Home now (the previous post was written at work, on my lunch break). I feel somewhat calmer, but not great. More worried about Pesach kashering than work, though. Some thoughts:
- As my parents said, my boss can’t be very disappointed in me, because she’s renewed my contract until August. At the very least, I’m worth more than the cost of searching for a replacement (although I’m not sure exactly how good that is).
- I need to find a way to get paid for writing. It’s the only thing I think I enjoy, difficult though it is to tell through the depression and alexithymia (difficulty feeling and understanding emotions). It’s certainly the only thing I don’t do with one eye on the clock (not excluding recreational reading and TV, even Doctor Who).
- I’ve always associated professional writing with writing fiction for an adult audience, possibly because I grew up with my Dad telling me I was going to be a writer (much to my annoyance) and for him the two were synonymous. I’ve always felt that I couldn’t be a writer because I can’t write like that, certainly not in the quantity needed for a career. Likewise, when I decided I couldn’t become a historian, as I wanted for a while (admittedly out of desperation as much as anything positive), I thought of history writing as doing primary source-based research leading to innovative conclusions. But today, perhaps as a result of the appraisal, my mind has been thinking about other types of writing: popular history, textbooks, children’s books (fiction and non-fiction), plus, of course, there’s my desire to find a way to get someone to pay me to write about Doctor Who and other classic British TV science fiction.
- Many of these have the research-collate-write pattern that is familiar to me from my history BA and librarianship MA and which I know I can do at least adequately and to order. Most of them also might have the feeling of making a tangible difference to people’s lives in the way that librarianship does while accountancy or stockbroking, for example, don’t. Plus writing would allow me to set my own hours, within reason, not to have to worry so much about Yom Tov or burn out. I suspect I would find it more intellectually stimulating and enjoyable than my current job too. And I would be using my research skills, so those degrees wouldn’t be a total waste.
- I think I would miss being on a team, though, and I would need some kind of structure to keep the depression at bay.
- It seems very odd to be thinking of writing children’s books, given that I don’t have children and have spent very little time around young children since becoming an adult, but some of the ideas that I have are focused on writing for children. I don’t know how to go about that, though.
- I do worry about flitting from career to career without focusing on anything or staying long enough to hone my skills. Not having a great idea of who I am doesn’t help. But I think there’s a limit to how much longer I could stay in further education libraries and I don’t think I have the specialist skills to go back into higher education as I originally assumed I was going to do.