I'd always intended to have a bit of a blogging break after the Agents of Shield postathon. Even allowing for the buffer I managed to build up for parts of that period, a longish post every 2 days is quite a lot of words and time. I didn't actually intend for the break to be as long as it has been. It was good to stop for a bit, and I've been working on other things in that time, but I know it probably looks like I'd abandoned ship. I haven't, it was just extended shore leave.
So what's happening with me?
I recently had a birthday and am now officially Nearly Thirty. This may mean that I'm supposed to make lists of goals and ambitions and such. I'm not going to do that. I can forsee some life changes in the next year or so, and I don't feel that I need to add to that with a list, which I expect would feel artificial.
There are things about myself that I want to work on, but these are the same things I've wanted to work on for some years now. This suggests that I'm kind of slow to change, or perhaps that I'm wary? There is personal stuff that has changed for the better in the last year, but it's not something I want to talk about on the internet. I will say that I've realised that you can change bad patterns you've developed, that the picture you have of yourself when you're young is not set in stone, but sometimes you need help with that.
I'm not always very good at sharing stuff about myself. I'd like to think I can be quite an open person, but that's not something I am consistent about and I'm sure I come across as aloof too. It can take me a while to feel comfortable, but not always, and I don't know which way I'm going to react. I think it's a confidence thing, I tend to assume I'm not particularly interesting and/or that I am somehow burdensome to others. I sometimes also feel like I don't know how to be friend to others and so I hold back or purposefully position myself on the fringe of things, because at least it's familiar there. I suspect this is thinking I should try to change as I'm sure it's holding me back.
Writing-wise I continue to alternate between feeling I have progressed in what I know, and being mad at myself for not doing more. The latter is helpful as long as it encourages me, but unfortunately it can also be really discouraging (at which point the feeling becomes counter-productive). Looking back I suspect I've gotten better at dealing with this too, though it doesn't always feel that way. I have also joined a fantasy writing group that a friend set up earlier this year. It's been interesting and has already proved helpful, so that's a good thing.
What I have definitely learned is that writing a second draft that's a different shape and tone to your first draft feels a lot like writing a first draft again, which doesn't feel like progress. Though alongside this I'm trying to redevelop the research skills I haven't used since I was student. I recently found out that my current job gives me access to a ridiculous number of academic journals, so that'll help. I'm not a heavy worldbuilder, but as I want the setting of my story to be somewhere unlike where I live (and I now have a main character who's a doctor) I do need to at least look up practical details. Hopefully this second draft will have more depth than the first.
Normal service will resume shortly. I will continue to do the TNG posts, as I feel like that's a thing I have committed to. I'll also try to get back into talking about books again, I'm not really sure why I stopped. In the spirit of what I've said above I may even talk about myself a bit more, though already the prospect feels somewhat self-indulgent.
Thank you for reading all the way down here (unless you've cheekily scrolled down, as that is kind of cheating, but I shan't hold it against you).