December 2, 2010
Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you
My career and my blogging/writing have no intersection whatsoever. I work in
Pharmaceuticals where there seems to be this sometimes spoken but usually unspoken
rule: social media is a dangerous beast you should avoid. As a result, I spend a lot of time
wondering how hazardous it is to my career for me to tweet, facebook or blog.
For a long time, I avoided all of it. I took something I loved, blogging, and put it on the
shelf in my mind where I did not touch it. I stop journaling. I stopped tweeting. I stopped
responding to comments. All I did was lurk.
The biggest problem with lurking is that it made my ideas smaller. I started to doubt my
opinions and I started to doubt my ability to convey my ideas and insights effectively.
I would read a post and think “wow, this guy is an uneducated jack ass” or “that’s
interesting but I wonder what happens when X, Y and Z also apply” but I would never say a
After a while, I started to notice this trickle down into other areas of my life. My ideas
became smaller. Instead of writing 1000 words a day, I started struggling to write Haiku on
post-it notes or I would think about how I wanted to blog but I didn’t know what I wanted to
say anymore. I changed how I interacted with my friends and family. It was until recently
when my mother made some comment about how much “sweeter” I’ve become over
the last two years that I realized that something was wrong with the direction that I was
growing. (Side note: I can’t think of a single person who knows me well who could refer
to me as “sweet”. I don’t even think my husband could. “Feisty” is usually the descriptive
term assigned to me which is good because “feisty” is interesting and “sweet” stays
home to do the dishes while her husband has an affair. “Aggressive” or “dominant” tend
to be the terms assigned to me when the person describing me isn’t feeling very nice.)
In some arguments, I could eliminate my career. I could find another career or change
industries but I could also face the same challenges with any of those changes. And then
there is the whole aspect that I like what I do for a living and I’m excited to see where it
The question I should really be addressing is how to find the place where my career and
writing do not negatively impact each other. I’ve long believed that there is room for both
in my life but I’ve been challenged to find the place where these two pieces can meet. And
really, the question I’m faced with yet again is how do I find balance between all of the
pieces of my life?