Category Archives: writing

Weekly Index

Number of hours spent “writing” this week: 8
Portion of that time during which anything actually got done: too small to measure
Percentage of writing time that I felt like banging my head against a hard surface: 100
Ratio of naps taken to days of the week: 1:1
Days during which my nap times could have been more profitably spent: all of them
Bitchiness level, on a scale of 1-10: 10
Self-esteem level: -2
Ability to channel Scarlett O’Hara (tomorrow is another day): waning

So … that’s why blogging was sporadic this week. On the positive side, I made a fan-fucking-tastic dinner tonight. So at least I can still cook.

Warning: Self-Indulgent Rant below

So I just called my doctor about getting back on Zoloft for a while. Specifically, until I’m done with my damn degree. Because, y’all: I have been FREAKING OUT about this whole thing. My three primary emotions about my dissertation are fear, anger, and resentment. Fear that I can’t do it, can’t complete it after all this time, fear that it will take too much out of me and I’ll be an empty shell, fear that I just suck too much or don’t care enough or lack the necessary skills/gumption/wherewithal to get the fucker done. And I’m not talking casual kind of “oh, dear” fear: I’m talking TERRIFIED. Like, sitting in front of my computer with my pulse racing, hoping and praying for ANYTHING to come up that I have to attend to so I don’t have to try and write. And forget about calls or emails with my advisor – those both send me practically into myocardial-infarction land.

That is not a functional state of mind, y’all.

And the anger, the anger is so consuming. Why didn’t I wait for a while between my MA and PhD to make sure this was the degree I wanted? Why didn’t I finish the dissertation during the YEAR back in 2000 when I had an extremely light teaching load and specific release time to write? (I went on Prozac that year, because of the stress.) Why didn’t I finish it before I got pregnant? Or before I had a kid? OR AT ANY OF THE MULTIPLE TIMES WHEN IT WOULD HAVE BEEN SO MUCH EASIER??!!

Or there’s the resentment: I resent the time and energy this takes away from my family, I resent that I’m making all this effort for a degree that won’t actually prepare me for the kind of job I ultimately want to get, I resent that I *knowingly* chose an advisor with an extremely hands-off style, because I’m macho like that, and couldn’t admit to myself back then that I need a much more interventionist kind of advising. I resent being in a position where I have to accept all these huge favors from friends and family to help me get it done – not that there’s any doubt the offers are made sincerely and unconditionally, but I HATE being in a position where I need those offers! I resent that this whole process stresses me out to the point that I have to go on prescription anti-crazy meds, simply to function at an every-day level. And wear a mouth-guard when I sleep at night so I don’t grind my teeth down to splintered stubbs. I RESENT.

It’s funny how sitting in front of one’s computer and mentally chanting “I HATE this” over and over again doesn’t exactly produce a flowing literary style. Or much of anything, really, except the occasional fantasy of throwing said computer out one’s second-story window. So, you know, enough already. I mean, at some point it doesn’t matter that I picked the wrong degree or had multiple chances to finish earlier or that my advisor hasn’t been as supportive as I might have hoped. None of that is important. What’s important is, am I going to fish or cut bait? Shit or get off the pot? And I’ve decided that I’m going to fish. Or shit, whichever. (Hopefully the former is a more apt metaphor for the final product.) So, yeah, OK, it’s not on the top ten list of things I’d like to be doing this year. But fuck it. I decided to do it; I’m doing it. There is no “try,” motherfuckers.

Now on with the show

Just got back from dropping my mom off at the airport, after having spent a satisfying afternoon getting pedicures and having lunch out on the town while Mr. Squab watched the Hatchling (and played video games while she was napping). I had my first ever straight-male pedicurist, and he totally put rhinestones on my toes for free. RHINESTONES, BITCHES.

So my week of glorious full-time nannydom has come to a close, and now I have to figure out how to squeeze regular writing time into my normal schedule. Also exercise of some kind, because a) it was one of my new year’s resolutions, 2) it will be a good stress reliever, and third, it should give me additional energy, which I could sorely use. Anyone who has any tips on extending the day beyond its traditional 24-hour boundaries, please contact me.

Oh, and one last thing – thanks to everyone who’s commented or emailed me with support and love. It helps a LOT, and is just one more reason why I heart the interwebz in general and my readers in particular. You guys rock.

It’s a good thing I’m hard-headed

You know how sometimes, when your mom has taken a whole week off from her extremely busy career to watch your kid just so you can have some dedicated writing time and jumpstart the massive revisions you need to do on your dissertation and you aren’t sleeping well because that’s how your stupid, self-defeating brain handles stress and when you sit down in front of your computer you have one of those sessions where you write four sentences and then delete them because they’re crap and then write four different sentences and then delete them because they’re also crap and that’s kind of the pattern of your day?

Yeah. That was yesterday. Kind of like beating your head against a brick wall. Today is going a little better.

Other things that might make you feel like you’re beating your head against a brick wall:

1. Harry Reid – who is, let’s remember, a Democrat – who’s been giving Repubbbs a total pass on anything they say they’re going to filibuster, has decided that his fellow Democrats don’t deserve the same treatment. WTF, Harry?

2. Did you know that Hillary Clinton is a CUNT? Isn’t that, like, the most hilarious observation you’ve ever heard, like, in your ENTIRE LIFE? Also brilliant? Christ. As Shakes says, personally, I’d consider it a compliment (if I didn’t know the source).

3. You know what’s even funnier than calling Clinton a cunt? Making fun of Heath Ledger for dying! Especially if you can do it while gay-bashing! Whoo, that’s hilarious.

Conspiring against me

Loud-macking barista-girlfriend is gone today. However, the free wi-fi is extremely spotty. How am I supposed to waste time surfing the internet when I should be writing if the damn internet keeps going down? EXPLAIN THAT.

OK, seriously.

If the chick sitting kitty-corner from me does not stop loudly macking on her barista boyfriend I AM GOING TO VOMIT.

I’m sure they’re perfectly nice people, I’m happy they’re so in love, it’s fabulous that they can spend the day together, but for christ’s sake GET A ROOM OR SOMETHING. PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO CONCENTRATE OVER HERE.

That is all.

Semolina Pilchard

It’s day one of Revisions Week in squab country. Mamasquab has come all the way from Michigan to watch the Hatchling during the day so I can have extended writing/revising time on Ye Olde Dissertatione. I’m back in regular contact with my dissertation director after a long break. Things are progressing, and it looks like it might actually be possible for me to have this damn thing finished and off my back by June. At long, long, long fucking last. So I should be feeling good, right? I mean, these are positive developments that have been a long time – far TOO long a time – coming.

Instead, however, I find myself in the grip of a deep blue depressive panic session. I’ve got a jukebox of writer’s block greatest hits running through my head. The Top Ten numbers include:
1. I hate this; I’m no good at revisions and never have been.
2. I would much rather be at home playing with my daughter.
3. I don’t even want this stupid degree in the first place; if I had it to do over again I’d never go in this direction.
4. It’s not like I’m even going to get a decent JOB out of all this.
5. What the hell am I even trying to SAY? Who cares what I think about stupid Joan of Arc in the stupid 19th century?
6. I can’t even believe I’ve wasted so much time and money on this crap. What am I, crazy?
7. Of course, with all these student loans to pay off, I damn well BETTER have a degree to show for it, whether I want it or not.
8. God, it’s hard to write. Why is it so HARD? God, I’m lazy.
9. What if I do all these revisions and it’s still not enough? What if my committee wants two or three more sets of revisions? How much longer am I willing to work on this thing before I just say, fuck it?
10. But how could I live with myself if I got this close and didn’t finish?

Ain’t that a great selection? Boy, just gets your toes tapping and makes you wanna WRITE, don’t it?

Fuck. Fortunately for me, I have very intelligent and downright decent blog-friends, like Jordan, who posted this today. It was just what I needed to read. Not that I’m feeling insanely optimistic now or anything, but her post at least gave me the gumption to tell myself to SHUT UP already and just get to it and do something. So I’m going to go do that now. I’ll let you know how it goes.