Long, long ago, when I was in my early teens, I seem to recall that I considered my weekends to be my time off, a time in which I could lounge around the house during the day while spending my evenings with my family and friends. How quickly times change. My weekends have now become my ‘catch up on your reading’ period, and frankly there is simply too much reading to ever truly feel caught up. With that being said, while recently perusing my RSS feed I came across an interesting article from September 2011 (shows how much more catching up I need to do) that resulted in the question, why is it that I have not written in this blog since May 2011? The article was What Do You Do When You Hate Your Blog? by Joe Bunting.
For the past ten months I have started countless blog posts only to see them fall to the wayside, unfinished and unstructured. I have devised weekly goals for my writing only to see them ignored once the reality of life, work, and school, got in the way. My one and only New Year’s resolution this year was to force myself to find the time to write in my blog at least once a week. As you can see I have failed at that as well, and I am now at the point where I need to seriously contemplate why I would need to force myself to write. What has gone so wrong in my life that I no longer enjoy writing? Where had the spark gone, the happiness I once experienced at exploring and capturing new ideas and stories? As someone who has in the past found great enjoyment in the writing process I simply do not understand why I grew to feel so disinterested.
As I have spent the last quarter in school working on my personal website and social media presence my greatest struggle has been a riddle I thought easiest to solve, my brand. Who am I, what do I want to share about myself, and where do I want to go both personally and professionally? While I have thoroughly enjoyed my past two years in library school and have acquired a number of transferable skills that I truly believe have allowed me to succeed and advance in my professional life, as I prepare to finish my MLIS degree I cannot help but stop and wonder what was it all for? Did I choose to enter a MLIS program because I hoped along the way I would find myself and where I want to go in the future, or is my love of education that strong that my MLIS degree was simply another path in my never ending road of higher education? And if the later is the case, then where, or what, is my ultimate destination? Where does the road end? As I have spent the better part of the last six years in grad school, will have acquired two masters degrees come September, and have racked up a substantial amount of student debt, I am afraid that I must reach my destination soon – I do not have enough gas in my car to keep it running.
At heart, I am a researcher, and always have been. My favorite part of the writing process, whether while in school or personal writing, has always been the front-end research that goes into crafting an accurate and absorbing story. As a lover of historical fiction, and a novice historical fiction writer, I find something wonderfully fulfilling when I look back at the pages and pages (or in some cases boxes and boxes) of historical research notes I have written on a variety of topics and periods. Tudor history has always held great importance in my life as I have spent countless hours researching and reading accounts of that turbulent and always interesting period. Prior to writing my graduate thesis on popular romance fiction and ideals of masculinity I spent months researching the relevant topics and acquired a box of articles and notes that is still sitting next to the desk in my home office, waiting for the day when I choose to explore this treasure trove again.
And that is when it hit me; I should enjoy writing and never find it necessary to force myself to do so. I need to stop feeling the pressing obligation to write about my profession and instead find a way in which to incorporate my profession into the topics and interests I do enjoy writing about. Sure, my professional interests include digital libraries, technology, social media, project management, and metadata, but instead of sitting at my desk each day forcing myself to shape my writing around these interests I should be finding a way to incorporate these professional interests with my personal interests of romance fiction, history, and horror films.
And with my new brand as The Embedded Horror Librarian, I feel a desire to begin writing again, and believe I can finally answer that question, to write or not to write…