Hello again, friends! Its been a hot minute since the last time I posted on here! I’m here to catch up with you all, and update everyone on what’s going on with me – my writing life and my academic life (I’m a college student, after all).
A mental health check in – Covid19 has been on everyone’s minds for months and I want to give you all a space to relax. Take a moment here to do the following:
- Take a deep breath.
- Relax your jaw.
- Relax your eyebrows.
- Take another deep breath.
- Look around you. Name 3 things that you can see.
- Name 2 things you can hear.
- Name 1 thing you can touch.
- Take another deep breath.
If you haven’t yet, get up and stretch your legs. Drink some water and eat something healthy. Or, eat something your brain needs. Whether that be an apple or chocolate – eat it. You deserve it.
With that relaxation in mind, I hope you’re all doing well and that everything is going as good as it can. Though things are repetitive and lonely right now – you deserve a pat on a back for how far you’ve come and how hard you’ve worked. I’m proud of you.
I haven’t been doing the best at taking care of my mental health, so even typing these reminders has been helpful for me. I hope they were helpful for you too.
As some of you may know, I am a junior in college currently. My life has been swamped with school work, reading, tutoring, and trying my best to have fun with friends. I’m working on my senior capstone currently (yes, a year early – it’s so I can do my internship next year) which entails a lot of reading. The professor I’m working with has given me some awesome recommendations though. I wouldn’t of been able to read the following without his input: The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K Le Guin, Ubik by Philip K Dick, The Tombs of Autuan by Ursula K Le Guin, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Rocannon’s World by Ursula K Le Guin, and other titles that I have not even begun to read. If you can’t tell, I love Le Guin and her work – she writes the genres that I’ve always been interested in and she has written one of my favorite short stories to date: “The Ones who Walk Away from Omelas.”
My goal for this capstone, which is a year long, is to create a portfolio of different kinds of pieces so that I can apply to grad school or even a PHD program after I graduate from my undergrad program. Lots of things are happening – grad school panic is real.
Classes are heavy reading based as well, though I’m only taking one English class. I have lots of history reading that I have to do as well as ethics work – philosophy has been a challenge, but I’m learning and have done pretty well in the class. I work as a writing tutor at my school and everyday I’m booked with other peers to help them with their papers. That is exceptionally draining at times – but I am also a Resident Assistant on campus and thus have the stress of that on my shoulders.
However, on top of all these things, I have been able to read what I want and I’ve been able to write more. I will be talking about all of this in a later post, but as it is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) – I set out on the challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I am proud to say that I hit my goal on November 14th! Thus came my next challenge – finishing the entire novel by the end of the month. And, on November 24th, I finished the first draft – clocking in a total of 70,500 words.
The Astrologist officially has a first draft! As crappy as it may be, it is a draft, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. This is one of the first times I’ve completed a first draft of anything I’ve written, and I have been relatively emotional about it.
As I said, I’m going to talk more about NaNoWriMo and my process and struggles with working on the project as a full time college student and employee of the college. But, I haven’t given up writing at all: sometimes, I have to push off writing to focus on the more important things in life. I’m working to have a schedule of writing something every single day.
In closing, thank you all for the support that you’ve given me in my absence. I’m going to post more on here as I am coming down to the last 3 weeks of school and so I will have much more time to read and write. Is there anything you want for content in particular? I’m going to write some book reviews for the works that I read for my capstone (as listed above) as well as books I’ve read for pleasure. Is there anything else you’d like to see? Let me know in the comments!
C. E. Egan