I went home after work last night continuing to feel sorry for myself. I blame it on this damn weather and my best friend moving 900 miles away. I think those are acceptable excuses to be down, no? They are. Anyway, after talking with Bill for a while (and being pathetically weepy for what feels like the 20th time this week), I blurted out an explanation for why I’ve been so down lately.
I’ll sum it up the best I can. Basically, I feel great and on top of my game when I have specific things I need to do. A schedule is good for me. I like when activities suck up chunks of my day, and as of late, I don’t really seem to care what those things are, as long as my day is eaten up. So I like having work to go to, which is why I work about 25 hours a week and I’m taking 17 credits. I can usually handle this load. The trouble comes when I have down time. So far this semester, my homework load has been pretty light. The reading I’m doing for my classes goes by quickly (Driftless by David Rhodes, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Candide), then I’m left to my own devices. This is when my mind gets active. I feel purposeless and then I want to relax with Bill. Trouble is that he’s 900 miles away and busier than I am. So then I’ll try another social outlet. The trouble comes later, when I find that I’ve accomplished nothing for myself. I haven’t read anything I want to read. I haven’t written anything I wanted to write. I just fill my days with activities to get by. It’s not a great feeling. I haven’t found a balance of social and personal time, and it’s surprisingly exhausting. I’m realizing that I have to take time for myself, for my projects and my goals.
So, I’m starting my own projects. I’m going to do research about freelance work. That will include reading the book that I mentioned yesterday, as well as hopefully finding and pursuing some freelance writing opportunities. November is coming up also. November is National Novel Writing Month (from here on, it will be abbreviated to NaNoWriMo). I am going to actually participate this year. The idea is to write 50,000 words in a single month. That averages to about 1,700 words a day, which is about 2-3 double-spaced pages. That is completely doable. When you think about it, that’s really only about 90 pages, which isn’t really even much of a novel, but it’s more than I’ve ever completed. To prepare for this, I’m going to start digging in some other reference books (this, this, and this) I bought years ago and never bothered to finish reading because, as I’ve already established, I’m sort of a moron.
I also have a seminar paper to plan and read, so I will have plenty of things to occupy my time. There will no longer be any excuse for me to throw pity parties.