To be frank, the idea for this article had never crossed my mind. Instead, what happened was a conversation with Dr. Criss Salinas that included a tangential mention about the resources on this site. And organically, I wound up sharing a bit about the evolution, (which I've written about here— also on this site), emphasizing how many many iterations its gone through and hopefully can be an encouragement for folx who might be interested in creating something similar. And from that conversation came the encouragement and push for an article like this: to describe its purpose, history, lessons learned, and recommendations. And now it's here. The article is actually here.
I'm dazed with the article being here, because of my other longstanding conversation with myself and my relationship to writing. I've penned some of my struggles with writing here and the difficulties of transitioning in the faculty position here. So it feels especially wild for me to have an article published within this "pit" in where I'm still feeling stuck. Thankfully, collaborations and writing groups have been helpful as I still struggle and continue to struggle with writing. And much in the ways I've shared here (in a podcast episode), writing is hard to do in the middle of a pandemic, with ongoing racial violence, because writing, dreaming, thinking, drafting— all of it— requires stillness, time, and quiet. The world is rather noisy.
Coupled with all of these feelings, has been the fear: the fear of being a "one hit wonder." My last published manuscript was in 2018 and with all my writing woes, I have kept wondering if I'd ever write something else. (Granted, I wrote a dissertation, but for some reason, it doesn't feel the same). Earlier last week, I listened to a fantastic podcast episode from 88 Cups of Tea (highly recommend) with author Tochi Onyebuchi who talked about that exact fear. He outlined how this fear manifests particularly when going from the first book to the second and the ways our expectations increase, both internal and external. It was a well-timed moment, and a nice reification that the fear of it doesn't necessarily go away with more books, more publications, more accolades. This is because our fears are rooted in a slightly different question: "is this it for me?" And what Onyebuchi describes is how to overcome this feeling, or maybe not even overcome but to be alongside it, is to continue to try.
And so I have. I still write. I am still writing, both here and in draft manuscripts. I am trying. And for me, the article, all the feelings, represents, in part, a wonderment of trying. I feel a bit bare saying it like this, but I imagine that some of you are in similar places, spaces, of trying.
In a year, I read somewhere around 100-200 books. I don't have a TV and I use reading as a form of escape, and I especially like reading outside of academia. It also helps with improving my writing :)
When I'm trying to concentrate, I like having background music that's super dramatic. For some reason, instrumental music is instrumental (pun!) in helping me concentrate. Most of the songs are Korean-drama OSTs (original sound tracks), w/ a few classical music scores in the mix!
I don't categorize anything other than my "random round-ups" because it takes too much work (insert laughing emoji).