Excuse Me, Subconscious, I’m Taking My Life Back

After I accidentally washed my cell phone last weekend, I complained that my querying would be on hold since I didn’t have a phone.  Because, you know, I’ve got such an awesome query that the agents are going to pick up the phone and talk to me instead of a simple email reply.  I’m being sarcastic, of course.  I’m very aware the chances of an agent calling me are somewhere around 1 in 879,326,294.3335 – in other words, I’m more likely to get hit by lightning twice or win the lottery jackpot (or both in the same day).  But still, in my mind, it made a good reason to not query right now.  It didn’t even immediately strike me as odd; that took time.

Having a degree in psychology, you’d think I’d catch on to my thoughts and behavior sooner.  But no, I stealthily tip-toe down the path of avoidance and don’t look over my shoulder until I’ve nearly forgotten what it was I should be doing.  Yes, my subconscious is extremely sneaky and devious.

Here’s what I’ve done this week during the evening hours normally set aside to work on my second novel:  wrote bad poetry, cleaned house, wrote query song, read/commented on blogs, emptied and organized desk drawers and wrote more bad poetry.  Impressive; I managed to avoid any querying and didn’t even open novel #2. 

Suddenly, I see this is a life pattern; to put it harshly, I have a history of being a lazy quitter.  When things get tough, I take the path that requires the least effort of me.

Let me summarize my work history as a glaring example of this:  several months after graduating college, I took a job at company #1.  The hiring manager was my best friend’s sister, so it was hardly a ‘cold’ interview.  When I decided to leave there, I had an ‘in’ at company #2 because a co-worker’s dad worked there and talked to the hiring manager.  When company #2 closed, someone from company #1 called and offered me a job.  Rather than pound the pavement, I took the offer.  After nearly five years, I remembered many of the reasons why I left in the first place, so I left again.  No, I didn’t relentlessly search and interview until I found my dream job; I went to work for the manager I worked for at company #2 and I’ve been there for two and a half years.  (Don’t get me wrong, the job isn’t miserable, but I’m not passionate about it either).

I’ve never had to exert effort to impress anyone in the business world; I took the easy way out and accepted what came to me instead of looking within and contemplating what I really wanted to do when I grew up.  None of the job changes really furthered my career; I’m doing the same stuff I did twelve years ago.  I guess one could look at it that I’ve been lucky enough to have contacts – if that’s the case, too bad I don’t have any of those in the literary world 🙂

Why I make decisions that keep me running on life’s squeaky hamster wheel, I don’t know.  But now that I’ve figured out my subconscious plot to numb me into submission, I have to fight back.  Becoming a published author may be a longshot, but I’ll never know unless I dedicate time each day to the cause.  I’ve got to go work on novel #2 now.

P.S.  I tried a query earlier, but am having trouble with my e-mail.  That’s another blog post entirely!

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8 thoughts on “Excuse Me, Subconscious, I’m Taking My Life Back

  1. milkfever July 22, 2010 / 6:45 PM

    There is nothing wrong with doing it the easy way, unless you don’t enjoy the easy way. And then you can do it the hard way, if you prefer.
    I work very hard at what i enjoy, the rest gets done on cruise control.
    Ease up on yourself kiddo. :-}}

    • jannatwrites July 22, 2010 / 9:02 PM

      It’s not the easy way per se that’s the problem; easy life is great if you’re lovin’ it. I lost the enjoyment for my work two jobs ago, but I continue to do the same thing because it’s easier than finding something else. It’s better than having no income, but I feel guilty because I do exactly what I’m expected to do; nothing more. That’s not like me-I used to be somewhat of an overachiever.

  2. chlost July 22, 2010 / 8:13 PM

    Um, let me get this right….you don’t think you should have taken a good job because you didn’t try to get one without an “in”? I can only say that I would love to have had an in for a job when I got out of college, and that was way before the term “networking” was ever used.
    Thank your lucky stars.
    Hope for luck to continue in the writing world.
    Or, look at it this way, you are working hard to get your writing work to make up for the “easy” way you got your other jobs.

    • jannatwrites July 22, 2010 / 9:10 PM

      I don’t think I did a good job communicating my struggle in my post. I think have connections is great if it gets you where you want to go (or at least on a nearby side street), but I’m nowhere close to where I want to go. I just stayed on the bus because it was easier than getting off and walking, even though it went the opposite direction I wanted to. So, yes, I do have a ‘good’ job and am thankful because I know others that aren’t so lucky. Perhaps that’s why I feel guilty about my lost desire to do more with my job.

  3. Lua July 22, 2010 / 10:37 PM

    I don’t think you’re a lazy quitter at all!!! You did finish your novel, right? Revised and edited it? Well, there you go- we all know that is not an ‘easy’ thing to do (ohh, no!).
    I think the reason why you think you’re lazy is that you’re not passionate about your job thus you’re not trying to impress anyone, including yourself, with it. I do believe it will be a completely different story with querying, it just takes a little time 🙂

    • jannatwrites July 22, 2010 / 11:55 PM

      Lua, thanks for the encouragement. After reading your blog post today, I do wish I could be more like you in the pursuit of my dreams.

  4. jpcabit July 23, 2010 / 8:40 AM

    Fight the Normal Life, Janna, fight, fight!!!

    Being a writer is about thinking differently!!!

    • jannatwrites July 23, 2010 / 8:40 PM

      Thanks for the support jpcabit! I’m just not happy when normal rules me, so you’re right; I do need to fight back!

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