It’s been a hot minute since I’ve felt like myself. I pinpoint this disassociation with my identity to when I got sick about three weeks ago. I’ve no idea why I didn’t just feel ill but also seemed to be standing beside myself, not quite able to make my actions align with the me I usually am. Writing suffered, reading became sluggish days on end, and my free time wasn’t always spent the way I would like. It seemed it wasn’t just my nose that was plugged, but my entire identity was suffering a sinus infection.
Last night my mind began to spark back to life. As I drove home from work shortly before midnight, glimmers of myself flashed in the dark. I am not fully aflame by any means, but the sparks have hit the kindling of my prefered mode of being — a mode I would love to say is my default self, but alas, I’ve cultivated the prefered me through hard work and must work harder still to continue with the endless journey away from stagnation. Nonetheless, while not burning yet bright, I can say sickness and disassociation recede by the minute.
The writer’s group I helped start and run has now had ahold of The Brick twice, so far scrutinizing parts of the first chapter. I’ve been asking for structural edits and have enjoyed the feedback. My special pleasure is in seeing the reactions of readers who haven’t read anything like my writing in this book. My expected pleasure is in hearing what my bestie, Mike, has to say about this book I’ve been writing with him in mind as my ideal audience.
Two unfortunate things have impacted the group: 1) Mike has been having to work Thursday nights when our group meets. He and I work at the same hotel, and we are in desperate need of another desk clerk. Right now it’s affecting us both, creating a situation where neither of us can have the same night off, and since I run the writing club, it’s I who gets Thursday evenings off. 2) The writer’s group has lost at least two people who found the group intimidating, as if we’re too professional for amateurs. This seems odd to me, as while three of us have put our work out there, we’re by no means acclaimed authors or even making a living at stacking words into book-shaped products. It is perhaps the very advice we dispense in our critique group that intimidates. That would be more understandable; I can see an unpublished writer feeling they have nothing of value to offer to the group . . . though I’d think having insightful readers would be a plus for amateur writers attending a critique group, not a negative. Whatever it is that’s made a couple of intimidated writers jump ship, in the future I hope to convey the need for input from all levels of readers and writers. After the first meeting, I purposefully left off mentioning my credentials as a writer and influencer in the writing community and did not notice any casual flaunting of C.V.s, so I am left guessing what it is about us regulars that feels intimidating to some of our newbies.
Writing with baby is sometimes tough, sometimes not. She doesn’t seem to have a consistent napping schedule, but doctors and baby books are suggesting that she should. If she did, it’d make writing a whole heck of a lot easier during the day. Her grumpy bouts haven’t helped matters; Cora really would rather be held facing out while I walk her around. That’s her favorite. The girl really needs to learn to crawl so she can explore the world herself — not that a baby on the go would make writing any easier!
My goal is to write weekday evenings for a couple of hours no matter how well or poorly writing went during the day. However, because of our need for another desk clerk at work and scheduling oddities with a part-timer, I’ve been working at least two weekday evenings. Before this, I was working only weekends and often (but not always) one weekday evening. So my intentions aren’t matching up with my reality, though it’s no fault of my own.
READERS AND WRITERS NOVELTY HUB
I’ve been selling awesome, bookish merch on Amazon for a while, but I’ve decided to move my focus to a standalone store. To mitigate costs, I’ve kept it simple and without branding and logos. So head on over to Readers and Writers Novelty Hub to find something for yourself or the bookish caffeine addict in your life.
PROJECTS AND SELF-IMPROVEMENT
I alluded above and in my blog post The Paternal To-do of 2022 to what basically amounts to self-improvement. I’ve made some nice jabs at cultivating a lifestyle, but I’ve yet to make any strong stabs at escaping stagnation. To do this, I need to do more than cultivate my environment for the preferred me, but I need to push myself.
I grant, I’ve been learning to parent as a stay-at-home dad these past several months. And Cora herself is in continual flux, meaning I’m continually adjusting to her. So what I have been doing is laying the groundwork for pushing myself. This involves picking up some projects I’ve laid aside and heaving a few hefty self-improvement goals at myself. In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be going in 100%. For me, this is an all or nothing kind of deal. I want this life to be the best for me and my family, and this means not letting myself get stuck wanting and waiting to do certain things but actually setting the groundwork and then doing it. I’m quite happy with both the inner work and external work it’s taken to get me here, nearly ready to journey even further away from stagnation on that endless blooming path of potential.