I meant to write a few weeks back, but “legacy” fun from that fraud issue in September left me with a few loose ends that I didn’t catch in time. ProTip: If your HostGator site goes down, call. Don’t online chat. Just trust me on this.
A week and a half later, I’m back.
When we last left Guy, I was contemplating the aftermath of my trip. I could get into all the vagueries of how it confirmed some things, answered some questions, left some other thoughts open for exploration, but frankly, I’m not feeling existential tonight. If anything, it forced me to look at what I think is one of my best talents: My writing.
I’ve been a writer as long as I’ve held a pen or keyboard in my hand. I think I’m a good one. I’ve freelanced for over 10 years now. Let me run unrestrained, and I can fairly write most people under the table. We all have that “one” talent. This one’s mine (well, that and Pac-Man). I’ve started to get back into freelancing on the side. It’s been…. That’s one of the challenges of being any sort of creative type: How people “value” your work. In fact, Wil Wheaton posted an article about this type of situation. I was trying out a few things on Fiverr for editing assistance (I write and edit, and enjoy both). I offered 3,000 edited words for (not surprisingly) five bucks, with an option to “build” a custom order.
Two people came to me with a 13,000+ word document (which I was willing to do for $20), and a 15,000+ word document (for $30). When I told them the price, they balked at the quote because it was “too expensive”. I have a strong suspicion that both cases wanted the whole job for the $5 quote the site’s name implies. And yet they come to me, and hem and haw for a week about something they don’t have the time or ability to do. I’ve faced this in acting as well, productions that have come to me offering to “pay in fun”. Not even in Oz or Wonderland is commerce transacted in units of “fun”. Honestly, I can use the money to buy my own variant of “fun”. In business, many people do not value skills that they are unable to do themselves.
So this leaves me with some choices about my work: Expand my range, and really sit down with some of the concepts that I’ve “halfway” finished, and finish them. And publish them. I’m good at stories, and travel, and gaming, and writing about unusual things that my experiences and imagination have come up with. If I truly believe that my writing is a “gift”, then I need to treat it as such, and not let it lay dormant. Or neglected.
These have been a few thoughts on my mind of late.
I wasn’t really feeling Halloween this year. I’ve been “meh” about some things in the last month, and I really wasn’t in the whole holiday spirit (despite all the Christmas trees at retail). I did dress up for work and go to a early Halloween party and a haunted house, and by the time October 31st came about, Jen and I went to the Golden Tiki for drinks….
And I later went to this street haunted house called “16th Street House of Hell”, which was put on by this one Halloween enthusiast, and run by his friends/volunteers. It was actually a lot of fun, and the block party atmosphere was nice and low-key, which was fine by me. After the mini-house, I met up with Brenda and her friends for some brief Fremont St. hijinks before calling my night.
I did have to bring poor Frodo to the vet as he had this ugly bump around his groin area that was internally infected, and had to be removed.
As a result, he can’t leap about (but tell him that), so I’ve been sleeping on the floor with him this past week to discourage at least some jumps. Not my ideal sleep spot, but love makes you do funny things.
I did spoil myself this week with a self-gift:
Not even going to downplay this: My Star Wars fandom has been in full rabid swing this year, and I love watching BB-8 scold Stardust for nipping at him, to her surprise. Jen got Fallout 4. I get this.
For right now, however, I am taking steps this week for self-betterment and to consolidate my problems into one manageable lump that I can chisel down in a focused manner. I am normally very reactive to things. Now I am trying to put myself more in a “take charge” role. It’s taken some reminding myself that my best experiences were because I sought them out, and the acceptance that some of those “best moments” are just memory and personal foundation now, and not to be bound to that. I have to do what I want and want to be.
I’ve found that my worst failures have been trying to go down paths that were meant for someone else. Trying to “compete” with seemingly tired and repetitive (yet successful for them) gimmicks. Life’s been more gentle these days in reminding me that I have to be myself and follow my own path, and not others. Too far in, and I wouldn’t be the person that I want to be in the first place.
And maybe that’s what this entry is: A reminder of where to place my own values. I am finding this week that “fixing” problems is really just a matter of just finding a place to start and clearing it out. I’m learning how to set things aside again. I’m finally letting go of a lot of personal feelings that have held me back.
It’s almost been a year now since I ended up in the hospital for “mechanical damage”, which really turned out to be anxiety, depression, and stress. I’m in a very different place now. No more arm and chest pains. For a good while, I wanted to just survive. And now I just want to live. And more than that, live kindly. Happily. Well. The emergency room/hospital sucked, but it woke me up. Same as my last set of travels home.
Things have changed, and so have I.
What that translates into exactly is already starting to happen around me. At least I have some goals to fight for now.