Christmas fever is hitting hard.

I so desperately want to go home. We’re planning on making it home for Christmas, but we won’t be getting in until Christmas Eve, and I’m having a hard time concentrating on work because I just want the weekend to get here.

That said, I still got a new draft of my newest story done, and I’ll start submitting it when January gets here.

I don’t think I’ll be posting next week because of the holidays, and this one is short because I need to clean and pack before we leave.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, and a bright and happy New Year.

Burnt out on writing!

I’ve been so stressed about writing. Seriously. I sit down to try and get work done, and it sounds like it’ll be fun and productive, but then I start to worry about how much work I’ll actually get done, and my palms start to sweat, and I grind my teeth. I tried to figure out when this issue started to arise, and the answer was something I didn’t want to acknowledge. My MFA. The whole reason I’m having trouble writing is because of my MFA.

It may seem misleading, and it’s not to say that I can’t write now, but the way I write has changed. During my MFA, it was so fast paced that I was often times so rushed to simply create more content that I didn’t have a lot of time to fine tune what I was working on at the moment. That did change in the last semester when much more of my time could be dedicated to just my thesis, but I had somehow conditioned myself that when I sat down to write I needed to do it quickly with great strides.

The program was meant to push me, and it certainly did, but now when I sit down to write I still slip into that mentality that the work needs to be done quickly so that I can get to the other items on my agenda. That isn’t the case. There are no more papers to write, and I am not having to making a lesson plan for my creative writing  class.

So, why can’t I write?

Apart from the fast paced nature of the MFA, the answer is directly in front of me: it’s me. I stress myself out when I sit down to write, and I grow continuously more anxious the longer I sit without producing something. Sometimes, I find myself getting up and working on something else that needs my attention because it relieves me of the stress of having to produce.

Writing used to be an escape, something I could use to help understand the world around me, but somewhere along the line I started forgetting the joy of writing and only focused on how I could make it better.

I need to strike a balance between the two, but it feels almost like a betrayal to say that I have trouble enjoying writing at this time in my life. I haven’t mentioned it to people because I almost feel guilty for saying something like that.

How could I feel that way when getting an MFA was what I wanted? Writing is my passion, so how could I get tired of it?

I think I got a little burnt out during my program, and it may take me some time to get to the place where I both love writing (and now have the skills to improve upon my work), but it hasn’t happened yet.

Baby steps. Each day I sit down and try not to grind my teeth. Each day I’ll remember what it was like to write without the impending school deadline.

Each day that burnt out part of me tries to spark again, and maybe sometime soon I’ll remember the joy of sitting down to a piece of paper with a pen in hand.

Discussing feminism in The Crown. [No spoilers]

I really hadn’t intended to post something like this until last night when my husband and I were watching Netflix’s original series The Crown. I really enjoy series like this one, and I’m only three episodes in, but I think the characters are well done, and I’ve heard the budget for the show is astronomical.

I was a bit surprised when my husband wanted to watch it with me. He likes period pieces, but tends to lean more towards darker dramas. Although not a period piece, Breaking Bad was one of his favorite shows, and that’s about as dark as they come.

So, we’re sitting down to watch the third episode, and for those who haven’t watched it, the main issues of this episode are where Queen Elizabeth and her family are going to live (they currently reside outside of Buckingham Palace), what surname will be used (Mountbatten or Windsor), and when Queen Elizabeth’s coronation will take place.

For the sake of the post I’m only looking at the first two issues that I mentioned, although the third does bring up others issues in the show although they focus more on the political aspect rather than the familial.

Long story short, Churchill and Elizabeth’s cabinet want her to keep the name Windsor, and to move into Buckingham Palace. She is initially reluctant because she mentions numerous times not liking the palace, and she doesn’t want to be rude to her husband by demanding that their children keep the name of Windsor.

Anyone who had watched the news knows that Queen Elizabeth does in fact reside in Buckingham Palace, and her male heirs do use the name Windsor, so the suspense of what the ultimate outcome will be is rather short changed, but that is not where the tension of the episode arises.

It is in Prince Philip, her husband’s reaction that we see the conflict. Upon hearing from Elizabeth that they will be moving, and that Windsor will be the family name, Philip is understandably upset.

He says something along the lines that this marriage isn’t what he thought. He blames Elizabeth for moving the family away from their home, for ruining his career, and taking away his name.

At this point I mentioned to my husband that I thought Philip was being a jerk. Elizabeth was always meant to take the throne, he knew that, and he only assumed that the Windsor name would be discontinued. I understand  that neither had expected her to take on the role of Queen until much later in their lives, but he’s acting as if all of this is a shock.

Anyhow, my husband said that it wasn’t fair that all these things be taken away from him, and it dawned on me that he was just seeing it from his perspective. When we got married, I gave up my name, my job, and my home to move across the country to be with him. Yes, I knew what I was signing up for, and there are times when I feel as if didn’t quite understand what that meant for me.

In regard to the show, I was Philip and he was Elizabeth. I understand why Philip was upset because there are numerous other factors at work regarding their family, but at the core the issue was still the same.

My husband thought that Philip giving up his career, his last name, and his home was too great a sacrifice in the marriage, and he felt as though his rude treatment of Elizabeth was warranted. I don’t think he realized fully that I had done the same thing for him until I called him out on it.

To be clear, I wasn’t mad at my husband’s initial response because he has no other experience except his own, but I wanted him to see things from a different one. To understand that what Philip is so mad about is what women were often expected to do without question.

I think we were both a bit surprised by my comment, but we ended up discussing it a little bit more before moving on. He even mentioned that he wished there were a way to make marriage more “even”. We are in a healthy relationship, and we share the responsibilities of it 50/50. I didn’t have to give up the things I did to marry him, but it was my choice, and it is one that I am happy with.

I can certainly say that I gained even more respect for my husband for willing to look at a view other than his own and see where his own perspective was lacking. I’m looking forward to when he can do the same for me because that is how we grow as a couple.