About a week and a half has passed between the beginning of this writing, and my last entry here. I expected to end this session much earlier than I have, tonight: I suspect it’s because I’ve missed so much time in my updates, and I’ve missed you all. I may actually be able to turn this out, tonight.
I’ve not been totally happy about my own commitment to writing, recently: in particular, I’ve neglected my free-writing commitment for the last ten days. A lot has been happening: particularly, a job interview for a job which I don’t see as ideal (for me; it’s a great job for someone who is social). Then, another class opened up, which has taken up much of my time over the last week. At least it has to do with my chosen specialization; there are different kinds of Librarians.
I’ve realized that at this point, I will have access to at least four to five courses, at least until early December. (Python 3; DDC; my Writing course; XML; Spanish language. Some of these are time-limited; some are not.) I do need to be scanning for jobs in the meantime…which I think I’ve addressed privately. I need to set up a Bookmarks folder exclusively with job search sites, and run through it at least once or twice a week. In addition, I’m starting up a stint of therapy, which I’m hoping will help enable me to write as a vocation (without being driven away by the inevitability of intrusive traumatic memories arising): in case the Cataloging/Metadata thing doesn’t work out.
Writing is my first love; I got into Librarianship principally because of the warnings on the difficulty of making a living by Writing. Well, no: that’s not fully true. I read, before I became interested in Writing; thereby, reading should have been my first love. It’s just that reading was so ubiquitous in my daily life, up to and through Undergrad, that I didn’t realize its importance. I got into Librarianship in part because it would keep me around books, to encourage me to read more. (That’s not necessarily a great reason to get into Librarianship, by the way.)
Reading good writing is somewhat of a precursor to writing well — I almost forgot to mention.
Had the English Department’s portion of my Creative Writing program been more diverse and interesting, I believe I would not have had a problem in continuing to read after graduation. I’ve written about that before, though: most of what they taught were Classics, and — well, my taste doesn’t necessarily run that way, speaking only in terms of content (technique is an entirely different idea). There was a huge problem with lack of diversity in course materials…as I said back then, I didn’t know majoring in a branch of English, meant studying a majority of ethnically English authors.
For three posts between this one and the last, I have opted to write in my own private journal, instead of online. I shouldn’t forget that. Due to the intensely personal nature of what I’m dealing with, I couldn’t with good conscience write freely, and at the same time present my work as relevant to anyone else. I’ve been trying not to work on the computer late at night (so that I can sleep well), which means that I actually have a motivation to work on paper.
Of course, I haven’t done that, tonight.
Writing by hand — or at least, offline — is something I need to be doing, more. I need to break out of the weblog format. It’s easy for me to blog, at this point: I have a point of continuity from which I can expand. I don’t have a base of that where it comes to my other projects, yet…at least, excepting my beadwork site.
I stopped working on that site when I got spooked around the concept of possible toxins in colored glass. I still haven’t resolved that issue — I’ve not been brave enough to ask the people who would know — but I’ve sat with it for a while. Running across toxins in the use of colors, seems to be almost an inevitability in Art. At least with most Art materials (like paints and other items containing possibly toxic pigments, dyes, or other hazards — like solvents), dangers are disclosed; this is not the case with glass. We are simply assured that the beads are not intended for use by anyone under 15 years old. We are not told what the threat is, to those under 15.
The closest place I can think of to go to in order to understand any hazards, is to the stained-glass — or otherwise, lampwork or other glass art communities — which have their own occupational hazards to deal with, not all of which transfer back to any dangers of beadworking. Lead came is generally not used in beadwork, for example; and special effect coatings used in glass manufacture (there are a lot of them), I would not expect to find in stained-glass work. I also don’t have to worry about inhaling glass, in the same way as enamelists (particularly) or lampworkers, might. (I’m not positive if glass vapor contributes to silicosis, as would be possible in work with hot glass: though I see indications online that it may, and I have long assumed that it does.)
All of these demands on my time contribute to my need to actually plan out my days, especially if I want to have any control over what kind of job or career I wish to engage in, in the near future.
I know I need to get back to my Python training, even though I also know it’s not what I love to do. Going forward, I expect to find an understanding of Computer Programming to be very useful (to automate repetitive tasks), and Python is said to be a relatively easy first language. After the first Computer Programming language is gained, I’ve heard that the concepts in other languages are mostly the same, but with different methods of expression. I’ve been neglecting Python, however…as it’s a bit stressful. It probably wouldn’t be, except for that pesky trauma component from high school (which really shouldn’t define what I can and can’t do, for the rest of my life).
I need to write all of this out (as I’m doing now), and make some sort of schedule for myself. I also should note that after the XML class is done, I should be able to better understand whether I want to further study XML and RDF…or do something else. It’s looking like the basis of Information Organization is going to undergo a sea change, especially as information changes its major method of dissemination, from print to electronic. We’ll also need people to help us transition from print to electronic…which seems to be the future I’m looking at.
And…to do that, one has to be at least somewhat literate where it comes to Computer Programming. It probably doesn’t hurt to be able to script in PHP, right now, either: there’s some really interesting stuff which can be done with websites, using this. As an aside, my online interactions were another reason I became interested in publishing to the Web, at all: and initially split my focus between Digital Services and Information Organization. Little did I know that Digital Services still actually dealt with people, only online and over the phone, not face-to-face: and it isn’t necessarily any safer, emotionally speaking.
Anyhow…there is a lot I can be doing, a lot I should be doing. The last week has taken a lot out of me: particularly leading up to the interview. The two days before, were spent reorganizing my art and craft area, which if nothing else, was a reminder of how much I’ve invested in those arts and crafts; I’m including the beads in that.
I’m sensing a need to prioritize. And schedule. Pretty much everything I’ve mentioned here, other than Writing, and beadwork, is either useful or essential in gaining a Cataloging or Metadata Librarian position. The Writing and the beadwork, are simply part of the core of my life — although to be honest, I’ve not done the beadwork for the last six months.
The problem here is the large possibility that I may have to physically, move, in order to gain a Cataloging or Metadata Librarian position…whereas, I can write, from anywhere. I can also essentially work in Web Publishing, from anywhere. Writing and Web Publishing are also content dependent, whereas working in Cataloging or Metadata…involve tagging and organizing information to make it easier (or, at core, possible) to find. That’s a totally different form of work.
There’s also no question about the enriching quality of reading, upon my life. If I became a professional Writer, it would be my work to read, and engage with the thoughts of others, as well as write. That…is ideal. From everything I’ve read, however: being a professional Writer is a more…financially fraught, path, than being a salaried Information Worker.
I suppose there’s no reason I can’t work at both: except the limitations of time. I know that M has been wanting me to envision what I want my life to be like, once she and D are out of the picture. That is relatively scary, though I have lived on my own, once before (in early University). Of course, they were subsidizing me, at the time.
To be honest, I’d rather live as a Writer, than as a Librarian. I took up Librarianship because it was a path to financial security (and, I thought, out of a Service Economy; was I wrong) for someone who studied English in Undergrad. Being a Writer means constantly drumming up work and inventing new projects; but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It means there’s always something else to look forward to. As versus, that is, being siloed until it’s determined one no longer is of use.
Yeah: working for oneself actually is better than that. I actually just have to get to the point where I am ready to, and actually do, work: instead of simply being unemployed.