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Back to Athens

October 7, 2015

It’s time.

I started this project seven years ago, after a phone interview with John Fernandes (which, mercifully perhaps, appears to no longer be available online) the summer before my senior year of college.  Aside from the eight months I spent living in Athens in 2010, I’ve treated it as sort of a hobby, focusing on class or a full-time job and working on the book in my spare time. But I’ve had less and less spare time the past few years, to the point where I rarely had more than an hour or two to devote to the project in a given week. It was starting to feel like I would never finish.

Lucky for me, those worries coincided with a bunch of other anxieties about work and other big picture stuff (how many quarter-life crises can one person have). I felt trapped at my job because I wasn’t happy doing what I was doing, I had no idea what to try instead, and whatever I could think of always seemed like it would get in the way of finishing this book.

As frustrating as that all felt, the solution now seems obvious.

I quit my job. My last day of work was on Friday. I’ll be in Philadelphia for the next few weeks tying up various loose ends, and then in November, I’m moving back to Athens to tie up the biggest, loosest end in my life right now.

I’ve given myself rough deadlines before and failed to meet every one of them. Each time, I’ve let other stuff get in the way, and because of the circumstances I’ve created for myself, I’ve suffered no tangible repercussions from that waffling. Now, though, failure isn’t really an option. If I can’t finish a first draft on this timeline, I’m sort of fucked. Maybe it’s stupid to put all your eggs in one basket, but when you do, you take really, really good care of that basket.

One upside to hedging against a writing career with a series of differently soul-crushing desk jobs is that I’ve managed to save a little bit of money over the past few years, and a nice thing about Athens is that it’s still remarkably cheap to live there. So while I plan to find (or at least look for) some steady source of income while I’m down there, I don’t need to worry about finding a full-time job that would distract me from the project (or at least, not yet). The book is, finally, going to be my top priority again.

If only to keep me moving, I’m also planning to post here much more frequently. My last post was over two years ago, so that’s not a high bar to clear, but I’m thinking a weekly update should be doable, at minimum. Stay tuned.

 

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