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The Next Steps

For those who live in the United States, I hope you had a fine Thanksgiving. For any who don’t live in the US, I hope you had a fine long weekend away from us crazy Americans.

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Took this picture on Thanksgiving morning. They were right across the street from my back porch. California is lousy with these wild birds found within towns and city limits. Yet we still have to go to the grocery store to buy these delectable foul so we can stuff our faces with them every Thanksgiving.

I managed to get my outline finished before the end of the month. While I don’t really have hard and fast deadlines it still felt good to get it done. Now on to the next bit of churning out chapters. At least one before the end of the month of December.

. . . I was about to write here about worrying about the publication phase, but that’s me being a Negative Nancy again. I need to not think about that right now and just #DoTheThing. Get it written first. Hard to fight my want to be prepared for the future, but I know it’s fear talking. Got to ignore that voice and just step forward to my next major goal.

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Already on my way. #DoTheThing

As Ray Bradbury put it, I need to be “the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling.” Now it is time for me to write every single day of my life, read books like a lunatic, and wrestle with my Creative Muse. Everything else is superfluous to that.

 

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Moving UP, Moving ON

Sixteen applications.

Two responses.

One interview.

Three minutes from where I live.

One dollar extra than I’m already making.

Score new job!

Such a huge relief. Such a weight of my shoulders. I feel like I can actually breathe.

So while the last four weeks have been less than stellar on the writing/creating front, it was the price that had to be paid to get to a major goal.

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So many holes of incomplete tasks done in the last four weeks, but it was worth it.

The┬ánew #CorporateSponsorship for my writing has been a great place so far. The people, while busy, are friendly and it’s not walking immediately into Stressville the moment I cross the threshold. It’s only been a week and two days and already the chronic pain in my shoulders have lessened, the rings under my eyes are less pronounced, and I have energy at the end of the day to Do Things.

I’ve been writing during my lunch breaks, something I’d been unable to do at my previous job due to being too tired or busy worrying about the next order/issue I had to deal with when I got back. While the company I’m with is saying they’re as busy/stressed as they’ve ever been, it’s a cakewalk compared to my last place. It’s all in perspective I suppose.

But now I get to move on and move up. The next four weeks are now scheduled for me to concentrate on being able to write. Holidays not withstanding, I’m going to get as much writing done as possible.

I might get a quasi-NaNoWriMo done. Too many days have passed to be able to get to the full wordcount goal of 50k, but I sure as heck will try. Still need to finish out the outline for the story brewing in my head, then I’ll get to crackin’. Most of my updates will be on my Patreon and Twitter accounts, but I will post here every Wednesday for a fuller update and thoughts.

Now that the goal of a new job has been reached, I need to aim for the next goal.

Get one book published.

Later, Kittens!

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Down But Not Out

As I mentioned before I’m on the job hunt. Multiple resumes sent and no responses yet so I’m feeling a little despondent. I know patience is key as many places these days can take a week or more to contact you, but I’m also still fighting my panic mode. All in all being a little despondent is an alright place to be as its not crippled me to the point of being unproductive.

I have a Patreon page now.

Instead of dwelling for too long over the silence of potential employers I looked at my “need to do list” and did something I could manage in leu of writing. The page will need some spicing up and I need to get lined up a steady stream of content to post, but it is done. I didn’t sit and mope as I sometimes am want to do when I’m not mentally at my best.

Over the weekend there were a few snippets of story that did float about in my head and I did scratch a good deal of it on paper. A lot of it was disjointed though and my brain just wouldn’t settle on one particular thing. That was definitely the stress taking effect. It’s happened before and has derailed previous writing trains, sometimes to the point that I don’t go back to writing the story I was working on.

stressed over bills
Amazing what financial instability can do to a creative drive.

It’s a lousy habit to develop that leads to way too many WIPs laying around. Story of my life I suppose. I am working to change it. Before I wouldn’t have even written disjointed pieces of story or make the attempt to set up a Patreon page. It’s baby steps, but they are steps in the right direction.

Main goal still is to get a job at a more financially sound place that’s hopefully closer to home, but that doesn’t mean I should count myself out.

Later, Kittens.

 

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Funny Thing Happened On The Way To a New Career

As mentioned, I reworked my 4 week schedule to edge in time to look for work. As of Monday this has changed again.

It’s become more imperative that I find new work not just for the get-more-writing-done angle, but in a very real this-company-might-not-last-much-longer panic inducing manner.

In the place were I currently work I had started as the Receptionist and worked my way up to Customer Service. Our current Receptionist recently quit so our HR Manager has been dealing with the mail, phones, etc. She had to go on a trip over the weekend so she asked if I could cover some of the front office work on Friday and Monday.

Easily done and on Monday I was going through the mail, opening envelopes and organizing the paperwork to get to the right departments. This does mean I get to see some pretty sensitive stuff … including a paper version of our companies latest bank statement.

The ending totals were in the negative. I mean, deep in the negative. Seven digit negatives. Panic mode initiated.

Now, there had been other signs as well. Some of our vendors are refusing to sell to us unless we have cash/check on hand. Our drivers have to make sure the manager has topped off all the gas tanks with one specific card as all others are being rejected. I’ve overheard our CEO asking about extending loan times. So I knew that our company was hurting, I just didn’t realize how badly.

The last time I heard of a company needing their workers to have cash on hand just to keep the business going was from my dad and a company he used to work for 27 years ago. That company was a “little” airline called Pan Am. This should have been a more major warning to me than anything else. I guess the fates decided to give me a major wake up call.

So I won’t be able to post or write as much. While I know I’ve only just gotten my toes into the water here, finding a job is now A-1 Top Priority. My nights are going to be spent throwing applications and resumes out left and right. Until that is solidified the writing will, unfortunately, have to take a back seat.

… not to mention I’m too much in a panic mode to think of any stories right now. It’s all internal screaming to be honest.

Wish me luck!

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Wrenched Backs and Rescheduling

All I was doing was emptying out the kitchen trash. It wasn’t even that heavy, but there I was three days later still nursing my lower back muscles. Never had it happen this bad before. Sure I’ve tweaked my back muscles or slept in a bad position that would make them cranky, but to throw my back out completely was a new sensation.

lower back pain
IcyHot, Salonpas, heating pad, and cold compress are my life.

Due to the pain, the meds, and most of my energy going to just making it through a work day, the last week on my 4 week schedule was a wash. This turned out to be fine as I needed to reassess how the plan was coming along.

While keeping to the schedule felt great as far as my writing production was concerned, it was woefully short on the “get a new job” front. Having more time to write and produce content is a landmark goal, but I was putting the horse before the cart, so a little rescheduling was needed. I will admit to being disheartened last month over having not one, but several potential jobs falling through. It took the wind out of my sails and I hadn’t prodded the job sites with the full driven intent I had two months ago. I need to get back on it and this change up should help.

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Split time between D&D prep and writing, but job search now in place. Also Friday nights off needed as I never seemed to get around to the task. My brain turns it down a gear and doesn’t want to produce.

We will see how the next four weeks pan out. Hopefully by the end of it I’ll be posting about a job I have closer to home with more time for writing and less financial stress on my shoulders. Here’s hoping!

By the way, anyone know of a office type job in the Benicia/Vallejo California areas that pays enough to sustain a one bedroom apartment plus disabled spouse and two parrots? Data entry, receptionist, administrative assistant, order entry, things like that. It’s not for me, my bird is asking.

 

Annabelle
Annabelle wants mommy to get a job closer to home so she’s not leaving work when it’s dark and getting home when it’s dark. Help a bird out?
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Still Digging and Less Worried

I have a file cabinet where I keep paper copies of my writing. Admittedly, I’d not been into this cabinet for almost 3 years. With all the family health issues, the long commutes, work taking up more of my time and energy, my writing had ended up being neglected. As I’d mentioned, I would be too tired and mentally worn out to even try writing, but every so often, inspiration would strike hard enough for me to write a small scene or snippet of a story. Either a new idea or a smaller part of a larger one, I’d write it all out, then end up eventually tucking it away into a file drawer.

So my main “writing” has been going through this file cabinet and getting it organized so that the stories and ideas would be easier to find. Three years worth of occasional random writing alongside the main bulks of my work. I was finding small bits of nonsense ideas that wasn’t panning out as a full story, but some of the information and hooks in it would work well paired with another story I had concocted. There were novel ideas and old fanfics that didn’t have any place being in public view, but some passages of writing in it had some merit and with polish and expanding would work well.

I still have yet to reach the back of the file cabinet, but whatever worries I had about not having enough content to post to satisfy the potential Patreon subscriber has quieted by a substantial degree.

I’ve got stories. Boy, do I got ’em.

One of them, a sci-fi space opera type has so much content that I could expand almost indefinitely with it. From short stories, to snippets, to multi-part novel length series, there’s a good hunk of it right there. Perfect for Patreon. Hopefully I can garner the right interest in the story that people will want to subscribe to me for more.

If the sci-fi doesn’t take, there’s a fantasy setting noir-buddy-cop-detective type story that could easily be serialized and expanded upon. Another story that takes place in an alternate history involving superheroes and dragons. Yet another that’s a fractured fairy tale in the vein of MYTHing Inc. Another a set of Ulitma Online fanfic stories (yes, I said Ultima Online, I was a beta tester for it back in the day) that could be retooled into a semi-decent fantasy tale.

This doesn’t even include the works I’d like to do just as single novels or multi-part novels.

I really don’t know why I was worried.

As for my still lingering worry about having to show my mug to appease the masses… who says I have to? When I look at a quarter of the content that’s on YouTube or Twitch or other such service there’s a good portion of posters who don’t show their mugs and just talk while video plays. Why does my so-called “introductory/thank you video” on Patreon have to be a shot of me talking? To heck with that. I’ll introduce myself while random pictures of black cats and kittens are shown.

black cat
Why would they want to see my face and awkward self when they can see kittens? See? Posting cats is easy!

Needless to say my feelings of anxiety over even remotely being able to do this, while still there, isn’t the nagging monster it was a week ago.

I can do this.

 

 

 

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Dusting Out The Old To Bring In The New

Been over five years since I messed with this place. Got a lot to dust out, cobwebs to knock loose, and walls to repaint. I know it won’t be the last time I mess around with the settings and looks, but I find it to be fun. Not sure if I’m fully satisfied with what I’ve changed it to, but we’ll see.

So my goals . . .

Ultimately, earn enough money writing stories so that I can quit my day job.

There’s a ton of steps and milestones I have to reach before I can get there.

  • Find a story to work on and stick with it until it’s complete. I have several on my table to consider, but I may just revamp one of my FanFictions to an original story. Which works because like a dork I’m the sort of FF writer that never finishes a story. I have a lot to choose from.
  • Work on social media and blogging sites to just keep generating content. It’s really just a matter of being constant, consistent, and wield the right hashtags. My lack of time is a constraint, but with a weekly schedule I should be able to keep pace.
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Four Week Schedule. Lather, rinse, repeat.
  • Find a full-time job that is closer to home. This is one I’ve been working on since May. Part of my problem is that I work 35 miles from home down some of the worst freeways that the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer. My commute to and from work can take up three to three and a half hours of my day. After a full day of work I end up exhausted, beat, and my brain is in no mood for writing or anything else. There’s also some major financial stress that’s tied in with this decision, but that’s another post all together.
  • See if Patreon or Ko-fi is something I can work with. I’m looking around at what other writers are doing and I’m not 100% sure I can deal with it. I’m not fond of the idea of putting my face in public view … I really just want to write. Again, I’ll see what my options are. Pretty sure there are some hermit/introvert writers out there who are doing okay…. (seriously though let me know if you see any because I’d like to see what they’re doing and how they’re doing it).
  • Start poking around into the realm of self-publishing. There are so many options now that it’s easy to get lost and potentially be taken advantage of (that’s my worst fear). It’s not high on the list right now as I don’t have anything on the table to offer, but it will help to start looking now so that when I am closer I won’t have as many jitters.
  • Tons of other minor baby step things like clearing out my catalogue of old writings to see if something clicks, making sure I still have time for D&D while not loosing momentum with writing, getting my desk cleared off and organized to make for better writing conditions, and so on and so forth.

It’s a long road and I know I’ll get frustrated, but if I want to be happy, really happy for once, then this is the road I need to take.