If you missed the news last update, I’m juggling some BIG changes and will temporarily be going to a reduced schedule. Mondays and Wednesdays will be comic days, and Fridays will be blog days where I answer questions, share development material, and discuss different aspects of storytelling. I hope you enjoy the new blog segment, and I appreciate your understanding during the transition!
Some of you got the impression that I was doing the I-quit-fling-my-life-to-fate thing that seems very dramatic and popular these days. That is not the case, although it would be a lot nicer on an emotional level. I’ll be keeping my job until A) I find a new one to transition to, B) I reach the end of the year, C) I’m fired. Hopefully the first one. That would be nice. That’s part of why I needed the extra time. LeyLines + Working Day Job + Looking For New Day Job = a very, very, very exhausted and crazy-pants Robin. More so than usual, anyway.
It’s a little strange for me, actually, as most of the Big Life Choices I’ve made usually HAVE utilized the Nuclear Bomb option of conflict resolution. Which is to say: Make stark decision, enforce stark decision, hide in emotional bunker for three months until fall-out settles. Actually trying to transition from one thing to another thing with grace is a very different and new approach for me. I’m not used to taking one step at a time. I usually just jump off a cliff and deal with problems as they all rush towards me at once. It’s given me some unique opportunities to have a new perspective on my life that I haven’t before.
One is the unexpected drawback to shoring up a weakness. While it’s good to build skills in areas where one is weak, I’ve taken the practice to such an extreme that I am actually often more skilled (i.e. practiced) at doing certain tasks than people who might be naturally good at them. This has the unfortunate side-effect of people assuming I ENJOY those tasks. Because, if I didn’t like them, why would I have learned to be good at them? Right? So I get assigned a lot of tasks that I deeply loathe by very well-meaning people that think, “You’re good at this! You’ll love this!” Then they don’t understand why I’m inefficient and deeply miserable. I can’t blame them. I didn’t understand it myself! Until I gained this recent new perspective of “I’m not suited to this career!” I always assumed that my inefficiency and emotional reaction was because I wasn’t good enough or strong enough to make myself love the tasks as much as they thought I should. Instead of recognizing the real problem, which is while I am plenty capable of completing a task that utilizes my weaknesses, it is more exhausting for me to do so than it would be if I enjoyed it or was naturally gifted in that area. It’s like I am a human being with a unique set of skills, brain chemistry, and physical limitations. Instead of mindless automaton that performs everything with equal perfection. What a concept!
I’m looking forward to observing my responses to things with more understanding and compassion. It doesn’t mean that I should stop doing things I’m weaker with — they’re important to get done too! But if I can identify what will drain energy and what will rejuvenate it, maybe I can manage my time and my mood more effectively. Got an energy-drainer coming up? Divide it into portions, and space it between energy-boosters. Don’t get discouraged if it’s a struggle – it’s not because I’m “no good,” but because I’m playing against my own skills. Be patient and don’t stress! Just take it a bit at a time until it’s done!
What is your advice for approaching energy-draining, weakness-based tasks?