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Writing (and Wanting) to Feel Productive

My wife, amazing person that she is, has been trying to figure out how I might relax and resume writing. I was supposed to write four or more screenplays this year, and I vow that I will. I don't believe I'll be able to write more than four, but I know I can compose four.

The problem is that my mind took a hiatus for the last month. Instead of maintaining my normal writing pace, I ended up focused instead on two recent job interviews.

I had some bit of hope, a little tiny sliver of hope, approximately a 10 to 15 percent hope, that I might land a full-time job. That is probably reduced to a 5% hope by now, if that, and I keep trying to remind myself that logically the career path was out of my hands. I worked hard to earn interviews, but the economy simply is what it is. By not giving up, I did what I could.

I was a finalist for three or four jobs this year, but in the end nothing materialized. The stress of the last two months affected my writing, which was supposed to be my primary vocation after this summer. For whatever reason, I kept applying for jobs after swearing the job hunt was over. To my surprise, at least I was called for the handful of interviews.

My father tells me that sometimes coming in second hurts worse than not making the playoffs. I'm not a sports nut, but I believe I understand the concept. You get optimistic when you make the interview cut. You start to make plans and imagine what the job might be like. Then, if you don't get the job it is more disappointing because it was so close.

It is frustrating. There's a little remorse, but mainly frustration. The doctorate was expensive, it turns out, and I do need to pay the student loans which are now due. The deferments ended with 2010, so there's a rather substantial item added to our monthly expenses.

Anyway, I am going to try to refocus myself and get the writing projects back on schedule. I do hope to be posting more regularly to this blog (along with my others) and I will try to update our websites as well.

My plan is to have A Spectrum of Relationships, which was originally planned for late February, online by the end of this month. That leaves me 20 days to get my act together. The first edition will be free and posted only to our website. We will then ask for suggestions and comments so the "real" edition can be finalized and posted to various online bookstores.

In April, I will be working on a screenplay for the entire month. Expect fewer blog posts as April is "movie month" and I will also be working to submit my exiting screenplays to production companies. For those interested, April is "Script Frenzy" month, from the sponsors of National Novel Writing Month.

By writing, which is what I do, I hope to forget the frustration and something of a sense of "failure" that has resulted from the graduate education experience. My wife deserves so much more than what I have provided (which is close to nothing, and financially less than nothing).

Honestly, I need to sell some of my writing this year to avoid "going backwards" financially. That should prove to be a strong motivator to get my fingers typing faster and to dictate when the fingers won't cooperate. I'm sure there will be days when my voice, fingers, and brain all take time off for whatever reason. Still, I have to push ahead.

My plans do include some stories for young adults, which will be published as eBooks on various platforms by year's end. When I do complete those, I'll be sure to announce that in many places so people can spend $1.99 (I'm guessing at the price) and read my attempts at fiction. Honestly, I'm hoping some readers of this blog will at least try the fiction when that time arrives. The stories are for pre-teens and early teens, I would guess.

Tonight, I needed to vent. I just feel down and don't like that. Time to stop moping and start doing again.


  1. Would love to read your tales for young adults.

    Best wishes for Script Frenzy!

  2. I really hope you find a suitable position, one that you'd enjoy and pays well too. And I wish the economy would recover, and let everybody find a job. I'm just thankful that I'm past all that.

  3. "Tonight, I needed to vent. I just feel down and don't like that. Time to stop moping and start doing again."

    I have a feeling I know just what you mean. I've had some crap to go through just recently... well, for the past 12 yrs, really. To cap it all off, the job centre people here managed to actually prevent me from being able to take a job. I guess that Finland is another country that hates the disabled members of its population.

  4. I have written two feature screenplays for the 'tween set. One made it through the pitch process to a production company, before they eventually passed on it. I believe one of my scripts will sell this year -- I work pretty hard to pitch them.

    It will be good to have the novels online. Today, anyone can "publish" an eBook, so I'm hoping mine are good enough to sell for a few dollars.

    Yes, the economy is weak. I don't see it really taking hold for another two years, at least. That also depends on various nations not imploding violently or going to war with neighbors. Instability would rock the economies of most nations.

    I'm not sure if disability plays any role, even a minor one, in my quest for a faculty post. Colleges and universities are in serious financial trouble. Since I don't teach science or engineering, I'm not in a discipline most places *must* hire. The humanities and education are saturated markets, so I could be an "ideal" candidate and remain under-employed.

    I would have pursued a science degree, I've written repeatedly. The path I followed was not wise. I could write on the side, which I'm sure I would do, regardless of career safety net. I made a mistake remaining in the humanities and today I would pursue something in science / technology. I sensed that years ago, but continued ahead because my degree has a technology emphasis. That wasn't enough.


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