Saturday, May 01, 2010


I started to write that this week has been a strange one and then I realized what a redundant thing that was to say. It seems that every week is strange for me these days. On the writing front, I didn't actually get any words down. I did do a lot of mental work, thinking about the direction the story has taken and whether it makes sense or if it's taken a wrong turn, that sort of thing.

We had more work done around the house this week, having the old tub/shower combo in the master bath replaced with a larger walk-in shower (without a tub). That meant taking the cats to the kitty hotel for a couple of days, which meant having to go to the vet to get flea treatment medication before that. It's funny looking at events in reverse, isn't it? I always get a mental image of an orderly line of dominoes with the first one getting tipped over so they all fall one after the other, just so. Funny how it never feels like that when you're living it!

The other thing that happened—the thing I really wanted to talk about—was that I started taking advantage of the career transition services that I received as part of my layoff package. Right now I'm in the "assessment" stage, figuring out my strengths and interests. One of the things I needed to do before my next appointment was to complete a couple of "self-assessment" exercises. I've done things like this before at various times and expected these to be similar, but the first one I took was new to me. It's called the Birkman First Look and it's supposed to help you "understand your strengths, motivational needs, and stress behaviors."

When I've taken other tests like this, I've always scored high in the analytical/technical areas and that's what I expected to see with the Birkman test. What's different about Birkman, though, is that they also score your areas of interest, not just what you may be good at. For the first time my scores in creative areas were very strong — artistic, literary and musical were all solid bars, scoring far higher, for example, than in scientific and numerical (where I usually score the highest).

The results were a bit of a shock at first. How could it be true? I've always been the science/math/tech geek! After thinking about it for awhile though, I realized that these results reflect how my interests and my focus have changed. Yes, I'm still interested in high tech, but my real interest—my burning passion, if you will—is in being writing.

Yes, I know what you're thinking: "Duh, big red truck!" Honestly though, even though I've been talking about writing as a, well, career, it wasn't until now that I understood just how strongly I felt about it. I hadn't really been looking forward to doing this career transition thing, but now I can't wait to see what else I learn about myself!

How about you? Did you experience any revelations this week? Was your week productive or did you run into roadblocks? Share your news, good, bad or otherwise, and let us cheer you on!


Genene Valleau said...

Debbie, how cool that your changing interests are reflected in the career assessment you're doing. That must be encouraging!

"...every week is strange..." I very much agree. Or if not "strange," then definitely filled with changes for me. I have a revised production schedule to keep me on track with the many projects I'm juggling, but I've learned I need to schedule more wiggle room and actually take my play time when scheduled. I knew both of those things, just haven't developed them into habits yet.

On the writing front, I input another 1100+ words for my novella, and spent a couple chunks of time working on the timeline for my nine-book series, as the second book needs to be drafted during May.

In other writing-related news, I've also been designing book covers. Worked on two more this past week that got the OK from the author and editor, so just need some tweaks and they will be finished.

This coming week looks like it will allow more time for writing, which I am sooooo looking forward to! Hope everyone else has a productive week!

Alice Sharpe said...

Debbie -- I think being home instead of going to an office is what making every day seem strange. You've had years of needing to be somewhere at a certain time and now it's more up to you to make independent time management decisions and that always is strange, at least to me. It takes awhile to get used to freedom, you know.

No one is ever going to buy my proposal. Ever. It is going to sit in NY until it crumbles into moldery extinction while I dutifully rewrite the first three chapters forever and wait to hear because I am dumber than a rock.

Puppy has been away living with the dog trainer for a a few weeks in the fervent hope she can help the dog and then us to work together. Take one very strong willed wild/child pup, two people who aren't thirty years old and are used to having dogs who listen and behave like pets and you have a mess on your hands. Cross your fingers. I can't believe how quiet it is around here and how much I miss that animal. Even the cat seems to miss her, but don't tell anyone I said that.

Meanwhile, that's great that you're learning more about the new you!!! How exciting.

Paty Jager said...

Congrats on a new learning era for you, Debbie!

Good news' on the inputting on the novella, Genene.

Yipes, Alice. I hope the reason it is taking so long is so many people are reading it and liking it they plan to give you a five book deal!

As for me-- another 5,000 words on the WIP this week, then I went to Princeton to water and lay flooring in the cabin. My youngest daughter and her three kids went along and we took horses. So when the water was changed and the flooring installed, we rode for two hours on Saturday. It was great! But while I was in Princeton this time, I couldn't get any internet signal. So today I'm playing catch up on everything internet related.

Lisa Leoni said...

That sounds like a really interesting test, Debbie! Awesome about the remodel too :) My week was nil on the WIP front, but decent on the thesis front. I am supposed to have my first draft of the thesis in sometime this week. EEEK!

Katie said...

I had a HUGE-MONGOUS breakthrough and have been spilling out words ever since! It's not an impressive number (YET!) but it is steady. And I am so excited.

What a happy surprise for you, Debbie! It's always fun to learn something new about ourselves. ^_^ Hopefully you can get some good relaxing time to write this week. XD