Insomniac Journal

In Desert Faith on December 14, 2008 at 3:58 am

I have been lying awake for the last hour – mulling over changes in my life.  I am reminded of the lyrics from a song by Sara Groves: “But the places they used to fit me, cannot hold the things I’ve learned.  Those roads were closed off to me, while my back was turned.”  Stepping out with my writing has been frightful at times.  Mostly, the newness.  While I have more freedom to set my own schedule and organize my time, I gave up the regular connection and reassurance of co-workers in the office.  Rather than being accountable to co-workers for getting the job done, I am accountable to my word in finishing the book.  Sometimes sitting down to write can feel extremely lonely and isolating.  I am not saying that this is a bad thing, just entirely different than interactions in the office.  The ironic thing is I love that and yet it seems like a very difficult shift.

On the other hand, I am considering the future in light of new awareness with ACCD.  I cannot look at myself or others in the same way (those roads are closed off to me).  Though I tell myself I cannot go forward any more, I have found a way to put one foot in front of another and keep moving forward.  Right now, I would like to have my career path all packaged and organized; my attempt to control and be certain that what I hope for will actually come to pass.  My worrying is a fickle and even short-sighted attempt to maintain control over the uncertainty.  A promise is so much more than a manual.  Just as beauty is so much more than quantifiable traits.

  1. I will be interested in following your journey and just want to encourage you. Having retired a few years ago, I can vouch for the period of adjustment that is required when going from the external discipline of a structured job to the internal discipline of determining your own schedule. The change in social interaction is huge. I’ve dealt with it by signing up for classes of interest and getting together with friends regularly. Do you know of any group of writers who would be interested in meeting together to discuss each other’s work and offer comments? Another option might be to sign up for a writing class at a community college. I’ve heard there is an excellent class at Coastline Community College called “Professional Fiction” taught by Elizabeth George. I believe the author of “The Lovely Bones” got her start in the class. (My information may be dated. I cut an article out of the paper a few years ago and have kept it thinking that I might take the class and try my hand at writing sometime.) Anyway, just a few thoughts on dealing the isolation of working alone. You can probably tell by the length of this comment that I was an English major like you. I was also an art major. In art, it is critical to keep painting to improve in your craft. I would think it is the same with writing. My prayer for you is that you will enjoy the process as well as the final product.

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