Him

Well, we made it to Wednesday, Constant Reader. I wasn’t as tired last night when I got home from work as I usually am on Tuesday; I don’t know if I’ve rejiggered my sleep patterns or something, but it’s kind of lovely to not be so tired I can barely move on a Tuesday night. I was able to finish the laundry that’s been in process since Sunday night and finish another load of dishes so the kitchen is clean at last, rather sliding into my Wednesday morning before I run the errands on the way to work routine. What I hope this means is that this morning, I can get caught up on emails and some of the revising that has slid over the last couple of days.

I can never quite keep up, can I?

I slept extremely well last night, so this morning I do feel fantastic–at least, well-rested and ready to get this day whipped into shape. We shall see, won’t we?

Yesterday was a weird experience for me, and one of those things that absolutely illustrates how the way I was raised did not in the slightest prepare me for being a writer. I had to write a lengthy bio of myself, including everything I’ve done and accomplished in my publishing career–from writing columns to book reviews to essays to short stories to novels, as well as my work as an editor, including not just the anthologies I’ve done but the editorial work I’ve done working for publishers. I was raised to be, of all things, humble–i.e., that talking myself up and talking about my accomplishments was in poor taste; that the proper life approach was to never do such a thing. “Just do your work and let other people decide whether you’re good or not.” This is entirely self-defeating for an author. As an author, you are constantly having to promote yourself, and talk yourself up all the time. This has always made me uncomfortable. Add to that the mentality that I should be grateful for what I have and never complain…yeah, you can see how I am always at war with myself internally; these life lessons imparted by my parents are almost entirely contradictory: be grateful for what you have but at the same time aspire to more…almost as though ambition isn’t a good thing.

So, writing up a lengthy career biography of myself, intended to make me look as good as possible, made me literally squirm as I was typing it. But it wound up being nearly two pages long, and as I was doing it off the top of my head (I do not update my lengthy c.v. nearly as regularly as I should; note to self: add updating c.v. to to-do list), there were probably things that I forgot and left off–in fact, this morning I remember some freelance editorial work I’ve done that I’d completely blanked on last night–having a sieve-like memory doesn’t help in these instances. But when it was finished, I couldn’t help but be a little impressed with myself: I have accomplished a lot, and as I said, not everything I’ve done made it to the biography. Just the novel-writing alone; and then taking in to consideration the amount of novels I’ve edited…yeah, I’ve done quite a bit in what is really a very short period of time.

I know I should focus more on the positive, that I shouldn’t be afraid to be ambitious, and I shouldn’t be so reticent to talk myself up–most importantly, even if I don’t talk myself up, I most definitely should stop being self-deprecating.

That last is probably the most damaging aspect of myself.

So, writing the biography was a good thing, ultimately, even if doing it made me squirm uncomfortably. It’s not a bad thing to sit back and take stock of what you’ve done, what you’ve accomplished–provided you don’t wind up resting on your laurels. It made me want to accomplish more, actually; while a lovely reminder of what I’ve done thus far, it also reminded me of what I have yet to accomplish, what I want to accomplish.

And on that note, tis time to head back into the spice mines. Happy Wednesday, Constant Reader.

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