I am getting an application ready, to spend a year working with a science project at the South Pole.
Several times in my life now, I’ve been on big adventures (for lack of a better word) like this one I’m applying for, but lately I’ve realized that the challenge with these things is largely in the first few steps. What separates the adventurers is that they take to take those first few steps, for whatever reason, not so much that they follow through once it’s started.
So, those first steps are really what makes the adventure happen. Whether they are the circumstances leading up to “taking the plunge”, detailed planning, or in this case a fairly normal job application, those steps are what ends up generating the story. But, the story rarely includes the first steps.
I’m not sure why this is. I don’t think it’s because the first steps are necessarily boring, but they do tend to happen against the background of normal life. For me, a lot of the process is internal – weighing competing and contradictory goals, strategizing, and I find that sort of thing difficult to put to the keyboard.
Maybe it’s not an interesting thing to read about, and writers realize that. The cynic in me likes this idea; it might be uncomfortable to read about an adventure that you’d never take, if the beginning of the story makes it clear that the only thing stopping you from doing the same is (or was) a lack of motivation to get started.
For better or worse, I’ve decided to try and capture some of the “first steps” in this adventure.
My motivation is mainly a selfish one; I think this will help put me in the right mindset to make a good application.