.

9 comments:

Bob-kat said...

I know where you are coming from. I am deadline driven too and having nothing to work towards can make me feel quite directionless.

This post demonstrates something that I knew already: you are extremely self aware. That you use the written word to 'sort out' your thoughts is no surprise, it is your chosen medium for expression so it seems natural to use it this way. I ma certain that that bright future is waiitng for you, it's just a little further down the road.

Thanks very much for p[opping by my blog and for your supportive comment. Apologies for the use of the acronym too - it's such a well known problem in the UK that it doesn't need explanation!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I like that you try to sort out what your are feeling and thinking through your writing, Mike....I have complete faith that those Deadlines you long for will be coming your way, very soon!
Meanwhile....keep on, keeping on, my dear!

kenju said...

Writing has always been my choice for communication, Mike, whether with others or myself. I can always sort of a problem or a situation much more easily if I write about it. You know yourself very well!

Awareness said...

two peas in a pod, you and i when it comes to the structure of a deadline.....

What's the saying.....need something done? Give it to a busy person. I'm that way. It's nothing for me to fritter away weeks if i have too much down time.....that or get into trouble! However, when I'm busy...I'm stoked and focused.

The job hunt, no matter what the economy is like is a wrestling match........and it's very hard on the head no matter who you are. The field you have chosen too is so competitive and driven by networking....the hidden job market. One of the tactics I have used in the past (and am trying to use it right now as I CONTINUE to find a new job) is to brainstorm a list of possibilities.....and begin with the cold calls and arranged meetings.

Keep plugging away out there broadening your network Mike. It will pan out soon.......

THE BLUEST BUTTERFLY said...

:-) You obviously analyze your life a lot. I find that good...that you know yourself. Michele sent me.

David said...

good that you ( we ) could have this honest talk with yourself.
I wish I had more time for it.
maybe in the spring. or when I am not trying so damn hard to juggle all this stuff.
here from michele, and glad to see you back at the M n G

flleenie said...

I think you are obsessing & over thinking your whole objective...

You need to step back & chill!

It will all work out.

Catherine said...

I do understand that feeling of being deadline driven - though just being heartily sick of oneself can be a great motivator too
Michele sent me

Snaggle Tooth said...

I also find my mind on paper is more determined n directional than the random meanderings of my unwritten thoughts-

I don't happily go long without writing, at the very least journaling- something only I read- The theraputic value of it is enourmous to me.

Start getting out those free-lance queries-