Intellectual inquiry makes me happy

The people who push the boundaries for themselves, end up being the happiest people because they do end up figuring out what they are capable of, and even if they go through an uncomfortable transition, on the other side there’s this feeling of accomplishment and achievement. ~ David Rudolf

As I am about to embark on Nanowrimo, I wonder what draws us to the challenges we undertake. My friend just tackled Macchu Picchu, her partner climbed to the Everest base camp a few years back. I would like to do both, but probably won’t. Macchu Picchu is now often so overrun with tourists that people have their expectations shattered, and well, Everest just seems too fucking hard.

Over the years, friends and family have occasionally asked me why I am always studying, doing courses, reading books. It’s often but not always said with a slight tilt of the head and a bemused expression, between sips of mocha latte. I used to make excuses like “I’m a nerd” or “I’m trying to find a better job than this shitty one.” A penny dropped one day and I responded with “oh, deep down I feel like I’ll never be good enough, so I have to keep trying to better myself.” That response was me at my lowest ebb, working in a job that made me question my worth as a human being on a daily basis.

But things are different if you ask me now! Go on, ask me!!

Ok, I’ll tell you!

It’s because I love learning! And, I am smart. That’s why – always have been! And I’m insatiably curious and I am a writer and people fascinate me, and I want to be fluent in French before I die and AI is interesting and I’m a shameless lover of Impressionist painters…

It feels good to say it. I am endlessly fascinated by this big old world.

Intellectual inquiry makes me happy. It feels like I have finally embraced my dirty little secret!

Writing fiction is the BEST ‘work’ for me because it legitimises my nerdiness. Conversations with smart people are my favourite social events. I’m an extrovert and for a long time suffered with pretty nasty social anxiety. Now that’s torture! I get my energy from people, from social interaction, but felt unable to relate to people. It took me years to find ‘my people’. I never felt ‘likable.’ (I want to write likeable, with the ‘e’ because the other way looks like lickable…but hey…whatever works…)

My Nanoprep has been mostly collecting fodder for my story. I am a little intimidated by people who have all but written their novels in prep, but I am a pantser after all.

Wish me luck…



  1. Kalliope

    GOOD LUCK WITH ALL OF THE THINGS! WE ARE YOUR SUPER DOOPER FANS! (and sorry if all caps is a bit full on. I’m just a super enthusiastic kind of person)

  2. Janet Mary Cobb

    Christine – so happy you have embraced your truth — intellectual inquiry! Call it what you will – stay curious, engaged, expanding your mind — call it your extreme sport! And keep sharing with me and those who follow — I love learning through you – condensed version so I don’t have to find it all myself. I am always open to intellectual inquiry but am nothing compared to my husband and 3 children who run circles around me. Sounds like you might be on their pace — keep it up!

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