What Would Jerry Do?

I’m not saying I’m a ‘Jerry’, but if I was writing ‘Rick and Morty’, after separating from Beth, Jerry would’ve started wearing black eyeliner and writing bad sci-fi based on the adventures he never got to have!

For those that don’t know what I’m talking about, ‘Rick and Morty‘ is a cartoon in which an alcoholic mad scientist (Rick) takes his insecure grandson (Morty) with him to parallel dimensions and alien worlds. The results are hilarious and often disturbing, and Jerry (Morty’s father and Rick’s son-in-law) never gets to come along.

Jerry loves Beth (Rick’s daughter/ Morty’s mother) more than anything, but he’s rather spineless. As a result, his attempts to be the man of the house are more than a little desperate. Beth clearly wears the pants in the relationship. Even after they break up, Jerry still defines himself by the relationship he’s lost.

He’d clearly be better off moving on and finding someone who appreciates him for who he is. After of course, he’s taken the time to truly discover who he is as an individual, and not as a clingy parasite, but he’s Jerry, and he’ll continue to self-sabotage and aim to fail because that’s what Jerry’s do across multiple parallel dimensions.

It occurred to me last night at work while humming ‘Everything I do‘ from the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves soundtrack (I made the mistake of watching it again recently) that there are some definite similarities between the relationship Jerry has with Beth, and the one I had/have with my ex-wife. Unlike Jerry, I don’t see my ‘Beth’ anymore, but I still find myself thinking about what I’ve lost even though I know that what we had was unhealthy.

I even had a somewhat Rick-like father-in-law!

However, the point of this article wasn’t to mope down memory lane, wondering for the infinite-th time what I could have done to make her happy and berate myself for the promises I didn’t keep. It was to realise that I can use this parallel to my advantage! Most writers are familiar with the advice ‘write what you know’ (interestingly enough, the writer I recently interviewed recommended the opposite) but doing so often leaves me bogged down in emotions that halt my progress.

I’m working on a story right now in which the main character is intimidated by his more intelligent and successful spouse, and it occurs to me that, instead of reopening old wounds to bare my own soul on the page, I could just base the character on Jerry! Hopefully, the trick works and I can finish the short story without spiralling into self-pitying depression in the process!

If only I could also find a character with a similar childhood to mine so that I can tackle my The Science Of Magic rewrite too! I’m hoping to get part one of both stories out on Kindle soon so that I have more on my Amazon author page than just the first book of The Haunted Story series. 🙂

Getting Back to Writing

In an ideal world, I wouldn’t have to work at all. I could just write at my own pace and people would be so impressed that they’d throw money at me like confetti!

Sadly, getting paid to write isn’t as easy as it sounds. For one, there are no office jobs where you can sit in a cubicle and produce fiction while taking home a base wage, benefits and a bonus each time a book sells that you wrote or contributed to. I would be applying to that job in a heartbeat. Particularly if there were on-site proofreaders and editors!

The opportunities available often take advantage of writers that are so desperate to get their name out there that the writers often end up paying for the privilege of being published, or getting paid so little for each story that it would be impossible to sustain a living wage even if you were to write 24/7.

The best I could manage, when I was able to get by without a ‘proper’ job, was about 35 hours per week. 9am-4pm Mon-Fri. I would update this blog on Mondays, write the next part of Hermes925 every Thursday, and the other days were dedicated to other WIP, updating the Games and Geekery blog or searching for writing opportunities.

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Disheartened by the lack of opportunities that favoured the writer, I wanted to do something better. That’s when I took over as admin for the Creative Writers group and started bringing people together to help me make the Monolith project a reality.

For those that are new to this blog, Monolith is a series of anthologies (short story collections) containing a variety of fiction written by members of the Creative Writers group. Despite my passion for the project and my education/ background in business management and marketing, it all started to get too much for me to handle and I feel like I’ve had no time to actually write!

Thankfully one of the newer admins has taken it upon himself to organise the project and is doing a far better job than I did at keeping everyone on task. I’m still the heart of Creative Writers, but Greg is the head. Some people might have trouble handing over the reins like this, but it’s not about me and my ego. It’s about doing what’s best for the group, especially the Monolith writers.

I feel like I can finally write again! Especially since my current job as a night porter typically gives me a good few hours to kill between re-laying the breakfast and dinner tables at the start of my shift, and setting up the breakfast buffet right before my shift ends. I may not be able to do seven hours a day, like I used to, but I should at least be able to write something every day again.

I’ve already begun drafting the next part of the story following on from Hermes925: 13/17 Data Not Found. Written a blog entry or two, and added my Monolith story to this page (so readers can get a sneak peek, and to prove I wrote it first if it leaks). I haven’t quite managed to write every day yet, but perhaps that will change as of now.

The reason I started Monolith is so that I could sell my writing, and help other authors to sell their writing too. If I’m so wrapped up in the process that I don’t do any writing then it’s has failed to serve it’s purpose. I’m excited that the team has reached a point where it barely needs me, and that I’m able to get back to writing.

Why am I even trying?

Yep, it’s going to be one of those posts.

Things are going fairly well at the moment. The new job as a night-porter is just what the doctor ordered. I get time to write, I only have to deal with a few customers, I don’t have to work with an ex-girlfriend, and the other new night porter is awesome. Of course, now that we’re both trained up we’ll be on opposite shifts most of the time.

The potential romance issue has been resolved also. We talked. She recognises that I’m in no emotional (or financial) state to up sticks and move to Italy. We’re still friends, and maybe, when I have my shit together, it will still become something more. Who knows?

The Monolith project is going well too. I’ve got some great admins helping me to regain order and sanity. Each admin has been assigned specific tasks, taking a lot of the weight off my shoulders and allowing me to get back to doing what I’ve always done best. engaging with the Creative Writers group members and building interest in the group projects.

Thanks to the lack of stress I’ve even begun working on Hermes925 again. I haven’t even needed to smoke. I’ve been completely weed free for a week and have no compulsion to acquire any more. I’ve been wanting to quit for a while, but every previous attempt has left me feeling anxious and resulted in a relapse. I haven’t even written about it because I didn’t want any family that still read this to worry about me (and when I last described my ‘recovery‘ I was ridiculed for it).

 

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One of the ‘Game of Thrones’ characters I empathise with. A man who has had everything taken from him.

 

However, a new job means new people, and new people (especially when they hear the slight American twang to my accent) means having to tell my story again. It’s not just co-workers and customers either. There’s a woman in the Creative Writers group that is going through some trouble with her partner remarkably similar to my relationship with my ex-wife. Helping her get through it and telling my story to others has inevitably stirred up some less than pleasant emotions.

The reason why I’m writing this article instead of working on the Creative Writers group FAQ, like I intended, is because it occurred to me that maybe the real reason I’m trying to become successful as an author, as a boss, and as a man, is to feel like I’m worth something. To give my life value and meaning. If I don’t produce something of lasting value, I’m just a waste of good oxygen.

I’m not writing this so that people will feel sorry for me and try to help. I know everyone that reads this is going through their own drama, trauma and pain. I also know we’re all broke, so I’ve given up asking for financial assistance either. I think I’ve removed every reference to asking for money from the website, including the ‘Tip Jars’ page I recently created, but if you find any I’ve missed let me know.

Realistically, I know that success won’t result in the permanent state of happiness that most of us aspire for, hoping that if they’re ambitious and determined enough they’ll be able to relax and bask in the glory of victory. Being the best invites challenge and conflict. We know from reading stories, playing games, and the lives of our cultural and literary heroes, that the better we become, the larger the challenges we face are.

However, that’s not what’s putting me off. Life is hard, but conflict and hardship make it interesting. However, it occurs to me that I haven’t stopped trying to prove myself worthy of love. Despite telling myself I don’t believe in love anymore, I still find myself wanting it. Though I feel like I’d have nothing to give. I can’t offer children or wealth, or even a place to stay until I can afford to move out of the back room of my Grandparents house.

 

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Intimacy often feels awkward, embarassing and one-sided for me too.

 

Relationships would just complicate things anyway. Even the idea of socialising seems pointless. I sometimes crave company, but not enough to be worth the risk of becoming emotionally attached. Maybe love will find me when the time is right. When my assets are greater than my awkwardness and social anxiety. When my life is stable enough to know that I’m with someone because I truly love them, and not because of some selfish emotional need to feel loved and desired.

Any affection I receive would be charity on their part at this point in my life. If I work hard at becoming a success, I may eventually become worthy of love. Though no matter how hard I work I’ll still never be able to produce a family, so the whole thing seems like a waste of time. Why bother working so hard to become an attractive prospect when I’d be trapping any woman interested in a life of changeable moods, intermittent attention, and childlessness?

I like to write, but the pressure I’m putting on myself to accomplish ‘success’ is taking all the fun out of it. If it’s truly not worth the effort, then why am I even trying?

 

Please don’t worry. This is not a cry for help. Just processing some feelings I’ve long been suppressing.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

kidwely5
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.