On writing.

I am really rubbish at writing. The process of it daunts me. I am a perfectionist at heart. I want things to be neat, ordered, and, perhaps more importantly, to look good. I love aesthetics as much as I love content. I’ll pay more for well-designed packaging, even if the product is the same. I am someone who values the labour of love that goes into art and, to me, writing is art. There’s much to do about writers nowadays in this self-publishing world. Everyone has a story in them, said someone some time, and anyone with a bit of creativity in them likes to reckon they are a “writer”.

I suppose the question then is what does it mean to write?

Jon and I had this discussion a while back where we determined that to be an author you need to be published, and not self-published: actually, truly, really published with an editor and agent. The sort of authorship we used to know before we all bought kindles. I think I miss books. I miss the sense of finding a gem after hours of scouring titles and having no idea if the author was any good. There used to be a time before you could pull out your ipad and check the reviews on Amazon. Don’t get me wrong – I am grateful for this as it’s brought many wonderful books into my life, but I miss that sort of secret feeling I’d get when I discovered something. Books used to feel like a private indulgence, like each one of them belonged to me.

Having a blog, I reckon, is as “belonging to me” as something can get in this digital age. It’s my thoughts collated into a web address that even shares my name. It’s not all set up yet, but I imagine when I stop being consumed with this move the website will be, essentially, a shrine to myself (and Jon, to some extent) read only by a handful of friends and  my mother. I am okay with that because I am not narcissistic enough to believe I’m interesting enough to total strangers. I’m offering nothing of value yet on this blog, no ruminations on business, pictures of my style (or my lack thereof), reviews of new literature, fashion, or films… Right now, I am trying to figure out my voice, to remember how to write compelling pieces that people enjoy. I used to have a blog, years ago!, and I remember the days fondly where friendships spanned the globe and people cared, really cared about the words they wrote. It wasn’t about networking, not in the traditional sense, but rather about communicating. Those heady days of the wild west of the internet, they taught me a lot.

Knowing the above, however, doesn’t stop me from being, well, me. I am still so overwhelmed with the sense of perfection that starting a blog is more daunting than writing an entire one. How do I write something meaningful? The beginning is more important than the end, I have always thought. I have started many books and been left unfilled by the ending, but I have started many books and put them down because the hook never got into me. A beginning is bait. An ending is just that, an ending. The meaty bit in between; well, it’s payment for anyone who was brave, or stupid, enough to get caught. Lots of prose and narratives go off the rails the more you delve into them and you sometimes read each word thinking ‘why am I still reading this’, but what happens to me is I hit this wall that is in line with my stubborn personality: “No, I have made it this far.. I WILL FINISH IT.”

The first lines then are the most important to me, as a reader and as a writer. And it’s why I struggle so much with starting. I see the start as the aesthetics, the pretty bit, and if I feel it doesn’t work, the whole thing is kaput. I’m not sure if this is me being odd or if this is the signs of putting exceeding pressure on myself. Who knows. But it is who I am and I’m confident enough in that person to accept it. At least, if nothing else, it establishes pride.

That aside, Jon and I are off to the United Kingdom on 8 October. It is a strange word, home, one that has weight and rolls nicely off the tongue. I am looking forward to it, to have a home: a real one. It isn’t that Tallinn hasn’t been home. It’s rather we knew this was going to be temporary and in London: we have permanence. We have plans, a life laid out that we want to follow. We have goals for owning property, holidays planned, and ideas of what shape our family will take. As I look at this process of relocating back I feel immeasurably lucky I have such a man as my partner. Not only is he handsome, but he is hard-working, ambitious, patient, and loving. Out of these attributes, he inspires me. He’s earned his success and he makes me want to achieve so much more. His patience and hard-work motivates me to be better, to be the best version of myself, and his love lets me know I can fail and he will wait for me to pick me up. There has been a lot of picking up lately as I begin the job search.

I’m beyond excited to get back into an office environment. I thrive on working with others and I miss the camaraderie that comes with an office. There is a certain nicety to the ‘daily grind’ that I really enjoy. I like small talk as much as I like hard work. In an office you see the fruition of your work that much more. You feel the furore of your mistakes and the elation of your successes. As I step back into a regularly scheduled working environment I am looking for my permanent position. Wherever I choose to go I want it to be my career. Jon and I are planning on London for some time and I want this place to be my future. There is a fine line between being careful (read: picky) and cutting my nose off to spite my face. Thankfully, it has all gone well so far. I’ve engaged with a company I’m really thrilled about. I’m holding those cards close to my vest, but I’m still over the moon they share a joint interest in me – so far. As we go deeper into the process that might change, but I have always felt once they’ve looked at your CV and said “yes” (enough to call you) the job becomes your job to lose. I approach every interview with the mentality if I do not get asked back I have been fired. Some might say this is added pressure I say nonsense.

How else should you approach a job interview? If you go in unsure of yourself, your lack of confidence will show. If you go in thinking you have the job, your arrogance will show. If you go in thinking the job is yours to lose, you show belief in yourself. I don’t beat myself up if I don’t get a job, but then – I have only ever not gotten one job and that was at a toy store when I was 18. I suppose this means I am lucky, but I think it’s more that I prepare. A job interview isn’t a minefield. Interviewers aren’t out to trick you. Knowing about the company and their values, it’s critical. I don’t understand how people come into interviews and don’t know the brand they’re working for. How can someone believe you want to work there if you know nothing about them? I don’t apply for positions unless I want to work there. That’s where I am lucky. I have always been afforded the chance to find the right fit rather than any fit and I feel so blessed that my parents, my partner, and my savings have helped me take the time to find the right role for me rather than blindly take a job. However, in this economy…!

I need to take my nail polish off, it is chipping.

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September 24, 2013

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I'm a small girl.

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Dog & Panther – Home

On writing.