Writing and Eleven Things

Today’s writing topics, from Clio, are actually inviting: eleven things to shed in 2011, and what do you need to write?

I need to write my novel, and I want to write my academic projects. This is all very obvious but I would like to underscore the novel as a need and the academic work as a desire.

Eleven things to shed are:

1. Self doubt … I am working on shedding it.
2. Self hatred … I am working on shedding it.
3. Self destruction … I am working shedding it.
4. Debt … I may be about to shed the last of it.
5. Teaching courses to the general education requirement … I cannot shed this but I can start failing people early on.
6. Watering down courses at the upper division / graduate levels on the theory that this will garner us more students at these levels … I can refuse to do this.
7. Being affected by the attitudes of the lumpen undergraduates … I am not sure how to avoid this but items 1, 2, and 3 may help.
8. The 5 or 10 pounds I seem to have gained over the past two years … sleep and exercise can cause me to shed these.
9. The new habit of not exercising … items 1, 2, and 3 will restart me.
10. The habit of not sleeping … shedding this is going to be a question of will power, I believe. For me not sleeping signifies enthusiasm, appetite, and interest in life. Therefore, I do not wish to sleep, but I really ought to. I have a multi-pronged plan to accomplish this.
11. Workaholism … I believe I have developed workaholic traits; by this I mean transforming work into drudgery, or letting the tedious aspects of work take it over. How to accomplish this: identify the most tedious aspects of work and find a systematic way to reduce dedication to them, even if it seems heretical. Machine grading seems heretical, for instance, but I intend to use any means necessary.


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6 responses to “Writing and Eleven Things

  1. Go for yours my friend. There are very few in your position who would admit to your list. That’s a good first step. I wish you all the best. I don’t believe in luck, but just favor, grace, and effort. Peace to you ~

  2. Z

    Hi Stephen! You mean, tenured faculty are too proud to say anything is wrong … or that people as neurotic / depressed as I am cannot usually say it or explain it?


    I think this why therapists and clergy dislike me, I believe: they want to use their training in getting people to say things they do not want to see or say. I do not have this inhibition, and that surprises them.

    I think the problem people have understanding me is, I am not a depressive even if I am depressed. I am a positive person wearing a negative mask but they expect the opposite.

    It occurs to me that perhaps it is because I am an abuse victim that I can say the things that I actually think are wrong with me without going into contortions of pain as one is, apparently, supposed to do.

    I am used to being interrogated, falsely accused, and forced to confess to things I have not thought or done and to make some form of amends for these. Compared to that, making a list of my own is painless.

    Am I weird? I think not, really, but I do seem to surprise people.

  3. Z

    Clio’s alternative prompt for today is great:

    Prompt: When did you first feel separate from your body? That is, how did you become aware that your race or gender or some immutable feature of yourself set you apart and would in some way define your experience of the world?

    And I will have to think about these questions.

    The original question is about feeling one with your body and I’d say that in 2010 I’ve been physically uncomfortable most of the time due to wanting to express emotional pain in some way, so I could see what it was and decide not to put myself through it, find some way not to do that.

    One with, most recently: walking to school one morning after the heat broke and I’d slept well, and it was exciting because it was cool and I was feeling well and whole and I was wearing really pleasant shoes. I really do have to quit the sleep deprivation…

  4. Z

    Ah, and to respond quickly to Clio:

    Being short – I’m barely 5-2. When I was a child I thought that when I got to be taller than others I would have more power over my life. But I never did get taller than others. It may be a reason why I have trouble leaving childhood behind and why I feel so much better outside the US, where I am not so short and feel more like a grownup, less apologetic, less fearful.

  5. I had my cards read by someone I trust last month. She’d barely begun when she chortled and said, “Well…you’ve certainly learned how to let go of what you don’t need.” I hope so! It’s taken long enough.

    Good luck with your list and happy new year, Z.

  6. Z

    HI CS and happy new year! For 12th night, which is tonight, as this is the 12th day of Christmas, I’ll add a 12th thing to shed: the idea that something is wrong with me. This is an idea one has from child abuse but that I got from Al-Anon — you’ve got permanent defects due to what you’ve experienced, and you have to keep second class status. I think this is actually part of the attitude of alcoholics, and one they want to perpetrate on others… in any case the list above implies it, but I’ll add it as item 12, specifically.

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