New Year’s Malaise

The New Year is supposed to be full of cheer, new possibilities, a new lot in life. I think that’s why, when it doesn’t feel that way for you, it’s even worse – not just that you don’t feel optimistic, but that you don’t feel optimistic, AND you know you’re supposed to.

I’m in a funk, and I feel like talking it out through writing. Writing is my outlet, my dream job, something I take pride in when working other jobs. I haven’t written a lot over here in a while, most of my efforts centered on Comparative Geeks and some fiction world-building. However, I would like to get more over here – and write more fiction – and overall just write more. Three posts a week on Comparative Geeks was just the beginning!

So if you feel like, read on and move through my malaise with me, and join me at the end where I try to find hope and an outlet.

Now That I’m a Librarian…

I finished up my Library Science master’s in August, and began job-hunting then. Here in Alaska, some of the minimum job requirements are lower than in the lower 48 – likely due to things like a limited candidate pool, and there not being a university in-state that teaches this and many other professional degrees.

So… have you ever had that experience where you wrap up all of your plans, all of your hopes and dreams, all of your self-worth and identity, in something? I know I have, now apparently several times in my life. Most recently, it was a job I applied for. I put a ton of work into the application, the cover letter… had a great interview, and walked out feeling like I had nailed it.

It being the holidays, the hiring and approval process was moving slow, and so I had to have my hopes up for a very long time. But I thought I had it. Then I kept not hearing anything, even after they said I would… finally find a letter in the mail. No dice.

And now, I feel lost. Like that was the one, and I somehow blew it. That I’m not cut out to be a librarian. That I’m stuck now in my part-time job, barely making ends meet. That I’ve let down myself, my wife, everyone.

Don’t Get Me Wrong…

I’m really liking my job right now. It’s only 20 hours a week, though, so just financially, it isn’t quite cutting it. It’s getting me experience in a library, which should help with future applications, and I’m working on more of the technical aspects, so that’s a plus.

And they really like me. I have since gotten a part-time job as well, only a handful of hours a month at the moment, as a reference desk Librarian – so I can now officially call myself a hired and paid Librarian. Well, as of tomorrow, I guess, it’s active. Anyway. That’s a plus, and more experience, and financial help…

And I also have picked up work – at the same University still! – as an adjunct professor, helping facilitate a class on Digital Citizenship. And hey, maybe you reading this is one of the students. If so, sorry for the first impression, I guess. You’re all professionals – I think you maybe understand the feeling of having your profession tied very strongly to your identity.

I think I may actually have something close to a 40-hour-a-week job cobbled together, so really, things might be in good shape right now. I shouldn’t be worried. But I am. And I can’t help it. So maybe writing this all out will help.

What I Have Been Writing

So, I’ve been trying, especially starting around NaNoWriMo, to write more. I have a couple of artists interested and included, and I am writing up my notes on the world I have been developing now for a little over a decade. Outline writing is not easy, though, and I missed the NaNoWriMo goal. Still, I have more together for this story now than ever before. So that’s exciting.

However, it feels like this still has so far to go. Getting it all out and together… there’s aspects I don’t like, things that seem to cliche or used before. I guess this is some of the advantage of heading into a collaborative process, getting some input from the others. But that means there’s a long road still to go there.

Which, after a decade, also has me a little frustrated. Shouldn’t it be ready to get out, to get down on paper? Should it have been already, and have I been doing this all wrong? quite possibly, I suppose. But the goal has been to get a good job, to get stable, to have something I could do and then have writing time, something I could do which is not draining, but is uplifting. Library Science seemed like just the thing.

So getting shut down on the job feels like I’m getting crushed not only on one front, professionally, but on another – my lifelong goal and dream of being a writer.

So What Am I Doing About It?

So while I have been working on the world from my first NaNoWriMo experience for a decade, there’s a story with even older roots – with a main character created in 1995. A story that has progressed into an Arthurian tale, a science opera adventure, and… a story that I don’t feel like has actually changed much in my mind in a long time. Meaning, I feel like it’s as done as I can get it.

So it’s time to write it, right? So I have started to do so. Because there are two ways of looking at a part time job. One is as a failure as a librarian, or a victim of the recession, the difficulties of finding a job… the other way is to look at it as an opportunity, a chance to write, with the time afforded by a set of part-time jobs. Because I have always let other things get in my way, other goals, the need to have the “perfect time” to write. Never going to happen.

It’s just time to write.

And hopefully, that will help. That, and starting my two new additional part-time jobs, and learning about Digital Citizenship, and applying for other Librarian jobs and just moving forward… because right now, I’ve got nowhere to go but forward.


About CompGeeksDavid
Co-founder, editor, podcaster, web comicer, forum moderator, and writer for Comparative Geeks. Father, husband, geek, nerd, gamer, librarian, Christian, Libertarian, Science Fiction philosopher, and probably a number of other descriptors.

One Response to New Year’s Malaise

  1. Kate says:

    That letter was outrageous. I may have ranted to everyone after I got it–even though I wasn’t expecting the job.

    There are still opportunities to get involved. There may be a public library position open, and in my opinion the public library is a far better place to work. The AkLA conference is in juneau next year and volunteers are welcome and needed. ^_^


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