Happy New Year!
This year is looking very exciting, and quite different from previous years. On Monday, I start a new job as a casual librarian in TinyTown, about half an hour’s drive from the centre of MainTown. This is a very basic job, and I’m back to almost minimum wage, but I am starting a new life, and indications are that I will move on up the ladder at a reasonable rate.
This ‘reasonable rate’ is, in part, aided by the fact that, in March, I will be starting a post-grad diploma in Museum Studies, and both papers I am taking this year can be applied equally to libraries and museums. Because, in the second half of last year, as I was questioning my worth, and my studies, and wondering how I could try and make a go of finding a job outside of Academia, the thing which most appealed was something to do with museums. This would mean not entirely invalidating my PhD, and would also mean I get involved in actual things, objects, items one can touch and hold. (Combine museum stuff with libraries, and what do you get? MANUSCRIPTS!)
The two papers I’ll be doing mean a bit of study, which is why I’m pleased that my library job is casual – as in, ‘on call’. I hope that I’ll get enough work from the library job, while having enough time to do the studies. (Cue doom-y music!)
And, to further add to the year, I’m volunteering at the BigMuseum in MainTown. This gets my foot in the door, gives me valuable experience, and helps me to see what areas I want to work in. Also, it will give me something to do when the library doesn’t need me. My first task is pretty straight-forward – filing donation letters – but the point is, as with the library job, that I’ll be there, getting experience, making contacts, and, as the woman I’ll be supervised by said, I’ll be on-hand for the next object-handling course, and once I’ve done that, they can get me into collections work. Whoopeeee!
The question you might be asking, at this stage, is “Why are you telling me all this? Are you still going to be using this blog for writing-related stuff?” Obviously there was a lot of soul-searching which went on off-stage, as it were, while I decided that the image I had of academia, and my place in it, was a wild fantasy, at least 30, or more probably 50, years out of date. The relief of not having to fight for an academic placing was great, but the minute I thought “I don’t need to work on writing articles to get me a job”, I had lots of ideas about articles. So, while you can take the academia away from me, I don’t think you’ll take the academic. I’m still a medievalist, and still intend to write about things which interest me, and get articles published. (And I’ll still need deadlines, and people to be accountable to.)
So, to get started, here is a list of writing projects for this year:
1) 800-word book review due by 15th March;
2) 6000-word article due by 1st April (first draft), for a conference in June and publication;
3) 2-3000 words a month on my novel (which has been in _vague_ planning form for years now!).
Thus, I had better get cracking. This week’s goals are:
1) Read the book;
2) Plan something more concrete for the article;
3) Write for an hour a day on the novel.
The overall goal is to get into the habit of writing for two hours a day. There is no real excuse for not doing this.
Look forward to weekly updates!