I put together my calendar today. Laid out all of my engagements for the semester, from conferences to papers for publication to SPN Big Bangs. All the days, all the due dates, laid out in a line, on one giant sheet of paper that’s now happily stuck to my bedroom door.
And seeing it all laid out like that made me feel a bit better. A little less panicked at the prospect of doing all of that shit and classes and my work stuff, too.
But one thing I did notice is how these real world venues cross and intersect with my online life, with spaces like this one, and Tumblr, and Sam/Dean Slash Archive, and Facebook, and A03.
What I’ve found is that having all of these places to talk, to be (potentially) heard both in real life and online, is having the strangest effect on me.
It’s making me reticent. It’s making me a little more uneasy about speaking, knowing that people might actually be listening. Or not.
On the one hand, I crave feedback. Don’t we all? And by “feedback” of course I mean positive feedback, because the negative kind almost always puts me into a tailspin, even when it’s constructive. Even though, as a teacher of writing, I recognize that constructive criticism is often more valuable than straight up “you’re awesome”–but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to hear just how awesome I am.
So when good things happen, when people say nice things or take my papers or don’t call me a moron, I get squirrelly, waiting for that other shoe to drop. It’s hard for me to say “I’ve done well.” Hell, it usually comes out as “I don’t suck,” which still strikes me as a more accurate way of thinking.
Basically, I swing between not understanding why anyone would want to listen to my academic fanwanking or read my weird-ass slash fic, to wondering why I’m not the next great novelist, why I haven’t had academic book deals tossed into my lap by seraphims raining from the sky.
In my mind, I’m either an idiot or a sage.
And I’d really like to find some middle ground before my brain wears a groove between the two extremes and I fall right the fuck down inside.