First of all, it's hot. I know, I know, it's summer, it's supposed to be hot. But in Seattle, summers are typically warm and mild. The last week or so, the weather has been scorching: sunny, uncharacteristically without rain and, yesterday, humid--at least by Seattle standards. The level of the strangeness of this weather cannot be overestimated. Let's put it this way: when I
want it to get overcast and rainy? You know something is wrong.The day job
Work has been strange and stressful. Our team was reorganized a couple of months back--or perhaps it's more correct to say that our team was nuked from orbit, because it was the only way to be sure that the new chief marketing officer had the team she wanted, and refocused the company on sales. The result of this reorg is that a team that worked like a well-oiled machine, a team that everyone was pleased with, has been split into four, maybe five other groups. There is no more web team. We're all pieces of other groups now. No one communicates with anyone the way they used to, mandates and goals for the website aren't being shared effectively and many of us are feeling like we've been set adrift, occasionally pushed in what may
be the right direction, but no one knows for sure. Either the workload has increased, or we're feeling the loss of protection as a group that we had while our old director was still with the company. (She was laid off as a result of the reorg. She was a friend and mentor to me and I miss her keenly.) It has been stressful and has resulted in all of us feeling like we're casting about in the darkness for the right handhold so that we don't fall down an unseen hole.
I threw a fit earlier this week because, as the result of one (smart but poorly considered and incompletely conceived) mandate, our design team forgot a key piece of the design for a new feature on the website. I talked to every manager who would listen to me. As the message was communicated up the chain, the reaction was, "What? Wait. We missed . . . what? That's important? Well, crap. OK, you're right. Let's fix that . . . when we have time." It was a slow realization, like management was waking up from a drugged stupor, and I'm still not convinced that it's going to be properly addressed. Why did I make a fuss? Because I was asked to write copy for this incomplete design and couldn't finish my work because the workflow obviously had holes in it. I actually lost sleep over it. I had trouble speaking about it because I was so upset about it. This is so not me
, and it's a result of the new environment at work. It's like people just aren't paying attention to anything except what management turns its fickle, ADD-addled eye upon next rather than focusing on steady progress to key goals. There are squirrels in the process everywhere.* It's making work a less-than-pleasant place to be.Writing and editing
Well, the Kobold Guide to Combat wasn't nominated for an ENnie Award. I'm disappointed but not surprised. I know that an award nomination is not an indication that a project has been a failure. It's a good book; it's just not at the very top of its category--in a year that was very strong indeed. It was an ambitious project and, of all the books in the series, it was the hardest to pull together. Some writers whom I thought could deliver just didn't. Others didn't deliver what was asked of them. From this I learn that I need to better scope out the writers I choose for projects. I learn that some writers are great storytellers but not non-fiction writers. And I learn that when I make an assignment, I have to be crystal clear about the requirements and the goals of the essay and the project. In some cases, I probably wasn't.
I also learned that I need to make better choices about how and when I take on a project. This was the right project at, I suspect, the wrong time. It's why I'm taking a hiatus from the Kobold series. I love working with the Kobold team and the_monkey_king
. I loved those projects. But they meant that I wasn't writing. And the time of the year that the work came meant that I spent a beautiful summer indoors editing, which made me restless and dissatisfied.
On the writing front, I've been working on my Mary Todd Lincoln story all spring in fits and starts due to time constraints and it's making me unhappy. I should be done with the story by now. I want it out in the world. But it's not
finished and, as a result, I'm falling a little out of love with it. I've never been a fast writer. I'm hoping that this torturous process won't kill this story for me the way it has others that I've adored. ::sigh::Other stuff
There's other stuff I want to write about--my weight, the challenging emotional environment I'm dealing with right now, my utter inability to declutter the house, my lack of travel and the empty prospect for same--but it all seems kind of overwhelming. I think what it all boils down to is that I may need to do what I promised myself I'd never do again: get back into therapy. The level of "I don't want to" is pretty high in that direction, and yet a lot of what I've been thinking and feeling has suggested that I really need to do it soon. It doesn't anger or frustrate me. It just makes me sad.
The holiday weekend is upon us, and I'm looking forward to some dedicated Me Time--which I haven't had in weeks. I may be inviting some people into this time, but I'm going to be careful about who. I need to foster the relationships that nourish me and, for once, listen to my inner self about not letting those that don't drain my energy completely. I need it for me.
* In case anyone, years from now, reads this journal entry and doesn't understand the squirrel reference: SQUIRREL!