Had a bit of a revelation this morning.

In college I double majored in International Relations and Journalism. IR was my primary major. I did the journalism major to have the writing background. While I loved to write, I always hating interviewing–a big part of journalism & any future career in the field. I wrote for my high school & college papers, & suffered through the interviews for those stories. I always got great feedback on those stories, but once I was done with college, I made the decision that I would pursue work that focused on the IR degree. The journalism background would just show that I knew how to write.

Fast-forward 12-years. As I started reformulating my career plans, writing became the focus. I realized it was what I loved to do more than anything else. While I want my focus to be creative writing, the reality is, I need to make some kind of living. Thus, the journalism degree has suddenly become useful. I have talked about the fact that I need to be working on freelance articles. I have had writing instructor’s tell me I should be doing it. I’ve gotten nothing but encouragement. I know I have the writing skills. But still, the interview phobia has held me back. (more…)

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Well, today I managed not to have a breakdown. A few tears, but nothing devastating. Still an incredibly heavy feeling hanging over me all day. To say it was a good day is weird. But I guess relatively speaking it was an okay day. I know that this was an anomaly.

Didn’t do much today. We played some online Scrabble & rented some movies. I’m lowering my standards & watching Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. Went to dinner with a friend. Nice to get out of the house.

There is still so much to do & deal with, but I’m not rushing it. It will be there tomorrow. And the day after that, and the day after that.

I guess in a way I was able to ignore the reality today. Yes, I had to take care of a few things that did nothing but remind me. But still, I guess I was able to put it out of my mind or at least suppress it.

This morning I decided to create a daily TO DO list. Nothing major. Today just included: go to bank; return phone call; tighten screw on the bathroom doorknob. Got it all done, except the doorknob–couldn’t find a small enough screwdriver. Just going to try & have a few little things to do each day. Who knows, maybe it will help.

I started to do some research for a freelance article. The idea comes out of all this. We’ll see where it takes me. Doing the research gave me something else to do today. A way to feel like I’m being productive or at least moving forward, even when I don’t want to.

I need to start going through her things. I’m dreading it. I want to do it while my brother is still here. I can’t fathom doing it alone. But I’m not ready. I know that when we start it’s going to sink in that this is permanent. She’s not coming back. I will never see her again or have a conversation with her again. Even though I know it’s real, it’s unimaginable.

I can’t think straight. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I really don’t know what I’m doing. This is surreal. I really wish there was a how-to manual for this, but there isn’t.

Just one hour at a time.

Image: dsygrl9 via flickr

Mood: Frustrated with my procrastination

Currently listing to: Wisconsin by Bon Iver

I’m expecting a book order from Amazon today. Just 3 books this time around, as I’ve realized I have quite a book backlog on my nightstand.

  • The Bell by Iris Murdoch (one on my summer reading list)
  • Best Friends by Martha Moody (a gift from a friend)
  • Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos (I keep starting this book, but can’t get past chapter 2. I should just give up, but I hate to leave books I buy unread.)
  • The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez-Reverte (another one that I keep starting & can’t get through. It must have been a bad book buying day when I bought this, because I bought Love Walked In the same day.)
  • Archetypes for Writers by Jennifer Van Bergen (one of those craft books. Looks interesting. Just haven’t been in the headspace to read it.)
  • The Master Bedroom by Tessa Hadley (just bought last week. Will get to it.)
  • The Complete Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf (this is one that I just open up & read a story here and there when I have time.)

…and soon to arrive:

  • Straight Up & Dirty: A Memoir by Stephanie Klein (read about this book here & it sounded like a fun read. Also, I like Klein’s blog & keep meaning to read one of her books.)
  • The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg (I read her book Open House a while ago & liked it. I’ve been meaning to read something else from her. Noticed this is written in 1st person, so that made it appealing given my current needs–read below.)
  • Style Statement: Live by Your Own Design by Danielle La Porte & Carrie McCarthy (this book is part of my quest to figure myself out. Never hurts to be more self-aware.)

…and currently reading:

  • The End of the Story by Lydia Davis (half-way through & really liking this. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking to read.)

I’ve just been a slower reader than usual the last couple of months; but a apparently a very prolific book buyer. I don’t know what’s going on. Probably just a phase. Will say I’m really liking the book I’m currently reading. I think part of my reading funk has been because I can’t seem to find exactly what I want. Because my plan is to work on draft #2 in 1st person, I really want to immerse myself in 1st person. But I’m having the hardest time finding books that I want to read. Yes, there are plenty of good books out there written in 1st, but I guess I’m just looking for a certain voice. I keep walking into every bookstore I come across, pulling books off the shelves, & reading the first page. More often than not, it’s not what I’m looking for. But I guess I’m realizing that what I’m looking for is what I’m trying to write. My head wants to hear a certain voice that letting in any others, any that aren’t quite right, is just difficult.

I know what this all means. I need to write my own book.

On that front, the reading of draft #1 is taking longer than I expected. Not because I hate it or anything, I just keep saying I’ll get to it, & I don’t. This is starting to frustrate me. Yes, my procrastination & I might soon come to blows. I want to get started on draft #2, sooner rather than later. So, to get that going, I need to finish reading this & figuring out what I can take from it & what I need to do to make it better the next time around.

So, instead of saying “I plan to…”, I’m going to say: I AM WILL FINISH READING DRAFT #1 BY THE END OF THIS WEEK.

And: I AM WILL WORK ON AN ARTICLE IDEA THAT’S BEEN FLOATING AROUND IN MY HEAD THE LAST COUPLE DAYS.