Uh, Directions Please?

I’m conflicted.

I’m trying to be professional (somewhat) and smart and use this blog as a platform to help build my reader audience, but apparently, I’m only supposed to talk about writing. People will only read if there’s a theme. But can’t my theme just be my life which concerns all aspects with a centralized focus on writing? Don’t get me wrong—I love talking about writing and being a writer and this hair-pulling, wine-gulping journey into self publishing. But it’s not everything. It’s not my entire life. It’s like… 89.7%. But hell, even Hemingway left the desk to enjoy a Mojito from time to time.

Other shit happens.

The question is- do I write about it? THAT, monsieur Hamlet, is the real question. To write about washed wallets and the existence of Scissorhand penises (which is one of the top searches for this site you weirdos!)and quirky friends getting married—does that hurt my mission into being a successful indie author? I’d like to think no, it doesn’t, but everything I’m reading tells me I’m doing this wrong. This needs to be a site dedicated solely to this process. AND THAT’S IT. Otherwise I’m lying to my fans. Heh. I think the part I like most about that is they assume I have fans. Awesome.

Although, there is that one person who gave me five star reviews on both my books and turned a somewhat crappy day into THE BEST ONE EVER. I wish I could find her (him?) and send a gift basket or something. Just to say thanks. They even titled their review post on POM that I need to hurry up and write faster. Aw! *tear* My heart—and confidence—quadrupled in size. Suck on that, Grinch.

I don’t even know if she knows this blog exists. Maybe. If she’s like me and stalks the authors she likes. If that’s the case, she only had luck if she checked POM’s bio page because I listed my blog address wrong on my first copy of EFH. Of course. I also listed my email wrong in 2009 when I was trying to submit my then novel to print publishers. But hiccups happen. People fall. And hopefully, if it didn’t leave them a paraplegic, they’ll get back up again. It’s all a learning process, right? But without solid instruction how do you know which direction to go? Unless it’s a fact, it’s just someone’s opinion.

I checked out Twitter and had a mild panic attack. I got through adding ten celebrity contacts before closing out the window and leaving my desk. Too much. It’s too much. But the book I’m reading said I have to be a on there. There and google plus and have a facebook author page (which I’ve already started. High five on being productive). But holy shit social media has taken over. And I mostly use my computer for word and minesweeper. Eeek! How am I going to navigate this tsunami with only a bitch-sized oar? For real. I’m about to capsize. But at least I can still write about it on this blog, if, of course, it pertains to writing. Because according to “experts,” I should only write about writing. Otherwise I’m a liar. A misleading, no-themed, poorly written plat formed liar.

*sigh*

What do you think?

Didn’t Want to Wish Anymore

I’m trying to put up a website so I can like, look legit. And not like some random person who super wants to be a distinguished author but has no googeable site. It seems a necessity nowadays and if I’d known that, I would’ve paid more attention in my computer classes and not challenged classmates to rapid rounds of minesweeper, which is pretty much the only other thing I use my computer for. And yeah, I have this blog and *horray* for that, but there’s got to be a sense of professionalism somewhere, right? Not articles about the existence of Edward Scissorhand’s penis which I’m STILL curious about. So hence the website-creating process is started and let me tell you, even with the simplicity of these user-friendly site-creators, I’m still scratching my head with “uh… I think I’m doing this right. But maybe they’ll think my lack of artistic, tech-savvy talent makes me a better writer. The worse the website, the better the words, right?” I mean, what would Hemmingway’s site look like if he had to design it himself? Probably half done and smelling of liquor. (Yes, I know websites don’t smell but if they did, his would reek of mojitos. Just saying.) So when mine goes up and joins the endless world of pages, prepare yourself for the common cave woman’s attempt at painting the Sistine Chapel.

You’ve been warned.

I said it before and I’ll say it again—I’m in the wrong generation.

…unless it’s the right generation because with this revolution of self publishing authors, I like, have a chance when I’m pretty sure my manuscripts would’ve gotten buried in the stack with every other aspiring writers’. And it may not have ever seen the sun again. I’m not saying that because I think I’m a bad writer or not good enough for publication, but because there are so many of us out here who want our work available to the masses, so they can decide if they want to read our words and not the publishers who decide if it fits the right genre and trend to make money. You know what I mean. So yeah, living in this era definitely has its perks. But as wonderful an opportunity as self-publishing is, it also comes with more sweat and tears. And I mean that. Sweat in the non-stinky exercise way because now, not only do we have to write the damn thing, we have to do the advertising which I am SO not good at it. I constantly turn to Batman and frown. “I just want to write. Can’t someone else take care of this for me? Why do I have to do it all?” Yes, there’s every bit of whininess in there as it sounds. And God bless Batman, he tells me one day I’ll be able to sit home and write and someone else will take care of all that for me. He says he has every bit of faith and confidence in me. We writers need that. Encouragement. But after all that sweat in writing and marketing (which I still have yet to do) there comes the tears. Because sometimes, it just gets really damn hard. When will it be my turn? What more can I do? And why is it so unfair that I have to work harder than everyone else? That’s how it feels at least.

Of course it’s not true.

This girl at my job works full time, moonlights AND goes to school. Are you shitting me? When does she sleep? Eat? Have a social life that involves fun things that she wants to do? But this girl has ambition. Drive. Determination. Life didn’t hand over what she wants either but she’s doing what she has to. And that makes my tears feel so foolish. Besides, it’s not like I don’t write. I’m writing right now. I write every day. How can I say I’m not doing what I love? I just want to fill my day with more hours instead of the two or three I’m able to squeeze in. So really, I DO get to do want I want. I’m blessed because so many people don’t even know what their passion is. They don’t see or know what the end goal is. And I do.

Knowing what you want is half the battle. Getting there is the other half. At least my ship has left the harbor and is setting sail for west India or the Caribbean or wherever Christopher Columbus was sailing. I’m on my way. I’ve got too books published (working on the third!), a blog that I love to write for and a website on the way, and all this since last May when I decided the story I’d been writing for the last two years was finally ready for some serious edits. A year. It’s been a year since I decided I didn’t want to sit at the same cubicle anymore, didn’t want to spend my lunches pouring over various author websites and wishing my future looked like theirs. I didn’t want to wish anymore.

I’m at a new cubicle (because I have to pay for this apartment somehow) but instead of looking at other author websites on my breaks, I’m working on my own. I’m writing my own bio and filling the screen with tidbits about my books. One year and look how far I’ve come.

Wait for how far I’ll go.

Being a Writer is Tough

Today was rough.

It started out with running late to work and oh yeah, I forgot to leave early to get gas. Okay, no big deal, I’ll get it on lunch. But then, that little light went on and, like always, I freaked out. I’m not going to make it! I’m going to break down! I’m going to have to push the car all the way to a nearby gas station! Visions of these terrible scenarios rushed through my head and I reasoned it wouldn’t be a huge deal to get into work a few minutes late if I filled up really quickly to prevent a possible break down. Besides, I want to relax and read on my lunch. So, following my gut—and, the terrifying lit gas symbol—I passed my work and headed for the next available gas station… which apparently doesn’t exist. Not on my side, at least. I must’ve passed about three on the opposite side of the street before deciding to just turn around, go to one of them, and head back to work.

So, that’s what I did.

Of course, the first one I pulled into had a rope around all the pumps. For real. It was out of commission and I’m pretty sure the ghost in my car did not appreciate the scream uttered when I drove around the useless lot and back out onto the street. Okay, another one was coming up just a ways. I still have time. It’s about three minutes until work has to start so I might only be a few minutes late tops. Not bad. But, as I drive into the 7-Elven, I find a line of cars waiting to gas-up.

Are. You. Shitting. Me.

I wait my turn and finally pull up to a pump. FINALLY. But as I punch all my information in and retrieve the nozzle…. uh…. Nothing comes out. As in, no gas. As in OH-MY-FUCKING-FUCK, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!

And that’s when I started crying.

I just need to go home and write, but instead, I have to go to work and type away doing something I’m—to be frank—not very good at just so I can like, continue to live in my tiny apartment. I know I’m sounding childish here, but it’s just not fair.

Being a writer is tough.

I can’t fill out an application and get my career going. I can’t go to school, take the required courses, get the required degree and boom, there’s the job waiting for me. It doesn’t work that way for us. Artists. There’s no guarantee. And that’s the worst thing. For other careers, there’s at least that end point. If I do this grad school/complete this internship/I’m able to get this job. I’m not saying it’s easy, but at least you have a manual, an end point of sorts. I get nothing is guaranteed in life, for anything or anybody, but, it’s really not guaranteed for us. I have no way of saying, if I keep at this, I’ll be there in six months, one year, five years. There is no obvious end point. If it even comes at all.

And that terrifies the SHIT out of me.

We all have dreams, so why do I only get to work on my craft for two hours a day? This is my passion. This is what I think about from the second I wake up, all day when I’m doing other things, and what I pray I remain passionate about tomorrow. So why can’t I do it all day long? Sometimes, like today, I just want to scream. It’s not FUCKING fair. But I know I’m whining and I have to, just like everyone else, suck it up, work hard and just do my best. It just gets tiresome after a while. And with this morning’s insane beginning, I wanted to give up, go home, cry it out with the bottle of Lindeman’s Batman picked out and just say fuck it.

I still went into work, got gas on my lunch break and made it through the day, thinking of course, of everything I could be doing if was able to stay at home and write. I spend my day job working for the right to work my night job so I can one day actually do what I want with my life. And I know it works this way for *tons* of people. I get that. I’ve gotten it for the past six years I’ve spent in a cubicle. Yeah. And even with all the wine I’ve been downing and Oreos I’ve been cramming into my mouth, it doesn’t get any easier.

It is TOUGH to be an artist. Maybe I should cut off a limb or something. Not an ear—it’s been done and I enjoy music too much—but perhaps a toe? Or maybe the skin on my elbow? Would that count? Would it fast track me into the hall of fame of artists so I can actually be a writer and not a (fill in day job here) for the rest of my life?

*SIGH*

It was a hard day today, like it is every day. And I’m going back in tomorrow. One day though, I know I’m going to wake up and get to write all day long. I’m going to do what I’m meant to, what I honestly believe I was put here for- my purpose. If I focus on that, the hopelessness of each day won’t be so bad. I just have to focus on the end point. And believe it really exists.