Thinking aloud

Every entry has to start somewhere. Considering everything I’m thinking of, not to write about, I shouldn’t be surprised that it’s difficult to begin. Not to mention the fact that I have a lot to do, that I’m just…right now, not doing.

Yesterday was a much-needed self-care day…but I couldn’t bring myself to clean out the vanity today, even though I know it needs it. This is especially now that I know how many papers have to be filed, which begs the question of whether I need all the old files: the ones I haven’t touched or reviewed, in years. This is what happens when information is important to you, but you neglect to file it: you clean out your room and end up with five piles of papers.

I did work on some beading today, though I can see that…well, my stress is showing. I’m making very tight work which isn’t easy to continue. Or at least, it wasn’t, until I realized I didn’t have to open up a gap between the beads in order to push a needle in, as versus push a bead horizontally over, in order to expose its piercing. I’m working on a Double Spiral bracelet…which is simple in almost every way, except its color scheme.

The color scheme, is something else: yellow ochres and spruce greens.

I’m temporarily burnt out on writing (or so I would think: looking at the progress of this post, indicates otherwise), but I haven’t been great about writing daily, in general, since about Christmas. Before then…well, let’s say that I’ve written about 20 pages of content, which are not blog posts; and more which are references or sketches lying behind those 20 pages, which are not even ready to be rough drafts.

These…have brought up a number of issues with me, predominantly psychological. Where the issues aren’t psychological is where they impact how I treat myself in my own physical reality.

Getting back to focusing on my own health seems to have begun after I (again) realized how long I was sitting in one place, in one position. This is compounded by the fact that I’ve gotten as heavy as I think I’ll ever want to get, and have begun intentionally raising my heart rate during the day: whether that’s through exercise or something like housework.

It’s not great to focus on reading and writing to the exclusion of everything else — worse still, to focus on writing to the exclusion of reading, for too long. When you’re trying to work on Fiction and all you read is Nonfiction (I’ve had a particular bent towards psychology, recently), that’s also an issue.

Of course, having time to read and write wouldn’t even be a possibility for me, except for the fact that other people are picking up the slack where it comes to — well, food, mostly. And just the basic costs of survival. It would make a great deal of sense, given the rest of this post, to use my literal “free time” (i.e. not spent searching for jobs, applying for jobs, searching for classes, taking classes, writing, or editing) in reading.

Right now I’m just trying not to let my creative momentum break down completely. If I stop writing entirely, it’s going to be very hard to get back into it; particularly because I’ve stopped, out of not wanting to circle the drain. Most of the times I’ve stopped writing, have been because of that.

A lot happened around the holidays that ended up being destabilizing. Things are still destabilized, really. I need to get on finding a new job, people are hiring…and my computer decided this time was as good as any, to die. I have the choices right now to develop my writing for submission and hopeful payment (or with the eventual goal of payment); to brush up on my Cataloging and Metadata skills; to work on my art skills; or to work on my Craft Jewelry. These all have varying real-world impacts, I’m sure you can imagine.

The clearest paths forward, where it comes to return-on-investment, are becoming a Cataloging or Metadata Librarian, or to become a Writer (the latter of which, would likely have to be combined with at least a part-time job). If I had more preparation, I’d feel more confident in seeking an outlet and job, in Editing — though I suppose, there’s no reason I can’t try for it, now. If I do what I thought of below, and do take courses in Editing at the same time as I am employed in Editing — that would be totally sweet.

Both writing and editing require real-time work, well — you know — reading, and writing.

Cataloging and Metadata require work…mostly, reading. But there are a couple of competencies (particularly in Programming and SQL) which I don’t…you know, don’t really, enjoy. Like I’ve probably said before…I’m not sure whether this is due to the content itself, or just having teachers who weren’t all that great at teaching, and authors who weren’t great at writing.

On top of that, it looks like the majority of the work involving Programming, has to be figured out, on-the-fly. I can’t see that not being stressful, especially lacking a background in Computer Science. In turn, that heavily implicates logic…and I don’t know to what degree my mind is led, by logic. Maybe ideally; perhaps, not realistically.

I also can’t really see us going back to a date prior to the utilization of computers for Information Organization.

The card catalog is probably not coming back, that is; and the changes implemented by technology in search and retrieval, may mean that the nature of the work is changing, and will continue to change. That means that the people who can most efficiently do the job will likely change, because the skill sets they would need proficiency at, would change.

In contrast, reading and writing isn’t anywhere near as difficult: for me, I should say. I do still have a chance at Metadata, possibly more of one at Cataloging. The question is simply whether I’d like it more than Editing.

I have much better feelings about my local Editing program, after having viewed it online (as versus as a printout). It is technical, which is in — would one call it “opposition” or “contrast”? — to my initial training in Creative Writing, which was very much, writing-as-craft…and very vibrant.

Before I looked back at the program site, I wrote that I was concerned it combined, “the mind-numbingly technical, with the unwanted process of having to socially interface with authors who may be protective of their work.” (Man, I can be scathing when I don’t have the information.)

Of course, very many people would be protective of their work — myself included, were I to submit that work to be published! And especially so, should the key argument of the work turn out to be false. That could be an eventuation of fact-checking, which could turn out to be my job. That doesn’t mean it would necessarily be a “bad” book; I think there’s a chance of saving something in that situation, still, so long as the author were honest. The major issue for me would be, how to communicate to the author that their thesis statement may be false.

That’s dealing with nonfiction — where false thesis statements are likely routine. Fiction is an entirely different beast. Expression is the major bent of the latter; and essentially, people can express what they want to, regardless of whether it is true or stands up to reality.

If I am willing to go through the two years of work to gain a professional certificate (and one additional for a professional internship), what do I do for employment, in the meantime? I still have to go through the job search; I still have to submit applications. I just won’t be able to work, full-time. That’s fine.

There’s also the possibility of working in Editing, prior to working through the Certificate. Or, instead of working through the Certificate.

Of course, this also presents the question of what I would do if I did get a full-time job as a Metadata or Cataloging Librarian, in an area which I was willing to move to. That might be sweet enough to give it a shot.

Even if a chance at a professional certificate is a temporary way out of this discomfort, I am in a bit of limbo, here. It means that I’m primarily looking for a short-term, part-time job (which at least is hard knowledge). This also assumes that I will be capable of working my way through the program with proficiency enough to come out of the other end, wholly capable of working as an Editor (and still even want to be an Editor).

The chance that I might not want to be an Editor at the end of the program, is something that I likely should take into consideration. It’s something that I didn’t wholly understand when I went through the Library Science curriculum. I didn’t know enough about my own identity to be able to see that maybe I did not want to do just any type of work. That maybe some types of work would not make me happy.

I already knew that some types of work would never be for me, but that was because of ingrained phobias. Which, again, is ironic, when I have an aversion to uncleanliness, and went to work in a Public Library. (Hey, some of our patrons complained. It isn’t just me.)

The above does infer, however, that it is a possibility that some types of work could be satisfying, for me.

I’m sure that the statement I just made would be antithetical to some people (some of whom, I’m related to). But there is a chance that I could find a job which would enhance my life, not simply enable me to survive. It doesn’t, that is, have to be, “a drudge.”

It seems I’ve come to some conclusions in this post:

  1. Keep writing
  2. Edit my own stuff (I know it needs to happen; don’t be surprised if my content changes, here)
  3. Apply for Editing jobs
  4. Consider trying for a Certificate in Editing
  5. Apply for Cataloging jobs
  6. Apply for Metadata jobs
  7. Read (outside of Library and Information Science)!
  8. Complete additional Cataloging/Metadata reading
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