I have been reflecting on my grad school experience lately. Something to do with realizing that I have become used to getting enough sleep and not waking up every morning with a giant case of Ahhhh! That is, Ahhhh! How am I going to get everything done today?! I keep thinking that I need to move forward, but it is just so peaceful here.
I feel like I’ve lost my nerve, but then I realize that I actually never had any nerve at all. I just routinely put myself in situations where I had to either figure out how to do something or, wellllll, there was no or aside from failure, so I better figure it out. And I did! Every time. My entire grad school life has been about doing stuff I never thought I was capable of.
I have gotten out of the habit of putting myself in impossible (this is subjective) situations, trusting that I would figure my way out. Conan O’Brien talked about this forever ago on Marc Maron’s podcast. He makes it so there is no option except to do that thing–the obvious, right, difficult thing. I have been making it too easy for myself to just “sit this one out.” Now, I keep hearing Ray Bradbury saying, “we never sit anything out.”
Then I came across this on tumblr, and took special note of the line, “If you feel stuck, ask someone to help you out.” I am so bad at asking for help that it never even crosses my mind as an option unless I have no other choice (this is sounding familiar), but I do feel kind of stuck creatively. I still feel creative, but I don’t feel challenged. I’m not doing anything that scares me.
So I started thinking of what I could do. I decided to ask for guest blogging opportunities to challenge myself to write under pressure and to more specific topics. You know, instead of just writing whenever and whatever I want for people who already know me. The surprise challenge is having to write a lot, because way more people than I was expecting offered me space on their blogs. They have also given me thoughtful topics. I’ve been writing like crazy and on such a variety of topics that my brain is starting to feel a little swirly.
This has been a lot of fun, and it feels like a good first step to getting myself used to the nerves again. On that note, if there are any topics you would like me to write about, I would very much appreciate the challenge.
Here are the posts I’ve written so far. Thanks again to everyone who has hosted me.
“why sharing fiction is kind of terrifying” on Peter DeWolf
Peter asked me why sharing fiction is so much scarier than sharing non-fiction, and I gave three answers. A couple people have told me this is their favorite post of mine ever, so do with that information what you will (read: read it).
“Blogging in Public” on SPLAT
Joey asked me to address the complications of blogging in public–that is, under your real name and the eyes of all or most of the people you know. Having gone from being completely anonymous to fully public, this was a topic I was excited to address. I gave some suggestions for how I handle it as well.
“Thanks for being my journal today.” on Curious Notions
Linda gave me the choice to blog about whatever I wanted, and I chose the three topics that she and I discuss the most: reading, journaling, and friendship. I sat on this for a couple days, and then another conversation with Linda made me see the connection. These are all ways that I have coped with being a person with a lot of feelings.
“An Introvert’s Guide to Making and Meeting Friends on the Internet” on Tom from HR
Tom asked me about making friends on the internet and moving on to meeting those friends in real life when you are an introvert. This is a topic I have a lot of experience with, though I’m not sure I ever would have thought to write about it on my own. I liked the result!