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Mission Accomplished… Or Is It?

May 10, 2011

I tweeted this yesterday… but I thought I’d post a few more thoughts today.

I am now – officially - an MBA.  My master’s degree is done.  Like, really for real done.  Sure, class ended a few weeks ago, and I’ve been enjoying the generous expansion of my freer time in the evenings.  But now I have the paper that says it.  Now I have the stamp of approval.  Now I can truly say I’m done.

Well.  Not done, really, am I?  Because every milestone is just that: a measure of progress towards some greater destination.  They don’t call it “commencement” because it’s the end of something, now do they?  That would be more like a “concludement” or something. 

 That means, ideally, this is a time not merely of reflection but a time of anticipation, a time of looking forward, a time of planning.

For me, that will mean a lot of things.  First, there’s the aforementioned “freer time”.  I say “freer time” and not “free time” because that time isn’t all entirely mine to spend how I will.  The first claimants to that time, primarily, are Dear Wife and son B.T.  I’ve got to make up for the last three years of school – and a year of B.T.’s life – and of being a semi-absentee father.  Luckily B.T. doesn’t seem to be holding a grudge.  He’s still the happiest little man I’ve ever seen whenever he sees me coming home.  He’s got my heart all wrapped up in a neat little package, he does.  So I want to be there for him, and for Dear Wife.  I want to be an active participant in his life.  And I want to be a productive and accomplished husband.  There will be projects around the house.  Somehow, I’m going to have to figure out a way to be on-top-of-things and proactive, working on things that need to be done without constant promptings and detailed Honey-do lists compiled by Dear Wife.  Not my forte, I will admit.  Not precisely sure how I will overcome that little hump.  (Fathers/husbands who perchance happen across this blog: how do you do it? Share your insights, please, in the comments!)  This free time should also be accompanied by an increase in the opportunities for Dear Wife and I to remind ourselves why we got married in the first place: to spend time enjoying each other’s company, sharing our joint interests and having new experiences together.  And date nights.  We definitely want – nay, need – to have more date nights. 

The remainder of that time will be divided three ways, with the larger share, if all goes according to plan, to the first.  One, writing and writing-related projects; two, reading and making my way through an extensive back-log of books on the to-read list; and three, occasionally playing games and watching movies.  The latter can be a very helpful creative recharger for me – in that way it can support the first goal – but left to excess it can also be an enormous time-sink.  So I have to approach it with the utmost care and discipline – I must stick to a hard schedule and time-limit for game playing.  (This can be made more difficult when games force the use of “save points” to save your progress; I hate it when a game uses the “save point” mechanism, because that forces me to work around the game’s time-frame rather than my own.  That said, I have a fondness for the type of video game for which the “save point” is a very common mechanism – namely CRPGs and related genres.)

For the first of these, writing, I have two writing projects laid out before me (with handy progress bars in the sidebar).  Plus there are ongoing blog-posts to keep up with.  I’m still working out how best to schedule my time for writing, and what sorts of regular writing goals make sense for me.  (The question has prompted me to embark on what is perhaps a silly diversion, but which will result in me finding a way to better plan my writing goals.  I may have an update on exactly what I mean by that at a later date.)  I’m also still working out precisely how this blog will change now that being in school is no longer a topic that provides a source of updates.  Do I need a new theme, and a new focus for my blog?  Where does it go from here?  Questions I want to answer in time.  (Again: dear readers, share your thoughts in comments.)

And then there is the other elephant in the room: the purpose of this whole MBA crusade in the first place.  I’m on top of that.  But I’ve a long way to go to make this “investment in myself” pay dividends.  I can’t be lax or allow myself to get comfortable now that I’ve reached this goal.  I’ve got to figure out what that means for me in the grander scheme of my career, and learn quickly how best to take advantage of it.  That’s a tall order as well.  I don’t want to look back on this decision – to go to this particular school and get this particular degree – in five years or in ten and regret the choice that I made.  But if I can’t take my career to new places, and if I can’t bring home sufficient quantities of bacon to make for a comfortable living for my family in years to come, I undoubtedly will.  The time, then, is now to chart the course to happy days ahead.

So yes… I have the degree.  But I’m not really done.  Not by a long shot.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 10, 2011 8:12 pm

    Stephen,

    Regardin the Honey Do Lists (prioritize them) – just how you did in college to get your MBA and you will do fine.

    As for the blog, I would suggest a new theme because in order to celebrate your milestone.

    By the way, how do you get those progress bar thingys? Me likey!

    • May 11, 2011 8:20 am

      When I wrote “a new theme”, actually, I meant the topical theme of the blog – what it’s about. But, for that matter… I have been thinking about potentially changing the visual theme of the blog as well… for which I will need a bit of time, though, because I’ll need to test out a few theme options, and I’ll also want to make sure I personalize it with my own custom header and/or background images. That’s not something that will happen overnight, for sure. As for the progress bar… currently I use this site to generate my progress bars (it’s really easy, a simple script where you input your parameters spits out a snippet of html code that you can paste in a text box in the sidebar). That said, I think you should take a look at some of the options out there to see which html progress bar generator produces something you like. I use the one I use primarily because what it generates works well with the current visual theme of my blog…

  2. May 11, 2011 2:43 am

    I know! I want one, too! haha

    Stephen–I’m right there with you, as far as school goes. Though, now I’ve got this daunting responsibility to start building a career and find that “real job,” something I’ve never had before. As you say, it’s not really “free time” so much as it’s “freer” time…to catch up on other areas in life, heh. Last official day of classes, for me, was on Monday and graduation is on Friday, but even before Monday everyone was down my throat asking if I had a job yet, lol. So yeah, I’m working on that. (No catching up on the book list for me quite yet.)

    A repurposed blog may be appropriate in your case, considering the latest super-huge update on your non-undiscovered-ness! :P I guess the question is, now: What direction do you want to take the blog in?

    I’m currently in a similar position and feel like I need to reevaluate the intended “mission” for my blog and whether I am executing my original goals any longer—a calibration, basically. Maybe this is something you’ll have to do, too. What does “the undiscovered author” mean to you now? Is this the same as what it meant to you originally? If not, how should your blog reflect this? (I have been asking myself similar evaluation questions over the past couple of days and am not 100% sure I’ve figured out the answers yet. Was gonna blog about it tommorow, lol.)

    I’m finding that the funny thing about being a blogger is that you are constantly “discovering” yourself as you write the blog. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep up with how you change or even to realize that you are changing to begin with!

    Transitions, transitions, transitions…

    Also, the whole Honey-do list deal sounds like my parents–sometimes a point for heated arguments, heh. Any couple that can stay together without killing each other is a heroic team in my books, haha.

    (Oh, yeah, and I like RPGs for the same reasons. I can take them at my own pace and work on whatever missions and assignments I feel like taking on at the time.)

    • May 11, 2011 8:38 am

      Thanks, Tiyana. Taking stock and rethinking the direction of my blog is definitely something I need to do. Thing is, despite now being a published author… I still largely consider myself to be an “undiscovered” author. (In fact, I guess I consider that title actually more fitting now than before, since I’ve long held the word “author” to be roughly synonymous with “published author”… so now I’m published but as yet undiscovered.) I say that because I have only the one professional publishing credit, and it hasn’t significantly changed my status in the larger publishing industry, nor the measure of my fame or renown, such as it is. I still have a relatively small regular readership here. That said, I am seriously considering a change in blog address (to something based on my name… that’s a branding issue over the long term, though; I’m still evaluating what timing this will occur in, though I know it will eventually occur).

  3. May 11, 2011 12:41 pm

    I really enjoy reading your stories about life as a writer. So far changes around here have seemed organic, rather than sudden left hand turns. As long as you keep writing whatever you’re interested in, I think it’s going to be successful.

    Are we ever really done? :) Life’s always a work in progress.

    • May 11, 2011 1:11 pm

      Stories about my life as a writer will undoubtedly continue. But one aspect of that life will have gone away: the challenge of working around school. That has been a source of a good number of stories and posts over the life of the blog so far… Removing that means I may need another good source of stories to tell and blogs to post. So I’m thinking about that… I’m not sure there is a readily evident new source of stories, yet.

      • May 11, 2011 2:50 pm

        I know what you mean. I’ve been struggling with my blog lately. My life’s not really that interesting, so I find it hard to blog about it. I’m not sure where to find new stories, but thinking about blogging as storytelling does have potential. hmm! ~gears whirling, and sputtering, and coughing~

      • May 11, 2011 2:54 pm

        You know it sort of is storytelling, of a sort… Realizing that, now, gives me a little insight into how better to write blog posts… but I still need relatable stories to tell to go with that. That’s where having an engaging and topical theme can help, at least a little.

Trackbacks

  1. Sophomore Blues « The Undiscovered Author
  2. The Point of No Return « The Undiscovered Author

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