technical issues

I’m typing this with my heart in my throat.

Captain Jack Sparrow, screaming
courtesy Giphy

Well, maybe not quite. Still, after six years my trusty laptop ain’t so trusty. It’s not failing completely, just lags for a stretch at unpredictable times. Right in the middle of a brainwave, no less.

So I spent most of this weekend troubleshooting the spinning beachball of death and it’s fixed–or as fixed as a six-year-old laptop can be. Even so, I look on every character I type with suspicion: will this be the last one before it freezes on me again?

Which is less than awesome as it’s my go-to tool for not only the book but pretty much everything else in my life. Additionally most of my research is on this chunk of plastic and metal; I seldom print anything out.

So how did this affect the Great Work? I didn’t get much writing time until yesterday. And I developed some contingency plans:

  • Save. As I work, hit ctl-S every ten minutes or so. Just in case.
  • Back up. Back up early and often. Think you’ve backed it up? Back it up again. Even when the screen was frozen my external drive worked. I’m making damn sure to do it more often than I have been!
  • Store offsite. Related to backup, my Zotero serves as a research holding area.
  • Speaking of research, remember that physical books exist And I do have some–not everything is a PDF of some academic article.
  • Write with pen and paper. Not optimal as my wrists don’t like it and I add to what’s in Scrivener but it’s better than nothing. At least I can spitball plot issues and get general notes down.

So how was your Labor Day weekend?

self-promotion vs. impostor syndrome: the never-ending conflict

I’ve grown disturbingly comfortable with talking myself up.

I say “disturbing” because it goes against everything my inner idiot constantly mutters in the background: who cares what you thinkyou’re no expert and the inevitable you’re totally making this up as you go along, aren’t you?

Well, yeah, I am.

I go through the motions and try not to think about it. Fence, sew, write like I know what I’m doing to trick myself into being the expert I’m pretending to be. On very good days I believe it, but every misstep is a cue for the inner idiot to hiss in my ear again.

It’s called “impostor syndrome” and I provide no links as you all know how to Google. The job search has me bumping up against it even more than usual.

three bunnies...and a bunny slipper. One of us is not who he seems

Promoting the as-yet-unfinished book (and by extension, myself) is extra practice at silencing the inner idiot so I can get through interviews without sweating through my suit.

So, as in every other facet of my life, practice makes perfect (or, at least, better). Anyone else out there feel like they’re just winging it through life? How do you get through that?