I’ve been in something of an emotional tailspin for a while now. Maybe since October, but probably far longer than that. Right now it’s manifesting in two problems that are inseparable. I have a job that sucks out most of my energy and I have no energy to be creative, so I don’t really have a portfolio to leverage to make an escape.
Since before we moved in March I’ve been trying to find a new job. It’s now July and I’m still slaving away in a terrible work environment (that I’ll admit is partially my own mindset but you don’t get to this level of desperate to escape from self-inflicted suffering alone). I’ve put in hundred of applications to all of the tech firms around the DC Metro area, from Tech Writing to Help Desk to Development, even other CM jobs. Yet, beyond the interview I got on the day we moved, I’ve gotten virtually no response–despite even getting championed by a couple HS Solutions companies. The general consensus seems to be that I’m just not that outstanding. That, despite three years of professional experience, my resume isn’t strong enough either: because my degree is English, my work history has no writing, or I have don’t have a portfolio of completed projects. In other words, I am unable to escape because I have no means to do so.
Which brings me to my other major emotional struggle right now. In a few days I go back up to Maine for my second residency and I’m both stoked and terrified. I’ve spent the past two weeks reading the writing of my peers–some of who are utterly amazing writers. A fact that just casts my own middling talent in sharp relief and makes me wonder if I’m not just wasting time since it seems like being in an MFA program doesn’t vouch for either my academic strengths or my writing ability.
You can probably guess how things progress as I wait for someone to get back to me. So I’ll move on and head to bed, because things’ll be better in the morning. At least until i spend all day applying for jobs again and don’t hear word one in reply.
Easily enough said, but far more difficult than it sounds. I’ve got a basic idea and some scribbles for the cast, but as they are, neither will get me very far. It’s the same sort of problem I have every time I want to do a comic, I just don’t have enough of a plan. So this time, I’m gonna get that all figured out. Right now.
Two friends, Keene “TrippleE” Greene and Charles, “Chuck88″ Reed, go to college for graphic design and play league. Coming up on the summer before senior year, the two of them, along with Chris “Swordcore” Li, set out to form a team in the hopes of making it to Dreamhack.
- Keene “TrippleE” Greene
- 1350 ELO
- Mains Blitzcrank, Alistar, and Leona
- Charles “Chuck88″ Reed
- AD Carry
- 1367 ELO
- Mains Urgot, Caitlyn, and Tristanna
- Chris “Swordcore” Li
- 1622 ELO
- Mains Shen, Riven
- Female 1 (Revealed Later)
- Female 2 (Revealed Later)
Timing and Scope
This is going to play out against a back drop of this year, granted that means squat once we get moving since a webcomic with plot that only updates at best twice a week moves slower than a glacier. Its gonna take a lot of time dilation to keep up with the real world version. You would think then that setting it back a bit might be prudent, but then its not as relevant, since I’m not talking about League today or this week even, it might as well mean nothing. OR maybe that’s too harsh, I’m not sure really.
Anyway, going to get back to drawing Hope to have something to show this evening
I’m sure many creative types have had to deal with it and I’m not really looking for a pity party kind of post so I’ll focus on how I harness my depression as part of my process–or at least how I try to.
First off, I’d like to say that I’ve not have a new story idea in months, well that’s a lie. I did write that new Tess story, but it’s not like I’m flowing over with ideas right now. My mind is too occupied being terrible to itself to come up with anything new and exciting. Part of that is that for much of the day my mind only has itself to talk to, so what else can you make conversation about with yourself than the things that makes you upset? I mean talking about things you like ends up making you angry in the end, since you can’t go do them.
But, on the same token, a mind that’s determined to be upset is the best editor you can have. If i can look at my work without the rosy glow of “this is something I’ve done” then I can tear it apart properly. I don’t remember what I meant to say here, so far gone from my mind is the plot that I only have the page to work with. I don’t remember what the protagonist looks like, I’ve long since stopped drawing and visualizing them. Thankfully I wrote so much at one point that I have enough of a back log of things to edit, I might be able to ride out my depression–but I’m not willing to take that chance.
Through the semester, I’ve torn apart two of my favorite stories and I actually got back to writing. Granted it was really just an extension of the editing, I’ve had a very hard time coming up with anything new that’s worthwhile, but as a result I’ve started world building again and that will lead to new material. I’ve started asking questions and finding answers, either in my own writing or in the writing of others. Though on one hand this had made me feel far worse as I’ve realized things about both my own style and the genres in which I write, one of which I might touch on later once I’ve done some research–wouldn’t want to sound like a clod–it has also pushed me to keep going.
Anyway, I guess the take away from this is to harness negative energy and use it to push your sub-par writing up to where you’re happy with it again–and maybe, just maybe, you’ll start to feel happier yourself.
Trying to get back into the swing of writing and trying also to get some of my frustrations out. This is the first step in doing both.
So I had an interview Friday with another software firm. The position would have me doing much the same thing as I am now. I felt the interview was going well until one of the guys asked me if I had done any research on the company. I looked at him askance and then answered truthfully that I had not. It didn’t help that their website was a mess and my contact who got me the interview was rather vague about the whole thing. Anyway, he then clarified the intent of his question as being one to see if I was applying here specifically or if this was just another interview. For some reason, being faced with that question really illuminated something for me. I don’t want to do IT as a career.
Granted, I’m sure I was aware of this fact already, having already made that decision when I switched to English, but that’s besides the point. I can now say–and not just imply–that my interests in long term employment lie elsewhere. Right now, I’m just working a job. I might be fairly good at it, but It’s not a career and I know it was never going to be either. It was just a means to an end, a way to get paid that kept the bills clear, gas in the tank, food on the table, and let me buy a couple games every once in a while.
Of course, it doesn’t help that I have no skills what-so-ever in any other field and, aside from my degree, no credentials to speak of. Did I mention that we just moved and there’s a pile of school loans waiting for me as well? Yeah…
Which is sort of how I ended up in this situation in the first place. By being what I felt was a responsible adult I went out and got a job the first week of college and have since had at least two. I even had three for about two semesters where I was tutoring for comp sci until they realized my GPA was lower than most of the student who were coming for help–which, not that I think about it, is also about when I seriously started to think about switching majors.
So when I got offered a job that I could do what I was good at and get paid pretty good for it, I was all over that. Two years later, the job is a nightmare. I went from being a problem solver for our team to being the problem solver for team we’ve engaged which is way more exposure than I ever wanted. But the money’s good and the paychecks keep life from breaking down. That’s really the main point that continues to come up as I work on getting another job. Whatever I’m doing, I need to be making a moderately respectable salary while doing so. Which means that I need to stick with a job field I can be making at least 35k in–great amounts f frustration brought on by it notwithstanding.
Ultimately, I want to teach at a University or be a paperback writer (Paperback Writerrrr!). Both of which require my Master’s to some extent. So they’re not really things I can do now. I’m not strong enough mechanically as a writer to do it as my main income, a chief reason for me to be attending Stonecoast—even though my job is making increasingly difficult to get writing done—and I need a Master’s degree to teach at a University.
So what can I do now? Technical writing would certainly improve my mechanics, but just about any job that can pay the bills wants 3-5 years experience in the field and as I said before don’t know if I qualify. I have the knack, but tech and propsal writing are totally different ball games from creative writing.
Guess I’ll find out eventually. Wish me luck!