Today’s ‘week that was’ post is going to be a little bit different. Last week, I wrote that I hadn’t met my goals, and to be honest, I haven’t this week either.
Blogging about the goals I haven’t reached ain’t gonna make anything better, so I’m shifting the focus. I’m just going to tell you what’s been on my mind this week, which has had me in major reflection mode.
A big chunk of said reflection has been thinking about should-isms, and about what I really truly want to do; what my purpose is, you might say.
One of my should-isms is that I should be working full-time, defined as a 40-hour week, to be considered a functioning and contributing adult who is pulling her own weight in society. So, in today’s morning pages (basically journalling first thing in the morning, popularised by Julia Cameron) I calculated out the number of hours I work in a week. I tutor at Kip McGrath from Mon-Sat, and I included hours I spend planning lessons and undertaking professional development, to give me a total of 30-ish hours per week.
In terms of my writing, I include fiction writing and editing, blogging, market research, critiquing and social media, as these are all things that contribute to my indie writing business, therefore counting as ‘work’. This works out to 3+ hours each weekday, and I usually spend half of Sunday on my business as well. This adds up to an extra 20+ hours each week, which gives a grand total of 50 hours working.
I also teach guitar (and now maths) on a voluntary basis every Saturday afternoon, and I haven’t even considered all the time I spend THINKING about my writing, my business, and my wonderful cast of characters.
So there we have it – I am more than pulling my weight!
The other is that I should be doing something that contributes to society. I seem to have this block about whether a career in art (whatever media or form that may be) isn’t a noble enough profession. I am solidly working on undoing this terrible way of looking at art, and it’s one reason (not the only reason) I’m a teacher – teaching feels like more of an acceptable profession than an artist or writer or musician.
This is pure bollocks, obviously.
I’ve realised that what gives me the most pleasure and satisfaction boils down to two things:
Firstly, making other people happy, and seeing them learn and grow and progress. This is the main reason I love teaching, and seeing my students begin to believe in their own ability is bread and butter for my soul.
Secondly: creating. I need to get the thoughts out of my head, and into something tangible; to express my emotion and allow it to resonate with others, which makes me feel good, as well as those it resonates with. (Yolanda wrote a great post on this in terms of the art of poetry. It’s well worth a read: To All Poets. Read the comments as well.) Sometimes, it’s just about making something fun, or silly, or beautiful.
And if all else fails, I shall drink tea and watch some anime!
I realise today’s post has been a bit of a rambling rant, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this matter. What should-isms do you struggle with? How do you deal with it? What keeps you going?