I wish I could tell you that my appalling lack of consistency with blogging of late was down to a serious input of writing genius. That I had indeed finished my series of books and published them on some highly lucrative label with a developing genius working the edit. If not this, then I wish I could tell you that my uselessness has been due to a huge quantity of reading or illustrating or crafting or general do-gooding in the world to warrant my place and existence. Well, not so much.
There has been a little of each, including the most amazing time of late reading Maragret Atwood’s Blind Assassin (see Currently Reading) but all at reasonable slow pace. The nightmares have thankfully subsided but my brain has still been heavy, full and irrational when it comes to sleeping, making my waking hours something of a zombie-like state. But I think I know why. I feel like a sense of ‘exam-blues’ has settled over me.
When at school, college and Uni I would freak at exams, completely close up. Coursework was never an issue, I knew I could work hard and well and show clear concise arguments in essays that would score high. This should have been easily replicated in an exam, you would think. But the fear would set in and sleep would disappear, leaving me something like a gibbering wreck unable to string to lucid sentence together. The worst was the failed Russian History exam where I completely misplaced minor revolutionaries in a different revolution, in a different year, in a different place. Marvellous. The second I walked through the doors I realised what I had done, but hey, I got a good degree in the end (good job the coursework was closer to a first!).
I think it’s that sense of being judged on the spot. Only given a certain amount of time in which to show off my skill and aptitude. Only a certain amount of time to remember everything and present it coherently and intelligently. I feel incompetent, unable to complete this basic academic requirement. But those days are gone. Only if I wish it will exams enter my life again – which is a slim possibility. But this same sense and feeling always comes with writing job applications.
I have decided to go full a head with looking for a North West job for September and of course being over half way through the school year, one by one opportunities are representing themselves. I am starting to think that the writing, for a little while longer, may have to take a secondary seat, which is sad, but until I can get back up north and re-plan my objectives, it may have to be necessary. But in writing applications I feel that I am in that incompetent, forced situation of ‘show’, trying to sell myself to someone unknown on a blank piece of paper. It should, realistically, be more like coursework, an exciting opportunity to demonstrate and draw attention to all my years of hard work and achievements. But it just doesn’t because once it’s emailed, or posted, that is it. There can be no come backs, no discussions no intervention unless I am invited to interview. Once at that stage, I can almost relax a little because I have an opportunity to position myself in the best possible light – something I find a little hard without face-to-face time.
Having not yet heard back from my first couple of attempts I am beginning to feel the judgement fairy sitting on my shoulder, watching the words I scribe in my sale. I shan’t be attending interview. I have not slept well and I become frustrated over nothing, unable to settle upon what the immediate future might hold. I wander a little aimlessly and continuously adapt application forms by just the minimal amount, scrutinising and obsessing over a piece of punctuation or the odd word – so much more than any page I have written to my book.
I have to chill. Put simply. What will be will be. No amount of sleepless nights will solve my work situation or find me the perfect writing/teaching role. I have to accept that I am just one little fish in rather a big barrel, but before long I am due to be snatched up. Just hopefully not by something menacing!