A year later… (looking back)

Friday was the anniversary of my Major Life Change… it was a year from the day I quit my job and made a commitment to take on this writing project. I made the change on the cusp of spring (Happy Spring!), and the timing couldn’t have been more auspicious. Who doesn’t love fresh, shiny, new beginnings?

Of course we had to celebrate.

We kept it low-key, because that’s how we roll. We went for a lunch date on Friday at our favorite place near Callaghan’s work, and then for a movie date over the weekend. It was a good excuse to see John Wick 2, which I’d been wanting to see.

But I digress! Where am I a year later? I’ve been checking in with updates here and there over the last 12 months, but to recap:

Physically speaking, I’ve taken over the Room Formerly Known As Our Dining Room when the Room Formerly Known As My Office became Cita’s Room.

(“Physically speaking” is hugely important to me. I could take my laptop around the house and write, and I’ve done that and still do that, but I’m a person who needs to be grounded somewhere.)

This began innocuously enough, with just my electronics appearing on the dining room table. Things snowballed from there. I’ve even decorated the area according to my project’s theme. Writing is an art, a craft, a discipline, so if the environment needs to comply, one needs to pay attention, right?


After a year of writing, and everything that goes with it….


Some of my comfort zones have been left behind, too. Instead of having a fixed work schedule, I wake up to a unique day every day, and that’s a good thing, because it allows for fluid productivity, and fluidity is unforced. My creative energy has free reign.

I’ve recognized that for me, this kind of writing is a 24/7 job, and I’ve come to embrace that. It’s an ongoing exercise in recognizing my best hours for concentrated writing. The discipline lies in treating those times as sacred.

There’s continual reading and investigating and learning, a part of the process as a whole. For a year I’ve been eyeballs-deep in crash course after crash course on a hundred different subjects. My brain is swollen with information and (like all writers) I hope my search engine history goes unnoticed, but I haven’t felt more mentally stimulated since grad school over 15 years ago.

(The downside to this is that I’m in my head more, which doesn’t always translate to seamless social interaction. I’m flightier than ever, for one thing.)

The only concrete temporal structure I have in my week is my blog posting schedule and my gym class schedule, and that structure is non-negotiable, especially the gym part. If I don’t make it to the gym, it’s for medical or transportation reasons, or the occasional scheduling conflict.

This work has been challenging and tough from the standpoint of mental well-being, too, but it’s been positive, overall. I owe Callaghan a debt of gratitude for nudging me onto this path in the first place, and for being my number one support system and a faithful reader of the material. Also, thank you all so much for reading here and for accompanying me on this journey!

Monsters under the Bed

I woke up this morning all motivated to jump onto Monster.com to search for on-line writing jobs.

Callaghan was quick to inform me of its short-comings:

“Monster.com isn’t what it used to be. For one thing, like everything else, they ditched the fucking monster.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, remember they used to have a little monster mascot?”

“Oh. Yeah.”

But in actuality, I didn’t remember, because I’d never been to Monster.com. Thanks to Callaghan, I’m now prepared to confront a sadly monster-less site, which might shake my faith in its accuracy and ability to provide up-to-date job opening information. Isn’t it false advertising to call your site “Monster” without a monster anywhere in the picture? I don’t see how a job-search site with false advertising can be trusted. It makes me wonder what else could be missing.

I’m sure that all they need is a monster make-over. Maybe they could create different monsters to represent a variety of career fields? I have some ideas:

-Serial Killer career: Hand-cuffed monster

-Underwater Basket-Weaving career: Brain-dead monster

-Sperm-Donating career: Tired monster

-Bullshit Artist career: Tap-dancing monster

-Vampire career: Sparkly monster

-Werewolf career: Blurry monster

Callaghan read my list and made some weird faces, like he couldn’t decide whether to say anything. Whatever!

I still haven’t visited Monster.com. I might get around to it later today, but I’ve lost my motivation. Maybe I’ll go outside and play in the snow instead. I could make a monster snowman and name him “.com.”