When I was finishing my dissertation, I gave up writing almost everything else, including the novels and short stories I was working on. I didn't blog as often as before. Even when I went to coffeehouses, I didn't write in my journal like I used to; I immersed myself in cups of coffee and heavy library books.
Now that I'm finally done with my dissertation (insert joyful music from gospel choir here), it's hard to get back into the writing groove, which is one of the reasons I haven't been blogging as much. I go to coffeehouses to write, and instead find myself checking Twitter several times an hour, where I see Tweets like #CancelYourEngagementZayn, which was trending on Twitter yesterday (apparently some One Direction fans are irate that one of the members is engaged and think that acting like obsessive stalkers will make him break off his engagement and marry one of them, which would only happen on the bizarro planet that they live on). Other times I see Tweets from people ranting about whatever it is they're "offended" by at the moment (Tweets like that make me want to leave Twitter altogether).
Instead of writing, I often find myself making paper airplanes that I try very hard not to throw at the guys who blast videos from their cell phones. Or I roll my eyes at the hipsters with their ginormous headphones.
At home, I sit down at my laptop to write, and instead I check my e-mail to find yet another rejection letter from yet another school. It's been disheartening to be rejected by so many schools, though I know that for every one full-time, untenured faculty position available, there are at least a hundred (or two hundred) applicants vying for it. I feel discouraged, because I spent too many years in grad school. I lost almost everything else that mattered (my twenties, most of my friends, potential boyfriends), and now I feel like it was all for nothing.
There is one school here in Illinois that said they MIGHT hire me, but only if the budget allows it; they can't let me know anything for sure until the end of the month. In the meantime, instead of writing, I've been applying for part-time faculty jobs (the low pay worries me, because then I won't be able to pay my rent AND my minimum student loan payment each month). I've also been considering jobs in retail again (insert primal screaming here) if I can't find any adjunct jobs.
When my professors turned to me after I successfully defended my dissertation and said, "Congratulations, Doctor!" I didn't even feel relieved as I thought I would. I felt worried because I didn't have a job lined up yet.
So needless to say, I've been preoccupied. If I knew what was going to happen this fall, I could relax. But since I don't yet, I can't stop worrying.
At the same time, I still want to write. But it's been so long since I've worked on my fiction and creative nonfiction that it's hard to get back to writing it.
What about you? Have you ever taken a long break from writing? What kinds of things did you do to get back into the writing groove?
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