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How the biggest risk of my life paid off

December 7, 2011 Leave a comment

On February 24 of this year, I left my job.

I wasn’t a casualty of the economy, and I wasn’t decamping for a better position (not immediately, at least). I left because I was worn out by a job I wasn’t suited for, in a line of work I didn’t want to pursue long-term. I left because months of trying to maneuver into a more satisfying role—either internally or externally—had come up empty, and because my existing role was a big reason behind that futility. I wasn’t learning the sort of skills I desired.

I was approaching my 30th birthday, with a resume that looked nothing like the person I wanted to be. And the longer I stuck around, the longer that ersatz resume got, the deeper that false impression sunk in. I needed to make a change. I needed to take a risk. Even if that meant giving up a steady, well-paying job and plunging into the lousiest labor market in years.

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Something something "write stuff" pun

August 18, 2011 Leave a comment

As a writer, one of my strongest and most well-practiced skills is talking myself out of writing. This should come as no surprise to anyone who follows the lamentably sparse updates of either of my blogs lately (hey, I had one good week in July there!) Oh sure, every now and then some diaphanous wisp of an idea floats into my head and I manage to mold it into 900 words of reasonably entertaining prose. But for every one that somehow sees the light of day, three or four others vanish ignominiously into the ether, having inspired little more than a few illegible scribblings or incoherent out-loud sputterings.

It’s a discouraging state of affairs, and one I’m inspired to improve after attending a class/discussion group on blogging last night with genuinely accomplished blogger & writer Kate Harding, at Story Studio Chicago (a terrific resource for you fellow Windy City wordsmiths). In that light, I’ve decided that step one is identifying the most common—well, excuses is such an ugly word; let’s call them “perfectly sound and logical counterarguments”—which lead me to abandon a potential piece of writing:

  • Somebody must have already made this exact point. Probably better. And if not, they will.
  • The DVR’s at, like, 64%.
  • What sentient, literate being would ever even want to read this misshapen jumble of quarter-baked doofusery??
  • Hey, 18 new tweets!
  • Yup. This is it. This one would wake them all up to the reality that I am a hack and a charlatan. It must be buried and forgotten. The illusion of my competence must live another day!
  • Welp, this Dragon Age quest ain’t gonna play itself.

Other creative types, please feel free to chip in with your own favorite self-defeating tactic.

Impostor

January 7, 2011 Leave a comment

This is a short story I wrote last year. Copyright © 2011 by Andrew Daglas. Reprinted here by permission of me.

Categories: Personal