Literary Senioritis

When I was in high school, people would talk about experiencing “senioritis” in the last year of school—that feeling that high school is dragging on too long and you are eager for the next stage of your life to begin.

I didn’t really understand what they were talking about until the middle of my junior year—my senioritis struck early. Suddenly, I felt “done” with high school. Not that there weren’t more facts and skills to be learned in school, but emotionally I had finished—I wanted to move on. With me restless and daydreaming, the next year and a half seemed very long.

Oddly, this is not the only time in my life that I have felt senioritis. In college and in every job I have had, there has come a moment where I am “done.” Not that I didn’t still enjoy my work, but a feeling that I had learned all I could in that place and it was time to move on. As if my personal growth required a change to keep me from stagnating. I never ignored that feeling.

I am experiencing senioritis again now. As my debut novel nears release, the familiar “ants-in-the-pants” sensation keeps me pacing the floor. All the knowledge about the business and the marketing I have accrued over the years is building inside of me, waiting for the dam to breach and let the flood go. I know I have more to learn, but it cannot be learned at this stage—I need to graduate to the next stage to continue to grow.

And so I sit here with anticipation tingling my skin, waiting for the launch sequence to commence in earnest. I alternately daydream of the perfect launch party and have nightmares about book signing disasters. I am as ready as I can be for the next chapter of my career, but still riddled with the anxiety of the unknown.

Literary senioritis: an uncomfortable sensation of feeling confined by my current writer cocoon yet feeling anxious about emerging as an author and learning to fly.

Do you ever feel that push-pull of wanting to stay where you are yet also yearning to be more than you are now?

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