Monday, January 7, 2013

2013's (Hopefully) More Realistic 'Things To Do' List

This time last year I posted a pretty massive list of things that I wanted to achieve in 2012.  

This year I'm paring things down to two (hopefully simple) goals:
  1. Break my ruinous addiction to writing.
  2. Prevent my savings from bleeding out like Marcus Fenix during a full-scale Grub invasion.
I love my life right now.  I love getting up every day and nurturing instead of ignoring the creative thoughts germinating in my skull.  I love exploring these ideas through mad loose leaf scribbling over a cuppa joe.  I love the process that occurs when I trap these thoughts in electronic amber, refining them twice before releasing them to the world.  Above all, I love it when people read what I've written and give me feedback.

There's only critical thing missing from this seemingly perfect equation: I'm not making any money.  Y'know, money...scratch, shekels, dinero, cash, bread, currency, cheddar, dough, rupees, coin, capitol...friggin' greenbacks.  I.E. those numbers on a paycheck or scraps of colored paper that we receive in exchange for goods and/or services rendered?  I.E. that mass hallucination which arbitrarily assigns a relative value to everyone and every thing in our society.

Hmmmm, for some reason the NHL settlement just popped into my mind.  How odd

Anyhoo, this irrational compulsion to write has set me on an inexorable collision course with the iceberg of financial ruin.  In fact, because of my three-to-five-times-a-week-habit I didn't even attempt to do most of the things on last year's list.  

It kills me to say this, but I'm either going to have to quit these blog posts cold turkey or, at the very least, scale back my usage.  As I transition back into some nebulous, yet-to-be-determined "real" job, these posts will become less about composition and research and more like diary entries.  I just hope that I can find a paying gig that offers even a fraction of the bliss I feel whenever I'm writing something.

I honestly didn't expect to degenerate into a word-slave when I started exploring the blog culture over two years ago.  My first tentative posts were only designed to hone my skills as a writer and maintain a regular production schedule.  In doing so I was hoping, rather naively, that some hypothetical employer would notice that I could string a sentence together, work under self-imposed deadlines, and attract a healthy cadre of followers.  In my warped imagination I though that this might lead to some sort of regular paying gig.  Surprisingly, this hasn't materialized yet.

I also recognize that I should have paid my dues as a writer back when I was in my twenties, not now.  It's forgivable to be dirt poor in your twenties but it's considerably less romantic and indie when your forty.  In fact it's kind of, hmmmmm...what's the word I'm looking for...oh yes, pathetic.    
Now, I certainly don't regret using the last two years to practice my craft.  In fact, I think I've exhibited dramatic improvement as a writer, editor and all-around embloginator.  But as I've come to learn rather painfully: producing content is considerably easier then parleying it into a career.  Although I'm still holding out some hope for an It's a Wonderful Life-style resolution to my story, I now know that life isn't like the movies.  No-one's going to magically materialize out of the ether and grant me some semblance of a future.

In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, after Kirk has become disillusioned with the administrative assignment of Admiral, Spock tells him: "Commanding a starship is your first best destiny.  Anything else is a waste of material".

If the last two years have taught me anything, at least I can say with total confidence that my own "first best destiny" is to be a writer.    

Unfortunately if I keep blindly pursuing this destiny, I'm gonna end up wasted by the material.      

EPIC SUPPORT  I just want to say a hearty thanks to anyone who's ever contributed to my hit count either here or at my entertainment site or my gaming blog.  If you're a regular reader and you want to help, honestly the best thing you can do is pick up a copy of my book in paperback for $19.99 or the e-version for a paltry $4.99.  You can also throw a coupla bucks my way by using the Paypal link above.  Considering the state of my finances, these donations should technically be tax deductible.    

Honestly, I had no illusions about becoming J.K. Rowling-rich while persuing this racket but I'd love to  keep writing without loosing my shirt.  The funny thing is, if all four-hundred and twenty-three people who read last year's "Things To Do" post had donated a dime to the blog I'd actually be well on my way!

NOT GETTING PAID TO DO WHAT YOU LOVE?  YOU'RE FAILING AT LIFE!  Honestly, I understand the world less now at forty then I did when I was twenty.

FAILED PRIORITIES  If this douchebag can get paid over five million dollars a year to chase a friggin' black rubber disc around a rink (or not in the case of this disastrous season) then I don't think it's unreasonable for people in creative pursuits to earn enough money to pay for basic living expenses.

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