I Dream About My Job
I haven’t written anything on this site in months — or if it hasn’t been that long, it feels like it has. It’s only been 23 days since I left my gym job for this one, but it feels like longer. Not in a bad way, but in a strange one.
It’s been 23 days since I became a reporter and I feel challenged and fulfilled in ways I didn’t know I would. I will admit that I also often feel stressed in a way that I haven’t since college — except now, the stakes are higher than they were then. Part of that stress is having not fully completed the transition into this new position yet; it’s tricky to balance several different deadlines, many different assignments, and managing my time, which I don’t think I was ever very good at.
I’m still not very good at it, and I’m still trying to do too much, anyway. My job as a reporter consumes much of my waking thought processes and a handful of my dreams. I wake up in the middle of the night and check my email (my editors sometimes work odd hours). I check my calendar. I try to make a mental list of what’s going on, what I need to address now, what I can push to the side for another day or two — and despite all my attempts at organization and planning I always feel like I’m forgetting something. I think that’s the most stressful part of all.
I already know I’m gonna have to quit the part-time work-from-home job that I was once so desperate to have. I don’t even enjoy it all that much, but it’s easy money and I’m so close to getting my fiancé that new computer I’ve been promising him. But it’s time that I just don’t have like I used to.
Hopefully over time, I’ll manage to master the elusive art of time management.
And #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) goes all November, and this is the first year I’ve really wanted to commit to and accomplish it. (It helps to have friends to push you that way.) But it’s day six, and I’ve written a total of maybe 250 words of the 7,000+ I should’ve written by now.
Sure, I’ve written much more than 250 words if you count all the writing I do for work. But to me, counting that feels like cheating because it doesn’t make any progress on my novel.
Part of my struggle might be feeling like there’s not enough time, but I think a larger part of it is the procrastination that comes from anxiety. At least, I think that’s where it stems from. No matter how I look at it, I can’t seem to treat my novel writing the same way I do the articles I have to write for work: “Just get started, get some words down and see where it goes.” It’s not working for me at home.
Any writer can (and will) tell you that writing is hard and stressful, and any reporter can tell you the same thing. That’s where I’m at. It’s hard, and sometimes it’s anxiety-inducing. But hopefully over time, my dreams about work will disappear, and leave in their place just…dreams. Dreams for the future. And hopefully over time, I’ll manage to master the elusive art of time management. And I’ll complete a shitty first draft at the end of a November.