What do you do when you don’t want to do what you’re doing?

I’m five posts away (four? I lost track) from my 300th post.  I still plan to reveal Tunerville to you then (see end of post for an update)…and do a cookie giveaway.  I want someone to get cookies!  Most likely, it will be a commenter, so comment already!

Shifting to downer status, I haven’t been blogging much lately; I started a technical writing program at a local state university.  You might know I got a job as a departmental admin who edits software assessment reports for a technology services company.

This program has a placement rate of 90+ percent.  It should fit right in with my day job, hey, all is going well, oooh yeah, fabulous and fine and wonderful.  Right?


I hate it.

Don’t get me wrong; my day job is fine.  I like it, the people are nice, and it’s very flexible (in addition to paying a wage I can actually live on).  What I hate is all this pressure.  Bear with me here, because I’m going to unload on you.

  • I hate doing homework that takes up SO much time I have no time to work on Tunerville or the Rose’s Hostage sequel, nor will I have time to work on Rose when I get it back from Brian Keene (arrgghh!)
  • I hate going to class on a campus with 20,000 teenagers when I’m not one.
  • I hate not being a teenager anymore.
  • I hate that I can’t join in any campus life stuff because I’m a non-traditional (read:  old) student.
  • I hate being invisible because I’m old.
  • I hate the stupid bear statue in the middle of campus; I’m afraid of bears.  And everything is bears—bearbucks, bearpass, bearwear.  (Okay, maybe I like all this; when I’m bitching, everything is fair game, okay?)
  • I hate this semester-long project where I have to edit a document for a “client” (I’m doing a work document) and I have do it before I even know what the hell I am doing.
  • I hate online classes where you have to email the teacher to ask a question and then wait for a response.
  • I hate doing all this alone.

What is the point? I really don’t know.  I haven’t figured it out.  Everyone thinks my job is the Holy Grail—“Ooh, you got a job! Yay for you! Ooh aren’t you happy, aren’t you thrilled, you should be so relieeeeeeved!!!”  Well, yes, it’s nice.  And it’s not.


Image:  betanews.com

It isn’t what I wanted.  Again, I feel like I have to settle for something.  I don’t have the energy to keep starting over, and I’m almost out of time for what I really want, which is a family.  Writing is not enough.  Books are not enough.  Being able to make a living isn’t enough.  I can’t share anything I have, which renders it meaningless.  This isn’t living; it’s existing.

And I’m afraid.

I feel like a competent fiction writer, if not exactly as polished and experienced as, say, Brian.  As a technical writer, I fear I’m gonna stink.  I don’t feel smart enough for this.  And, if I have to spend this much time on it, the fiction is going to fall to the wayside.

I busted my ass to get back into novel writing; I don’t really want to ditch it NOW.  I’m so close to getting published, if I could just hit the right mark.  I feel it just out of reach.  This is pushing it down even further.  And I’m neglecting you, dear readers.  I don’t want to do that.  I want to produce something besides this blog for you to read.

I thought about sharing some of the things I’m learning at school with you.  There is a lot, and it’s not all so esoteric that you can’t understand it.  Maybe I can do that for next year’s A-Z Blogging Challenge.  I am NOT going to bail on that next year; I don’t care how short my posts have to be.  But I’m not sure I’m going to make it.

When I figure out what to do, I’ll let you know.

Tunerville update

In writing my synopsis, I have discovered I need to restructure the novel.  It’s okay; that’s fine, this happens.  As I told the story, I found myself reordering certain parts of it.  That probably means I really need to reorder certain parts of it.

Did you know “derp” made it into the Oxford English Dictionary? Yep, it’s officially a word.  Good thing, since I derp so much.

Did you know “derp” made it into the Oxford English Dictionary? Yep, it’s officially a word. Good thing, since I derp so much.

Research is ongoing; because of the school stuff, I’m not sure when that will be complete.  One of my professors does research in a field that directly relates to something in the book, so I plan to pick her brain extensively.

K, that’s enough for this Saturday.  I’m working on some time management strategies, so hopefully, I’ll be posting more often.  See you then.



10 thoughts on “What do you do when you don’t want to do what you’re doing?

  1. Hey Elizabeth. Thanks for finding my blog so I could find yours! Girls like us need to stick together! I connected with a lot of what you wrote and I can honestly say I’ve either been there or I AM (frustratingly) right there with you! Technical writing is not something anyone dreams of being when they grow up. But, it allows me the financial freedom to pursue fiction in a way other jobs would never allow. I’ve been doing this for a long time and sometimes, I still don’t know what I’m writing about. I am not a technical mind by nature. All that aside, if you want to write fiction as bad as it seems, then YOU WILL. You absolutely will but only if you keep trying. Other, equally important things will come into your life, and sometimes we get pulled in different directions but if you want it, keep going for it and it will be yours. Persistence in the face of uncertainty and failure wins the day in this race! (Which is something I have to believe or I need to get a new freaking hobby.) If you ever have any questions about tech writing or balancing work life with your writer’s life, look me up on my contacts page. I’m not a fountain of wisdom or anything but in this particular case, I might be able to alleviate some of your fears and frustrations! Or, at the very least, you’ll have a sympathetic ear and we can whine together!

    • Thanks, Brianne…I really, seriously appreciate your support. Yes, we writers have GOT to stick together; no one else understands us!! :D

      I am seriously only doing this because I can’t do anything else. I can’t do math (I have a learning disability), so office jobs with accounting are out. That’s why I went back in the first place (through Vocational Rehab), even though it was the last thing on earth I wanted to do. I literally could not find a job that A) didn’t have accounting, or B) paid enough to live on. It’s really hard when you want something completely different (not talking about fiction) and the universe seems to cockblock you at every turn. Arrghhh!!!

  2. Keep up the good work bru and know that I am rooting for you! *hugs* Don’t worry about not poasting a lot either. We know you are uber busy. I do, however, expect you to finish the A-Z challenge next time young missy *gives you “the look”*

  3. In so many ways I can relate to what you have written Elizabeth. It’s hard to balance that longing for something we are really passionate about with the need to care for our material needs. And I understand about feeling as if you are missing having someone to share life with. One thing I have come to learn is that life changes and things that were so hard or seem so long eventually become a faint memory.

  4. *wave* I had seen a comment on AAM about your tech writing course, but I didn’t comment there because it didn’t really fit.

    I just wanted to write a bit about your feeling that you’ll suck at tech writing. Granted, I don’t have a ton of experience, but (like Brianne also said) it’s very much possible to be a good (or at least decent) technical writer without having a clue what you’re writing about. As a writer and editor, you already have most of the skills you need for tech writing, and most of the time you wouldn’t be writing anything from scratch – you’ll have materials from people in the company and you can write off those even without a deep understanding of the subject matter. I used to document financial software and, until 2 years in, I didn’t have the foggiest clue what on Earth all those terms meant. When it started making sense to me, I re-read some of my old stuff… and it was pretty good! My background is in editing and I guess I just knew what bits to take and what bits to rephrase from the specs to make everything sound right.

    To end this long story and the resurrection of an old post: you might not end up loving tech writing, but with your background and judging by the writing I see here, I bet you’ll do fine in a future job.

    • Thanks–in my current job, I edit financial software reports, heh.

      There’s a lot going on in my head right now. It’s not about sucking because I can’t write/edit. It’s about sucking because I just don’t give a shit about anything anymore.

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