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Unexpected Hope

Today I was working a breakfast shift at the Whitewater Hotel. I grumble about having to work here from time to time, but I still like it. There are much worse places I could be working. We were waiting for the last of the guests to finish when one of them called me over.

“Young man? (instant ego boost) Do you have any toothpicks?” she asked

“I’m sure I can find you some,” I say, already knowing there are cocktail sticks in the kitchen. I’ve been working in customer service for most of my adult life, and read quite a bit too, to actively try and excel at it. I habitually under promise and over deliver now.

I returned with three cocktail sticks and asked: “Will these do?”

She accepted them gratefully, and I said, “I’m terrible, I always use the corner of a business card.” She replied that she refuses to admit to doing the same. I took the opening and pulled out one of my business cards saying, “I have one if you need it”.

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She looked at it. Read my name, and that it says ‘Author’, and asked me what I was writing. So, of course, I told her all about Hermes925, the Creative Writers group and the Monolith project. She held my gaze as she asked if I was published, so I told her excitedly,

“That’s part of the reason I’m doing the anthology. It will allow me to figure out how self-publishing works without risking my baby”. My ‘baby’ being Hermes925. She came up with a great idea.

“Then afterwards you could write about how to become self-published. There’s a huge market for that right now.” It turns out she’s retired from a corporate position in which she specialised in attitude-focused motivation. I’m sure my eyes lit up as I mentioned a project currently on the back-burner called “Levelling Up! A gamer’s guide to success“.

The book would compare gaining XP (experience points) to gain new skills in both tabletop and video RPGs to gaining real life experience and applying them to your life to develop real skills.

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She seemed very interested in the idea of applying game experience to real life and encouraging people to be more with what they already know. I loaded my tray with dirty plates and used breakfast items such as the jam tree and sugar bowl as we talked. We soon realised that we’d spent a long time talking and she promised to keep my card and email me. I went back to the.kitchen with the tray, invigorated and hopeful.

I was a little disappointed that she left my card behind, but not terribly surprised. If I bump into her again over the next couple of days, I’ll hand her another card as if she forgot. I may have been deliberate, and if it was it wouldn’t be the first time that someone in the corporate world promised me a great opportunity that never materialised.

It also reminded me that the only people I can rely on are my family. They’ve given so much to help me become a successful author. I want to return the favour and help them live they way they want to live. If I want to do that I need to work harder to make Creative Writers Press a reality, and put rest to the idea that some mysterious benefactor will simply give me what I want.

I’ll learn a lot more figuring this all out myself. I’ll be more than just someone who got lucky. I’ll be an expert, and I can use that expertise to compound that experience into more stories, projects and self-help books! I feel more confident in my ability to pull this off than ever.

I’ve been trying to crowdfund to support giving the administrators of the Creative Writers group a salary, so they have more time to work on this. There’s already a Patreon site, and I’m working on a Kickstarter site too. If that doesn’t work, it’s not the end of the world. I just pointed out to someone today that my part-time job gives me a break from all the work I’m putting into this. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

However, I think I might be able to get myself a better income if I do this right. I can schedule breaks for myself. I can keep a standard work day again instead of fitting time in around my Whitewater shifts. Even if I’ll fail, I’ll be gaining experience and I’ll learn. When I try again I can use what I’ve learned and I’ll find a whole new set of hurdles, and I’ll learn from those too. I’ll keep practising what works until I have a whole new set of skills.

Those of you who play RPGs will know that at this point things start to get easier, but then you level up. This gives you new recognition, more renown, and tougher challenges. I can’t wait 🙂

Writing through the Block

Sometimes I’m kind of an idiot. There are several stories I should be working on, but I just can’t find the motivation. I actually have the next part of Hermes925 drafted and ready to go, but instead of typing it up I spent most of the day playing Oblivion (in my defence, it was on sale).

I’m tempted to blame it on feeling too tired to write, which would launch me into another rant in which I whine about having to work at a hotel part-time when I’d rather just be writing for a living. It’s necessary for now though. I’m living in a room that’s about 8′ by 10′ at my grandparent’s house. I really need to get a place of my own.

When I moved in I didn’t plan on having a girlfriend, but I do, and I’m grateful. I think the lack of room for her stuff is upsetting her. She needs some territory she can claim as her own beyond a pull-out bed, a drawer and part of a shelf!

I think it’s also frustrating to her how much time she has to spend at work. She works more hours than I do and seems to spend most of the time she’s not at work napping. She’d much rather have the time and energy to enjoy her time off, as would I.

I tell myself that I need to buckle down and get writing, or I’ll never be able to give her the freedom she deserves. Instead, I find myself procrastinating. I’ll be checking Facebook to see if any members of the Creative Writers group have a problem I can help with or playing a game instead.

I’ve often advised others to start freewriting when they get into a funk like this. Just pick up a pen and paper (or in this case open a new blog post) and start writing. I tell them, quite sagely, that doing so might help them figure out what it is that’s really holding them back. Yet, I didn’t think of it myself. Hence the self-abuse at the beginning of this post.

I’m still no clearer to understanding why I can’t seem to be bothered. I’ve maybe written five lines all day on an actual story, which is more than I’ve done the last four days. To be a little fairer on myself I was working at the hotel 3 of those days. 

I like working at the hotel. I get along with my co-workers, the view from the bar is fantastic, and sometimes I can get a free meal. I just wish I wasn’t so tired all the time. My feet still hurt. I can’t imagine how much worse I’d be feeling if I worked five days a week instead of only three!

I know everyone hates going to work. I should just man up. One of my colleagues has had surgery lately and still manages to work a full week. I feel like a whiny brat in comparison. There are lots of others too, willing to work their fingers to the bone for a steady paycheck. I still feel I’d be much happier getting by on what little money I can make from writing, but I have much more to worry about now than my own wellbeing.

Before I had to start taking a second job, I had a system that seemed to be working. Get up when I like, but start writing at 10 am. Keep writing (which would also include research, editing, re-writing, and sharing my latest updates online) until I can’t concentrate on anything anymore. This system would often give me about 6 hours of writing and writing-related work each day, and I would give myself weekends off.

Things got more complicated now. For one, I needed to be able to buy my own food instead of raiding my Grandparents all the time, so day-job. I can’t even stick to my old plan on the days I’m not at the hotel. One or both of us will have to over-sleep to recover from a hard shift at work, so no strict 10am start. I also can’t, in good conscience, ignore my girlfriend as she’s sitting on the bed right next to my desk.

Something has to go. It’s not going to be the writing. The very idea makes every cell in my body rebel. It had better not be my girlfriend or I’m going to be very upset. It has to be the job that gets sacrificed, but with the job also goes our main source of income. Even if I could secure income enough to support us both, I still wouldn’t have the time to write. Unless I can either find a way to include her in the writing process or hope she finds a passion of her own to pursue.

I also realise that all of this is a complete waste of time. The fact is I have chosen this life and I’m the only one who can make it work. It’s my responsibility. Yet I still have this childish, almost girly, dream that some day a famous author (Neil Gaiman) is going to see my work, tell me that my ideas are awesome but they could be better expressed, and then take me under their wing as their apprentice.

Even that isn’t going to happen unless I have my work out there to be found. I need to stop wasting my time whining, overthinking, sleeping, etc. I need to create the future I want to have. That’s not going to happen while staring at a screen and feeling sorry for myself.

I really should be working on my Monolith submission. Maybe I’ll sleep on it and try again tomorrow. Maybe when I wake up, I’ll discover that I have a hundred new paid subscribers each paying £10 a month, which would be more than enough for me to make writing my only job. I’ll keep dreaming until I do.

Have a great day 🙂

 

 

The Power Of Negative Thinking

I was beginning to worry about my writing. I’ve been doing a lot of talking about writing in my rapidly growing(“, he said smugly, “) Facebook group called ‘Creative Writers‘. I haven’t been doing a lot of creative writing myself though. I haven’t been able to delve into my stories lately, and it was beginning to worry me.

At first I tried telling myself little pep talks. ‘It’s okay, you’ve got the day off tomorrow, you can catch up then’ only to do nothing productive that day, except perhaps talking about writing online to other writers. The advice I’ve been giving seems to be popular. The Creative Writers group only had 32 members when I took over as admin, and now membership is up to 805!

As you can see I still have a tendency to default to looking on the bright side even when I’m trying to describe how ineffective positive thinking was! 🙂 Lately I’ve been getting too easily distracted and sidetracked. Again, my internal Mr Brightside is telling me that some of my ‘sidetracks’ are actually good ideas. Monolith, for example, has a lot of potential. As do the half a dozen or more new story ideas I’ve had (I may tell you about them in upcoming articles).

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I came up with a new profile pic and banner combo for my author page. Like it?

My point was that I was beginning to feel depressed because I was spending too much time working at the hotel, sleeping (or laying awake waiting for my gf to get up), having tickle fights and talking about writing. I was even beginning to wonder if I would have to give up my girlfriend (whom I love) to find the time to write.

I was even trying to think positively about the prospect ‘You won’t be as happy, but you can use that misery to make your characters more believably tragic and pathetic’ I’d say to myself. Then I’d realise how crazy that sounded and was left with only was positive sounding resolution. ‘You got this. You can find a way to be happy and become a successful writer. You just have to try harder’.

I thought maybe that I should try to limit my writing time to when I can write uninterrupted. It didn’t take me long to figure out that there’s no such thing. Even if there’s nothing else happening I distract myself. It’s only today when I was talking about this with my girlfriend that it occurred to me that I could pay her more attention and submerse myself in the story I’m writing by talking to her about my ideas.

I seem to recall I used to do this, and she would listen intently as I told her about the part of the story I was stuck on. Most of the time I’d then come up with what happens next anyway without any input from her, then I’d start writing and she’d go back to her game. I think maybe it’s because she just listened and didn’t have to say much that I began to think she didn’t need to be bothered with my writing process. I thought maybe she wasn’t interested, but it turns out she’s happy to be my sounding board.

I also had this hair-brained idea of becoming an online live storyteller. Perhaps using Twitch.

Maybe I should try it with the stories I’m editing too. I know that you catch more mistakes when you read a story aloud. Maybe I should read Hermes925 from the beginning to her. See if we can catch any continuity errors and other mistakes. It could work! I wouldn’t have come to this conclusion if I hadn’t been prepared to explore my negativity, and think through the thoughts I didn’t want to have.

When I was living in America I didn’t think much of myself. My shitty opinion of myself drove me to read countless books on sales, marketing, entrepeneurship, coping with adhd, anxiety, depression, and other self-help books like “Think and Grow Rich” and “The Magic of Thinking BIG!” I haven’t had the motivation to do that since moving back to the UK. There’s still lots of unread self-improvement books on my Kindle, but I’m happier here.

Part of me wishes I was still so desperate to be proud of myself that I read anything and everything that could help me. On the positive side though, it worked. I gained the self-confidence I needed to improve my situation and make a better life for myself. Now’s not the time to rest though. I’m still a long way from becoming the literary success I want to be.

I have to remember that when I’m feeling low, it may not be just a random imbalance of chemicals. It may actually be an indicator that something is wrong, and worth exploring. If nothing else it will give me an insight into my feelings that would be invaluable. Both from a writing perspective, and just getting to understand myself better and know how to make myself happy. At best I may actually figure out a way to correct the cause of negative emotions, and actually improve my life.

I know that for some people Depression really is just an uncontrollable chemical imbalance that leaves you the victim of your moods. I’m not content with this diagnosis personally. I don’t like being the victim. It feels like willingly locking a pair of hobbles around your ankles and saying it’s because you can’t run.

I know I could make myself happier artificially with drugs, exercise, and positive thinking (sometimes I wonder if love should be counted on this list), but I’m much rather be happy for achieving my goals, and pay attention to my sadness to find out what my next goal should be. If it turns out I’m sad because I’m not writing enough, my goal is to make more time to write. If I’m sad because my desk it so cluttered I can’t find anything, I need to clear it.

I’m sad about my Grandma’s health too, but I don’t have any control over that. All I can do is keep working on me. If I somehow manage to become wealthy beyond my wildest dreams, receive a kind and generous offer from a wealthy patron, or I suddenly became a super-genius, maybe I could find a way to make her better. Maybe I can challenge the grim reaper to a game of Exploding Kittens and make him restore her and Grandad to full health and vigour (providing I win)?

Anyway, I need to get ready for my hotel job soon, so I have to wrap this up. My point was that bad moods have been misrepresented. When you’re upset, there’s nothing wrong with that. Maybe we shouldn’t all be trying to avoid, cover-up, or chemically alter our negative emotions. Maybe we should be trying to figure out why we’re feeling sad, really, underneath all the bullshit you’ve told yourself. Really dig in until you find the answer that makes your mood lift.

If you do actually try this yourself, let me know how it goes. Even if you don’t and you think I’m wrong because depression is a chemical imbalance that can only be treated with prescription medication, I’d like to hear your opinion too, though I admit I will probably take you more seriously if you at least try to find out what your sadness might be really trying to tell you.

Maybe we could write a book on the subject?

If you want to help me find more time to write, and see articles on the story ideas I mentioned earlier, please become a paid subscriber. Either via my Patreon page, or by selecting one of the Paypal subscription choices below:

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Have a valuable day! 🙂

Feeling Down, Finding Goals.

I actually managed to get the first draft of the story I had been working on for the UbiquiCity project right on the deadline. The conversation I had with the team that day (despite technical issues) was awesome. I’m also pleased to have a chance to include a character I originally created for Hermes925 in the rewrite, Mr Waddle. Yay.

For the first time in a long time, I felt like writing Hermes925. I was even beginning to write the story, and get into the mind of the ratkin character that’s telling this part of the story. Formulate the details as write. That lovely feeling of ‘flow’ when the story takes form as the pen zips across the page. Then it stalled as another feeling I’ve been battling with (again) began tapping on the inside of my skull for attention.

I’m writing this out because I don’t want to. I’m not sure it will help, but holding it all in certainly doesn’t. I haven’t really held it in. Some of my friends know already and I talked about some of it in a previous article.

I found out when I was married that I could never have kids. I think this may have had a lot to do with the decline of the relationship. When you know you can’t have children, sex begins to seem pointless. It’s fun, but that’s all. I still got horny, but when I saw my wife I just felt guilty, and oddly dishonest. I couldn’t deliver on the implied promise. Sex is a vital part of the biological imperative to reproduce, but I can’t reproduce.

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These feelings are a boner killer. It’s hard to stay aroused when you just want to apologise repeatedly for not being able to continue the bloodline. That no matter how hard you try, you’ll never see a child that shares your DNA. The entire relationship began to feel like a waste of time. There were other elements too but my inability to perform was a huge factor. Especially since I hadn’t fully processed why it was I was losing interest and looked for reasons in her.

I didn’t deal with it as well as I could have. When we broke up I had a series of relationships that all started great, and reassured me that I could actually perform, which also exaggerated my misbelief that it had been my ex’s fault that I couldn’t before. However, in each relationship, there came a point when I would start to lose interest again. Each time I came up with an ego-friendly reason why the relationship failed, though I think now that it was just me and my stupid fucking complex.

I think it’s happening again, but this time I can’t find a fault with my girlfriend. She’s lovely, and she makes me smile and feel appreciated. She deserves much better than a man who can’t even keep it up.  Especially since I know she wants children one day. I don’t know what to do. I’ve already told her some of this. She even knew about my fickle libido going into the relationship.

She’s good at helping me take my mind off it, cheering me up, and making me giggle. Sadly, cheering up doesn’t make the issue go away. It would be easy to blame depression, but the more I explore my downs, the more I learn about myself. In most cases, I can resolve the issue fairly simply (such as when I quit the previous bar job), however, I’m at a loss with this one.

The obvious, and cold, heartless answer, would be to break up with my girlfriend and quit wasting her time. Let her go while she’s young enough to find happiness with someone else. After all, I promised myself that the writing comes first, and I do spend a lot of time with her. The problem is that I really enjoy spending time with her. I love her.

I know from experience that love isn’t enough. There was to be more to a relationship than having a good time in each other’s company. I’m not sure what I bring to the table, besides it being cheaper to rent a place together and easier to save up with two of you working. I suppose I do have that writer thing going for me, but that’s not making me much money yet. I am far from the fame I’m aiming for.

Am I willing to sacrifice a beautiful, loving friend to do it? Do I really have a choice when keeping her around would be condemning her to a life with me? A life in which I was willing to risk everything to achieve the dream of being a world-famous author? Will I make fewer risks when someone I care about could get hurt? Will I be forever remembered as an absolute asshole if I choose to be alone for the sake of my writing?

How will I ever achieve my dream if I’m not willing to give up everything to do it? How can I give up her when she makes me so happy? How can I keep her though when I can’t give her what she wants most? She says we can adopt but it’s not the same. Especially when raising someone else’s children will give me even less time and energy to commit to my writing.

But maybe, and this is a brand new thought. Just occurring to me right now as I’m typing. Maybe if I raise adopted kids well, and encourage them to follow their passions, they will be able to achieve the dream I’m seeking. Perhaps that will be my legacy. Not to be a success myself, but to see others I care about succeed? Be truly willing to sacrifice everything, even my own dream, to leave a much better legacy? To make the lives of others better. It doesn’t matter that they’re not blood.

It doesn’t matter that they won’t be my blood. My readers and fans wouldn’t be either. I’d be giving people, at least two but maybe two boys and a girl (just like my ex-wife said I would have one day), a chance to improve their lives the way my parents did for me. I’m going to need my girlfriend’s help for that.

I would also like to live in Wales. Close to my parents. Close to my sister. Close to my nieces so I can see them more often, spend time with them and share what I’ve learned with them. As I sit here crying at my desk I think I’ve hit upon what’s really making me sad. I think my loss of interest in sex might me a symptom of something deeper.

 

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Kidwelly Castle in the town my parents, sister and nieces live.

 

I miss those girls and I don’t want to miss out on being a part of their lives. Part of me thinks maybe I’m running away. Grandma and Grandad are getting older before my eyes it seems. I don’t think I can help them. They’re hurting on many levels and I don’t know what I can do to make it go away. Make it all better. And…I’m crying again.

So ideally. Grandma and Grandad will be all better. I’d suddenly get about £3-5k to be able to move to Wales, with my darling girlfriend if she’ll still have me after what I’ve just written. Rent a place, get a very cheap vehicle and keep us going while we get jobs. Even better, since I may as well dream big, I could have enough money coming in from writing to make it a full-time job capable of supporting us both and possibly even my sister and her kids!

I can’t do it yet, and certainly not all of it, but life is a negotiation. If you start with a realistic goal, you always end up settling for less. If we aim for perfect, which would have to include a miracle cure for old-age, then when we compromise it’s still going to be pretty good. If none of it works out, at least it will give me experiences I can write about, I’ll have other chances, and I will have led an interesting life by the end.

I am thinking of making a GoFundMe campaign for the move, I think. I’m going to talk it over with my other half first, and see if she’d be willing to make the move with me. It would mean leaving her own family behind. That wouldn’t be fair to her. I think I better think it out again.

 

 

It’ll Come

I have some pretty big plans for my life. Maybe you already know this, but just in case you don’t, and because I want to talk about it anyway, I’m going to tell you all about them.

The first thing I intend to do, once I’ve raised at least £1000, is buy some Ernie premium bonds. This is going to be my “Oh shit!” fund in case an unexpected expense comes up, but otherwise, it’s just going to sit there and potentially win me some more money. If things go well I’ll invest more as I go.

Once that’s in place I can begin saving up towards self-publishing costs. I hope that Hermes925 will get picked up by a publisher, but just in case it doesn’t I want to be able to publish it myself. This is the reason I’ve been begging for subscribers. In an ideal world one of the publishers that I send the finished manuscript to will love it and cover all the costs of printing and distribution, but I’m also aware that we don’t live in an ideal world. I want to be prepared for the worst while I hope for the best, and expect to have to spend some money to make money.

During this time, not after, I’d like to repay some of the kindness shown to me by my girlfriend, and my family and friends. As most of you know I’m living with my Grandparents right now. My Grandma isn’t doing so great at the moment. She’s got no motivation or energy and is spending a lot of time in bed. This is unusual for her since she’s usually so full of life and energy. Grandad thinks it’s her medication, but I can tell he’s worried. They’re both in their 90’s and usually take care of themselves, and me, very well. One day though I’ll need to take care of them, and I plan too.

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My girlfriend tells me that she doesn’t mind having to pay for everything, and says she knows I’ll pay her back, even if it takes a few years. I worry though that her patience and faith in me may run out sooner than she thinks, especially if it does take years. Currently, she’s quite happy playing Xbox while I write. 🙂

My Dad is still recovering from a nasty fall that cracked two vertebrae and put hairline fractures in his pelvis and the neck of his femur. He’s laid up in bed, unable to work until he heals. My Dad, Mum, my Sister and her daughters all live in Wales. It’s beautiful and I think I’d like to move there when I can afford too. In the meantime, I’d like to visit them and buy nice things for my nieces. Bethany wants to be a writer herself. She’s already written some children’s books I’d like to help her publish.

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Once my family and friends are taken care of and comfortable, there are a few old debts from the US I need to take care of. I also promised my friends a party mansion, where they could each have a room if they wanted. Then we can start having some real fun. I’d like to open some hobby businesses. Including a gaming bar called D20’s where grown-ups can play tabletop games and have a pint and a laugh.

Until then I need to keep writing. I’m going to get some more Hermes925 written, continuing from where I left off the other day. I also need to keep writing for Games and Geekery, and so some of the money I’ll be making will go toward buying games to play and review. Including rebuilding my collections of Magic: the Gathering, Warhammer 40,000 and Munchkin. All of which I was forced to give up and sell to move back to the UK.

With luck and persistence, I’ll be able to get people talking about my writing, build up some buzz, and get some more subscribers and patrons. To that end, I’ve already sent a bunch of tweets out to famous people I admire and respect. We’ll see if anything comes of it. It’s possible they won’t respond, everyone’s focussed on the inauguration of President Trump right now. Regardless, I’m just going to keep writing away. If I keep sharing my work and talking about my writing online, sooner or later it’ll come.

Have a great day. 🙂

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On Random

This morning I should be having a crack at the unwritten portion of one of my client’s projects. That’s right, I’m switching from editing to ghostwriting. I’m generally very excited about this opportunity, but now that it comes to it I’m finding the idea of beginning this task fairly daunting.

I thought by the time I’d finished reading and editing the first nine chapters I’d be so deeply immersed in the writing style and story that I could just keep writing it, without it feeling any different from what came before it. No such luck.

I should jump in. Read through the client’s notes, think about how that fits with what came before it and start writing. Don’t worry about the style yet, or even continuity, and just get going. Edit later. Just writing this out helps it seem a little more manageable but for the longest time this morning I was just staring at the notes, unable to actually read them.

I’d go distract myself and come back to it, and still find myself unable to process the words I was looking at. I’m going to have another go after I’ve finished writing this out. Basically, I’m indulging my desire to procrastinate on writing, by writing about procrastinating! 🙂

This is a trick I’ve used before to get myself writing. Indulge the writer’s block or hesitation by writing about it. You’d think I’d run out of things to write when my inspiration is being unable to write, but I surprise myself every time.

Tangental thought, I was watching random YouTube videos while writing and a video about Fallout4 mods played. It mentioned a mod (the infamous Caliente mod) that gives the female character large breasts. It mentioned that the modder Caliente is female, and then when on to jokingly refer to her as a misogynist.

It occurs to me that this might become correct usage in the future if gender concepts continue to blur. Why should misogyny only refer to men? Surely anyone that sexually objectifies another gender could be classed as a misogynist in a gender-free society.

I also think we should all admit that it’s okay to find people attractive. We’re supposed to find people attractive. We’re supposed to want to have sex with each other. If we didn’t enjoy looking at each other’s naked bodies, then sex would just be a boring chore.

I realize as I wrote that last sentence that I have actual experience of considering sex to be a boring chore. Believe me then when I say that it is frustrating. It’s also very politically incorrect of me to admit, you are welcome to be upset with my conclusions and tell me that I’m wrong about myself. You’re also going to be super offended by what I say next.

I used to believe that appearance doesn’t matter. I believed that my own attractiveness was irrelevant. This came in handy because it means that whenever I began to worry that I might be ugly, I could just wave the thought away, reassuring myself that appearance doesn’t matter. What mattered was being smart, funny, and good at making your chosen partner happy.

I didn’t even consider my own happiness, believing that you should treat people the way that you want to be treated and assumed therefore that my happiness was the job of my partner. So when your chosen partner doesn’t share these beliefs and assumes their existence should be enough to excite you, sex really does become boring.

The fact that it was boring made me feel like a really shitty shallow person. I stopped beating myself though when she said out loud “It’s not your job to make me happy!” This broke my world view. I thought my only job was to make her happy, and that her job was to make me happy. It was then that I realized that she wasn’t trying to make me happy.

This is apparently something I’m still processing. Perhaps it’s purely due to the contrast between then and now. Not only is my current girlfriend beautiful, funny, smart, and sexy as hell, but she also happens to like making me happy! Even better she does so while also making sure she is happy. Which is good, because I’m not as selfless as I once was.

I’m so grateful for her.

I just looked at the time and I’ve spent almost the entire morning writing this instead of the ghostwriting I’m supposed to be doing. I’m going to get this posted and find some food. Maybe I’ll be lucky and find a box of frozen lasagna in the freezer.

Have a great day 🙂

 

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Determination

You hear a lot of negativity about millennials. For those of you that aren’t sure what a millennial is, it refers to people who became young adults at the turn on the century. I turned 20 in the year 2000, so apparently I qualify.

I already thought of myself as one anyway, even when I thought it referred to people 5-10 years younger than me, because of the way they are described. We’re often thought of as lazy and unproductive because we’re not satisfied by our lot in life. Instead of being good little workers, we questions our bosses and slack off if we don’t think the work is worth doing.

The typical reaction when we’re accused of this is to become defensive. We tell our accuser that we’ll try harder, even giving a detailed plan of how and why we will change for them. We promise to compromise, and then feel wretched about ourselves when we continue to rebel against our situation, when it turns out they were right.

This is usually attributed to the fact that we were told that we are capable of greatness. We were told by our parents, teachers, and the culture at large via the tv shows, movies and music we were raised with. We can accomplish anything we set out hearts and minds to.I still believe this. I am determined to prove it’s true.

millennialsvsboomers-ftr

Just like almost everyone in my generation, I’ve been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, ADHD, hypo-mania, and a variety of other medical terms to explain and correct my aberrant behaviour. None of it works, and I believe it’s because the real source of the problem is not a chemical imbalance.

The chemical imbalance is a response to the fact that, as we become adults, we are no longer encouraged to be the best. Instead we find we have to do as we’re told and stay in our lane. They tell us to grow up.

We spend our childhoods dreaming if the day when we can choose a career that makes us happy, carefully select a partner that enriches our life, buy a home and decorate it any way we wish, and have beautiful, intelligent and free-spirited children of our own.

Then we become adults and have a hard time fitting into a system that has us performing menial tasks for minimum wage, leaving us struggling and desperate. We cling to bad relationships and try to keep crappy jobs to keep a crappy house he can barely afford. It’s logical that we should find this depressing. It makes sense that we would become distrustful and anxious after being told that our childhood was a lie.

I don’t believe it was a lie. I think we can accomplish whatever it is we truly want to do, whatever it was we were meant to do. The standard counter-argument is “You can’t do whatever you want. You could never be the president of America.” Firstly, The current president elect is proof that very unlikely people can become presidents. Secondly, I don’t want to be a president!

Republican presidential candidate Trump gestures and declares "You're fired!" at a rally in Manchester

I’m not trying to become something I’m not. That’s exactly why I couldn’t handle trying to be a bartender, or a debt collector, a car salesman, or even a marketing assistant. It’s not who I am. It’s not who I’m meant to be. It’s not who I was raised to believe I could be.

I’m a writer. That’s who I am and I’m determined to succeed in life as a writer. In a way I already have even though it’s yet to generate an income. I write every day. Even on the days I’m giving myself off, I still find myself scribbling down a few notes or writing an article. To be fair, I also find myself on days I should be writing unable to get a satisfying paragraph on paper, or zoning out as I’m editing. I’m happy.

Tt’s difficult and scary decision, following your heart, your dreams, your true path. It won’t be easy, it may even be downright stressful, but it’ll feel right. Don’t get dissuaded because broken people tell you to give up like they did. Don’t put out that fire raging inside telling you that you have to do something. Go do that thing!

Follow my progress and see for yourself. It’s possible to get the life you dreamed of. Not by signing up for a get rich quick scheme, but by following your heart and doing whatever it is, deep within the core of you, that you really want to do. You can help me achieve it to, and see what your support can accomplish. In return I’d be more than happy to help you accomplish your goals in any way that I can.

I want you to share this with other ‘millennials’, or anyone else that’s been disappointed by what real life has to offer. Stop being ashamed of being called the ‘Peter Pan generation’. Don’t let anyone hold you back. Keep thinking happy thoughts and fly!

Make your happiness a priority. Have a great day!

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