I used my new SAD light this morning, although it’s too early to tell if it will do anything to my depression levels. My sister and brother-in-law came for lunch along with my second-cousins and their young children. I spent a lot of time playing with the children, particularly the eldest, who has some serious learning disabilities and sometimes needs more attention than the others. I think she liked me, as she kept coming up to me and trying to get me to hold her unicorn toy or walk around with her. I think I’m better with children in a one-on-one scenario than a group, which would suggest tutoring or special needs teaching rather then class teaching if I do choose to change career (which I am by no means sure about). They were all here for about three hours and I was completely peopled out by the end. I was struggling to stay around for the last half-hour, because I didn’t want to walk out as they were leaving, but it was hard to stay there. I managed to avoid my religious OCD fears of food being contaminated vis-à-vis the dietary laws too, which were very prevalent when less religious family members visited in the past.
After they left, I subscribed to a whole bunch of job alerts and different agencies. I also subscribed to loads of librarian blogs for CPD (Continuing Professional Development). I don’t know how I’ll find the time, energy or headspace to read, let alone internalise, these blogs, but at least I’ll see them now, even if I delete or ignore them. Subscribing to all those things took about an hour. I’m nervous about the amount of stuff that’s going to build up in my email inbox every day; sometimes it feels like I spend the whole day skimming emails and deleting them.
I still feel that I’m not really a good librarian and am worrying about how I will reorganise the Jewish library about which I’ve been asked to make suggestions for improvement. I’ve drawn up a basic proposal, but I really need another look at it before I can work out a detailed plan. I also need to state my salary; I’ve found some tables on the CILIP (Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals) website that will help, although it’s not easy to find an exact parallel role.
Other than that I did some long-overdue dusting. I knew I wouldn’t have much energy after seeing family, so I listened to an online shiur (religious class) while dusting to get some Torah study in painlessly. I should probably consider listening to shiurim for my Torah study more often on days when I’m too depressed to read much, except that I learn better from written texts than from lectures.
I also managed to work on my novel. I struggled to write at first, not least because my protagonist was going to an Oxford student ball, something I deliberately avoided in my time at Oxford more or less for the reasons why my protagonist hated it and ran away. I had to look online for some detail about what a student ball is actually like. My imagination was probably somewhat limited. I hope I haven’t made any schoolboy errors. After a while I finally got ‘in the zone’ on this book and the words started flowing. I wrote for about an hour and a quarter, writing about a thousand words. I stopped more because it was late than because I was tired. Hopefully this chapter is nearly finished, at least for a first draft, just needing proofreading and editing tomorrow.
I made myself feel depressed while working on the novel, inasmuch as it is somewhat autobiographical, and I was essentially channelling the feelings of loneliness and not fitting in that I had at Oxford and ever since, the desire to have friends and fit in, while feeling terrified of opening up to anyone for fear of how they would respond. The feelings of being weird and abnormal when I’m just different and neurodivergent.
I had a quick look for publishers who accept on spec submissions of non-fiction books on TV science fiction (niche I know) who might publish my non-fiction Doctor Who book. Most publishers seem to require manuscripts to be sent via an agent. I’m not sure it’s a good idea to look for an agent for a non-fiction work when I’m planning on writing more fiction than non-fiction in the future. This may be over-thinking things though. I still haven’t ruled out self-publishing although I dislike Amazon and don’t really want to use them, even though they’re the logical choice. I worry that my book doesn’t contain much original thought on Doctor Who anyway. I could be procrastinating over this too. I procrastinate a lot (you may have notice). Procrastinate Now! as the joke goes.