Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Unintentional Intentions?

(Joke's on me.  I wasn't sure I was going to publish this one, but I accidentally hit "publish" instead of "preview".  I'm going to let it stand.  Thoughts are incomplete, and I haven't finished proofreading, so please be nice!)

Yesterday August ended in a watery rush of autumn.  Today, though drier, feels like September.  The cooler weather allows for use of the stove once again.  As I write there are two pots of beans simmering in my kitchen: one pinto, one garbanzo.  Other than the occasional stirring, I'm determined to spend the next couple of hours writing.  

Those of you who read here regularly will have noticed some lengthy absences.  The current one has lasted about 10 days.  The previous one lasted 4 months.  Today it's taking all my resolve to keep that from happening again.  It's silly really.  I like writing.  I feel better when I write.  I even have things I want to tell you about.  It's just that once I've been away for I few days I have a hard time getting back to it. I start to forget how good I feel when I write, and once that happens it's easy for the inner critic to sneak in and sabotage my good intentions.

(I started to list things my evil, sneaky, seductive inner critic uses to thwart me.  I've deleted that list.  I'm guessing you have your own inner critic, and I don't want to give it any ideas to use against you.)

Sooooo.  What will I write about instead?  I had ideas this morning, and I still generally remember those ideas, but I can't recall the words I used to express those ideas, and my new words just don't seem as good as the old words...  Sounds like the voice of an inner critic, doesn't it?

Why don't I tell you what brought me back here after my 4 month disappearance?  I'd tell you what took me away for 4 months, but it would take far too long.  Besides, I still haven't quite figured out what happened myself.  What brought me back was quite easy in comparison.  It was a cover letter.

Usually I hate writing cover letters.  I feel like a phony trying to twist my experiences into the qualifications the employer is looking for.  Not pleasant.  

At the beginning of August I saw a job posting that interested me.  It was for a part-time, temporary job in completely different field.  In fact, it was a food-related job. How could I resist?

The ad was quirky, so I responded in kind.  I responded as myself rather than as some imaginary perfect employee.  Surprisingly, I had fun writing my cover letter, and I haven't had fun writing a cover letter in years.  The last time was when I applied for a job I was in no way qualified for.  I didn't know where to begin, so I pretended to be Neil Gaiman and responded to the ad as I thought he might respond to it.  I had a riot writing that letter, but I didn't get the job.  Sadly, I didn't get this job either.  

Truthfully, I'm not too concerned about it. I do have a job, so the bills are getting paid, and ultimately some good came out of my unsuccessful application.  The process brought me back to my writing.  That writing a cover letter was inspiring still astonishes me, but I'll take inspiration where I can get it.  I also learned a bit about finding an employer that values me for me, though I'm still working my way through that one.  The idea contradicts just about everything I've internalized about job hunting, employment and employers.  

To make things more confusing is my response to a job I applied for last week.  This posting was for a job in my current field.  I put together a routine cover letter in a matter of minutes.  The process bored me, and left me feeling discouraged.  Do you suppose I should take it as a sign that my current break from writing coincides exactly with the the sending of that application?  That same act can inspire in one situation and impede in another is bewildering. 

(There was going to be a clever summing up here, but I hadn't thought of it yet when I accidentally published, so  I'm going to let myself off the hook.  If you have a clever conclusion let me know.  I think I'm going to need some help with this one anyway.)


  1. Write more! I know what you mean- When I write a lot (and I do) I think too much of me comes out the goods and the crazies. To make you laugh (and I know this will) today I sent an email to a news anchor of a major Canadian network that I had worked with recently. I had been writing blogs all day and I am looking for some coverage for my upcoming demo at the veg fair... Anyway. It read:


    Hope you are well- I am participating in the Veg Food Fair next weekend- thinking there must be a way to merge your government/queens park coverage with the Veg Fair right? Maybe if I get arrested for beating up the faux-meat vendors with a giant tofurky. Just a thought.

    Keep drinking that water

    I am not sure I learned a lesson in this but it was totally me and made me laugh.

  2. Meghan, you are hilarious. I'll be watching the news for tofurky related incidents in your area! Thanks for the laugh and for the encouragement!

  3. I'm glad you posted this, Laurie! I wonder if your excitement has a lot to do with novelty. When you wrote your first cover letter, you were stretching beyond your comfort zone, into a new interest. When you wrote your second cover letter, you were staying within your field and presumably it wasn't all that new or exciting. I experience this a lot in the lab--new things are more fun because they aren't familiar, so I have to be on my toes to make things happen. The challenge is fun.

    One of the wonderful things about blogging is that we can draw inspiration from an infinite number of sources. The novelty never has to wear off if you keep your eyes open :-)


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