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MBA, Kicking My Ass and Taking My Name, and Miscellanea

27 Sep 2010

It’s not the material; it’s the time commitment. I have grown soft in my old age (according to my younger sisters, thirty is absolutely ancient) and can’t handle the extra thirty hours on top of the day job. But it’s more than that. It’s harder for me to go to school than to work. The rigidity of the classroom chafes me. I lose a certain amount of freedom in school because I have to work according to their schedules, use their methods, and meet their mandatory page counts. Too often, I find myself longing for my office with the old-school Transformers posters hanging on the walls. Group work, however, is the most time consuming because, unlike at work, I can’t tell people what to do or replace them if they’re unproductive. Some days, I think herding cats would be easier. It would definitely be more amusing.

Way back when I did school full-time (and then some because I took six courses per semester instead of the usual four or five), I also worked two part-time jobs, wrote the occasional story, and hit the dojo four to five times a week. Totally insane, but I had youth on my side. In the last nine years, I’ve gotten used to having the majority of my evenings and weekends free to recharge my batteries, which usually involved napping or hitting the slopes with my snowboard. My downtime is now gone and I haven’t adjusted to the loss, leaving me clumsy with exhaustion most days. I would look forward to vacation, except I need those days for my block week courses. But I will adjust. I should find my stride in October. If I don’t, Red Bull will replace Grey Goose as my poison of choice. (I could mix them together, but that concoction tastes disturbingly like cough syrup.)

On the upside, the added pressure is helping with the writing. I don’t know why, but I have a greater drive to write than I did before. I think it’s the knowledge that my writing time is now severely limited and I must make better use of every available minute. Then again, I work best under pressure. Adrenaline is like caffeine times ten, minus the shakes and headaches. I’m not churning out several thousand words a day, but it’s better than what I was doing in the last year.

(I know one writer who can do a full-length novel in three months. Fully edited. Yeah, her discipline scares me too. Until I remember she’s a full-time writer and she doesn’t get paid if she doesn’t write. The threat of an empty bank account would motivate me too. Maybe.)

Speaking of writing… Last night, I sniffed as I cut out a scene I adore. The whole story started with this particular scene, but as the story progressed–and regressed many, many times over–the scene no longer worked. It no longer made sense and had to go. Still very sad today. So sad that I’ll eat the last Klondike bar in my freezer to console myself. But, alas, that’s the way it works sometimes. I have to be ruthless with my writing because I don’t like reading filler and neither do my readers. According to one of my editors, though, sometimes I’m too ruthless and leave her scratching her head. I occasionally forget readers can’t read my mind. Sad, but true. If I didn’t read so many graphic novels, I probably wouldn’t need regular reminds of this reality.

I completed the first draft of a short story. I didn’t mean to do it and take time away from the much neglected romantic suspense; it just sort of happened. Totally unplanned. Honestly. However, I’m running into the whole readers-can’t-read-my-mind issue and need to flesh it out. Or is it the my-hero-is-too-alpha issue? Probably both.

Finally, I think I have a crush on John Scalzi. Why? Do you follow his blog? No? You should. The wit that makes me laugh out loud while reading his books is in abundance on his blog. Start with the rather gentle smack-down on Todd Henderson and Scalzi’s New Rule For the Internets, Six-Figure Income Division.

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