There is a very important update below on the status of how dumb I look.
On Monday, because I did not get the day off due to blood moon catastrophes, I finished the last of the write-ups for the 32 hikes for the hiking guide. And then I had a whiskey, because I am a writer and that’s what we do.
Gotta say, folks, it felt preeeeeettty good to finish up even though technically we’re talking about just the first draft. There is more work in store, no doubt.
The push to the finish line over the last several weeks necessitated some long days, and it also meant working basically every day since Labor Day. Some days that might have only been a few hours, but many of those days it was more like 10-12 or so. I griped about it at times, of course, because it was hard and tiring and sometimes boring and just about any other thing you might say about working that much.
But some part of me relished having the sense of urgency around it. Just about everyone has stretches like this in their careers, and I’ve had times where I’ve put in long hours in other jobs, but it was a different experience doing it on my own and doing it as a writer. The “doing it on my own” part brought some sense of accomplishment, yet it’s hard not to miss the camaraderie that comes with being in a team setting. In a regular job when you’re putting in long hours, it’s often the case–but not always!–that others around you are doing the same. It’s nice to think, “this sucks but it sucks for ALL of us together.”
*everyone jumps and high fives*
The main reason I ultimately didn’t mind how much I’ve worked lately was the writing part of it. I don’t think it’s a secret that writing about hiking is not really my dream gig, and I still don’t know exactly where I’m going with this writing thing more broadly. But one thing I’ve learned about myself in pushing to get all this done, especially after taking on the extra workload when my brother got injured, is that I really do love to write.
You’d hope that would be an obvious thing to someone who quit his job to be a writer. It’s not that straightforward.
What I’m talking about was learning that–even when I’m not necessarily doing the precise kind of work I want, and when I’m up against a lot to do in not a lot of time–I was glad writing was a part of it. Even when you’re doing something you love, some of that work will be sucky. It was nice to learn that sucky work can suck less because at least I enjoy the craft of it. This specific project wasn’t “sucky” exactly, but you get the gist, right?
So here I am on the other side of this massive push to finish. We’re not done, of course. Revisions, edits, things we missed and so on are yet to come. But it seems likely I’ve crested the mountain, and its downhill from here. My brain hasn’t totally figured that out yet. It’s buzzing like there’s an alarm going off, and I’d really like to find the snooze button. That’ll take a few days, most likely. I’m looking forward to picking up the threads of other projects I haven’t had much time for. It’ll be nice to shift gears back into more creative writing endeavors, and it’ll also be nice to maybe resume something that more closely resembles a normal day-to-day existence.
Today, that starts with a haircut. Good God, do I need a haircut. I’m not sure I’ve ever been more excited to get one than I am right now.
UPDATE – 6:24 PM, October 1st, 2015
Remember how dumb I looked up there? Fixed it, y’all.