It’s weird how some things make your brain stutter. Last Tuesday, for instance, after my new title of “Database Coordinator” was finally made official at work, my old job as “IS Internet Specialist” was posted for people to apply for. They posted it before anyone told me the new job was official, so for a little while there, I had this vague sense of being in “job purgatory”, even though I knew they wouldn’t post my old job if the new one wasn’t official.
And then of course the realization hit that my self-appointed title of “Webmistress” didn’t actually apply anymore (well, not as far as pertains to the day job, anyways…obviously I still have my own sites to care for). That was weird too. No, my day job isn’t how I define myself as a whole, but it definitely is part of who I am (I mean, I’ve been the “webmistress” for 15 yrs or so now…that’s a long time to lay claim to a specific “label”). And now I am the DBA, which means I *am* that person that I’ve had some…uh…biases & preconceived notions about when dealing with others who wear that label. So that’s gonna take some getting used to.
My focus is a bit different now, and as with any new job, there are a lot of things to learn and become proficient in. And as I mentioned last week, I have to be at work an hour earlier on Mondays, which isn’t on the “pros” list, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons when it comes to switching jobs in this particular case.
So. Lots of changes going on at work. For the better, I think.
We’ve been making changes at home too. Motivated by my dad’s cancer recurrence, my husband and I have started doing twice-daily workouts, morning and night. I was already doing yoga in the mornings, but slacking off at night. The hubby decided he wanted to get up and get moving earlier, so I’ve been waking him up before I hit the showers, and he does his cardio on the treadmill in the morning. At night, we head downstairs about nine, and I do my cardio and he uses the Total Gym for resistance training, and I do my resistance training after. It’s been good for both of us, I think, and we motivate each other. When neither of us is motivated at night, we have a show we can only watch while we’re working out (we’re currently working on the second season of The Transformer on Netflix), and that generally gets us down there, at least. Just showing up is often all you need to start doing the thing that needs to be done.
I’m pulling off pounds, slowly but surely, which is good. I need to lose around 10-15lbs to be at a comfortable, healthy weight. It’s a little higher than what the docs “say” is good for my particular frame/height, but whatever…it’s the weight I’ve always felt best at, so that’s where I’d like to be. The body knows better than the docs, methinks.
We’ve also been working hard on getting the yard and gardens back in shape. I’ve been meaning to buy and plant bulbs for spring color for years, and last week, I finally did. Or I started, anyways. Every time I look at the bags in the basement, waiting to be planted later this fall, I think I need more. I’m pretty sure I’ll be adding to our bulb collection before we even get them in the ground. Which means our gardens should explode with a riot of color next spring. Makes me smile just thinking about it.
Some of the changes we’ll be making to the backyard this fall and next spring are going to be a little confusing for the Lucy-dog, which is unfortunate, but I think ultimately, a few of them will make things easier for her as far as getting around by feel rather than sight. So hopefully we’ll be able to guide her through adjusting to them without too much anxiety on her part.
As for the writing, I’ve been thinking about retiring one of my pen names next year. It’s difficult keeping up with three genres at once, and I actually have more that I’d like to work in. Writing in that particular genre has grown a bit tiresome, but at the same time, there are other people invested in that name and I have an obligation to work at sales for that reason. The best way to sell more books, of course, is to write and publish more (and get better). So…I’m not sure what I’ll do about that just yet, but I’m leaning toward at least a partial retirement for that name. Maybe just a year-long break? I have until January to decide.
I freely admit that when I finally started writing seriously, I had dreams of selling a bunch of books and being a full-time writer. It’s such a seductive dream to have, but the fact is, the thing that makes good writers stand out from the rest of us is…well, something that really can’t be defined. It’s a certain voice, a unique way of telling a story, or a combination of the two that grabs the attention of enough readers all at once to create buzz, and then they do it over and over and over again.
I don’t have that…yet. I’m not a bad writer, but I could and will be better, with time and practice. I think one of the reasons that writing, unlike so many other things for me, hasn’t fallen by the wayside is because it’s not easy, and I’m not nearly as good as I want to be at it. I generally lose interest in things pretty quickly after I get them figured out, and I’m not even close to figuring out how to tell a good story just yet. Maybe I never will be…in which case I’ll die trying. There are much, much worse ways to go.
But it’s not just that either – you have to get your books in front of people, and get them to read them before they can even find out if you have that…certain something…or not. And that’s not just something self-published authors have to do, it’s what all authors have to do, no matter how they’re published. It’s also not something I’m willing to put all that much time and/or effort into, because there’s a point at which you have to decide whether to go “all in” with writing (which generally means giving up a serious day job in favor of more part-time type work in order to have more time for the writing part). The thing is, I like my job, and all the things that come with it like a steady paycheck, and a retirement fund, and free health insurance, and stability. I like not having to make my writing pay at any cost. I like being able to take whatever time I need to figure things out.
Will I ever figure out that “thing” that will draw people so deep into my stories they won’t want to come back out? Maybe. Maybe not. Thing is, it doesn’t really matter. I enjoy writing, and I’ll just keep on doing it in my spare time, and if something eventually comes of it, great. If not? No big deal – I spent a lot of very pleasant hours making up stories and writing them down. It’s a win-win, really.
It’s been such a year of change already (exhausting!), and there are more on the horizon. Hopefully by the time we hit December the good will outweigh the bad…