It’s been awhile since I blogged here; now that I think about it, since around the time I first discovered the “NuWho” Doctor Who reboot on Netflix. Thankfully, however, correlation does not imply causation, and Doctor Who was really part of a larger rebalancing, the start of a process of examining and processing and deciding.
Things I learned:
No matter how much you love something, it is possible to overdo it.
No, I am NOT talking about binge watching entire Who seasons on Netflix in a single day. Well, mostly not. Although it is hard to walk away from.
The fact is, I burned out on writing. I lost the soul of it because I let my ego get too wrapped up in topics and forms that other people at work weren’t as invested in. What I did do was get reinspired by watching incredibly well made TV shows and discovering new fiction.
I’m better now at recognizing when I’m doing too much of other people’s stuff, a signal that I need to pause and do something for myself. (I also don’t swim competitively for that same reason.)
Sometimes taking a break isn’t enough. Sometimes you have to quit altogether.
I learned this in 2006, also after a period of burnout, when I quit my part-time freelance job, also because I lost the soul of writing in too many PR pieces and not enough stories. I wrote fiction and raised my sons, but it wasn’t until a story I loved found me that I went back to trade journalism.
At that point, though, I quit fiction. I didn’t believe I had anything to say that stood out enough from the crowd. It took another five years, a depression, heartbreak, the abovementioned burnout, and various other tribulations for new stories to find me. I’m told it’s my best work yet; stay tuned.
In any case, quitting, I’ve found, is as much about things and activities as it is about people. It’s letting go, setting free… and if “it” — passion, stories, friendship — comes back to you, you aren’t yet through learning from it. Don’t sit around waiting, either; find other things to do with life:
You’re not an impostor if you’re doing your own thing
Not feeling I had much to say also figured into my hiatus from this blog. Rampant impostor syndrome had convinced me I wasn’t enough of a marketing expert to join the throng of voices from other, more experienced communications experts.
That still left #forensicfemmes, but with no forensication experience of my own, who was I to publish anything that real forensicators would find of value? As a person who places high value on informed opinion, to weigh in, for example, on IBM’s “Hack a Hair Dryer” would have nothing on Lesley Carhart’s excellent blog on the topic.
It would take another few months, a decision to drop my other blog, Cops 2.0, and use this space to focus on my personal-professional life, to work out how it all comes together. While there won’t be anything close to a regular blogging schedule with a solid editorial calendar, my intent for this space is:
- Fiction talk. That includes stories I write and/or publish, authors and books I love, things I learn about the industry.
- #ForensicFemmes. I see an intersection with finding and doing work that is personally fulfilling, that feels like contributing time and expertise to a valuable mission.
- Personal lessons learned about career, marketing, life, etc. Expect lots of references to geek culture. And raccoons, the “hackers of the animal kingdom” I’ve learned to love through volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary.
As the 11th Doctor noted: