Finding the Upside

It’s been a week full of ups and downs. At the beginning of the week it dawned on me that the freelancer site, UpWork.com, needed my banking information so that I could receive any income I make through it. Then I realised that I hadn’t notified the bank of my change of address.

The bank allowed me to fill in the change of address online, but required me to print them out and hand-deliver them to my local branch. The nearest branch is in Carmarthen, about 10 miles away from Kidwelly. Luckily my parents had some errands to run there anyway. so I could just tag along.

After the banker had typed everything on the paper form into the computer and thrown the printed forms away (yep, that happened), we discovered that GAME was hiring. For those who don’t know, GAME is a store that sells new and used video games, gaming consoles, gaming accessories, merch and used mobile devices. It’s similar to GameStop in America.

I’ve worked for GAME in the past, in fact my first ever job was working for Electronics Boutique which later became GAME. I have fond memories of working there. I was delighted to discover that the position being offered was full-time. This meant that I wouldn’t have to worry about money. I could afford to move into the flat that I’ve had my eye on, and focus on writing my own stories instead of freelancing!

I applied for the job that night (Monday), and was offered an interview on Wednesday that would take place on Friday! It was all moving so quickly, I didn’t even print the extra ‘Odd-Job Antony‘ flyers that I had been planning on posting around town. It felt like everything was falling into place.

Then the day of the interview came. Everything was going well. I looked great. Dad and I got into Carmarthen early. We even had time to chat with a chap called Constantine who was selling ‘Big Issue’ magazines. He says he’ll email me about ghost-writing a book for him. We’ll see if it happens.

The interview did not go as well as I hoped. I think I sounded nervous. I should have done more research into upcoming games. However, the biggest disappointment was discovering that the job posting on the official GAME recruitment page was wrong. It wasn’t a full time position, just an eight hour contract. Nevertheless, some money coming in would be better than no money, so I still expressed an interest in the job. I may have been too eager. They said they would let me know yesterday. They didn’t.

Oh well, I’ll keep trying to find work. I have also applied for a full time position waiting tables at a local cafe, and a part-time job at Kidwelly Castle. I’m not going to give up there’s always more opportunities. On the plus side, not being able to find work means I get to spend more time with my family. I missed them a lot when I was in America and it’s been great being around them again.

I should probably just go with it. Accept and enjoy the fact that I’m living with my parents and use the time to write every day an work on my books. I have a roof over my head and food in my belly, there’s no better time to focus on my writing. They’re not putting any pressure on me to provide an income and help them pay the bills or to move out, in fact they’ve told me the opposite. I can stay as long as I need to. After all, they’ve missed me too.

Dad gave me a model kit earlier in the week, so I built it yesterday. It’s a hydraulic arm and it was really fun to build. It was just as much fun to play with when it was done. Dad had it to give him something to do other than church stuff, but he’s so busy that he’s never gotten around to building it.

robot-arm.jpg
Pretty cool isn’t it?

When I was putting it together I dropped a piece or two. As anyone knows that has ever made anything from a kit, the bits that go flying off the sprue and go bouncing across the floor are the tiny bits that are really hard to find. When I found the bits I was very pleased with myself, and it occurred to me that at one time I would have continued to beat myself up for losing the item in the first place rather than enjoying the little victory.

In a way, not being able to get a job, any freelance work, or any odd-jobs either is also a good thing. It means I have no choice but to stay with my family and heal a little longer. It’s been a rough few years emotionally, and the unconditional love has been good for me. I should accept it as a gift.

In which case I should stop worrying about finding a job or finding my own place, and just write. That’s what I wanted to do anyway when I first moved back to the UK, but circumstances required me to earn an income. However those circumstances have changed. I don’t have to push myself so hard.

I think I’m still tying to prove that I’m capable of looking after myself. I’m not sure who I’m trying to prove it to, or why it’s so important. I do know that living with my parents and letting them take care of me is the opposite of being independent. However, being independent and successful is only really important if you’re trying to find a romantic partner. I’m in no hurry to get my heart stomped on again, so that’s out.

The main reason I’d still like to be successful though is to give something back. My sister and her fiance would like to have a home together, which they can’t until he manages to sell off his one bedroom farmhouse that isn’t big enough for my sister and her two daughters to live in. It would be nice to be able to throw money at the problem and fix it. My Dad is working way to hard and doesn’t feel like he’s doing what he set out to accomplish. Again, I’d love to throw money at the problem and fix it.

So maybe I should stop distracting myself trying to find a job that pays me now, and finish writing my stories so I can start building a fan base and earning royalties? If I remove the pressure to make money, maybe writing will become fun again and it’ll stop feeling like something I have to do.

Yep. I think that’ll be good.

Speaking of fun, I have a City of Gate update to write! Have a great day 🙂

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Resolution

My decision to become a ghostwriter is not one I’ve made lightly, and yet I still find myself second guessing the decision. I know that every new venture is is going to have a few speed bumps. A client may be unhappy with my work, they may take my work and refuse to pay, or they might just find someone cheaper and never hire me in the first place.

I may end up adjusting my prices in future, but for now I’d rather set my value high and negotiate which each client individually. Part of the reason for this is that my time is valuable. I don’t have an awful lot of free time on my current schedule. I work nights at my ‘regular job’. When I’m not at work I should be sleeping, or (on my days off) working on my own writing projects, so my time is literally at a premium.

It’s important that I continue to work on my own projects as well because, while ghostwriting (and the hotel job) provide me with earned income, the royalties from my own books will build up my passive income. They’re an investment in my future. The more books I write with my own name on the cover, the better. Each is a lot of work, including planning, writing, rewriting,editing, cover-art and marketing, but once the book is finished and the marketing ball is rolling, each book will continue to make me money in perpetuity.


The part I wrote above was written before Christmas, and before I announced the discount. The rest of this will be written today, December 28th 2017.

It’s hit me pretty hard at the end of this year that I’m not only dealing with depression, but anxiety too. Part of the reason I want to get out of the rat race and work for myself as a full time writer is that some days I have trouble dealing with the stress and bustle of a busy workplace.

The call centre jobs I’ve had in the past aren’t so bad. No crowds of strangers to deal with there. Here in the UK though, the only work I’ve had has been bar and hotel work. When I had started writing this article, the night before I had gone to work at the hotel, having already had a lot of people to deal with the night before, and found it was once again full of people.

This isn’t terribly shocking being a hotel with a restaurant during the Christmas period, but I nevertheless had what can only be described as an anxiety attack. I just wanted to run. It’s not the first time either. This time last year I abandoned a job because I had an anxiety attack and literally ran back out of the building and went home.

I have already arranged a consultation with a therapist over the phone to see about getting this problem dealt with. I’m not going to be able to achieve my goals if I freak out every time I’m faced with a stressful/peopley situation.

Scary faceless masses!

I’ve also stepped down as an admin of the Creative Writers group on Facebook. Thanks to a conversation with a fellow admin and good friend, I realise that I’m avoiding my own issues by trying to help others. Which is a laugh in itself because most of the time we’re not helping others to write better, as the group was intended to be. Mostly we’re just removing people that break the rules and argue with us when we ask them to stop.

So now I should have more time to write, more time to blog, more time for me. I’m probably going to stop pushing the ghostwriting thing for a while too. I’ll take on paying clients if I get any, but I’m in no hurry to fill my schedule with work I’m doing for others. I need to work on my own stories.

Now that Christmas is over, I just need to get through the New Year event on Sunday and things should calm down at the hotel. I can use any down time I get to work on my writing, without feeling obligated to check in on the Creative Writers group first. Hopefully, this will lead to me getting ‘Hermes925’ finished, revised and published, and the first chapters of ‘The Haunted Story: Investigation’ (a working title I came up with right now) redrafted and posted.

I’m feeling cautiously optimistic that 2018 is going to go a lot better.

I hope it does for you too 🙂

Missing the Organising Organ

Monday. I have had a great weekend and now I have work to do. Primarily, of course, I need to get writing, but now that I’m starting to get noticed, I feel like it’s even more important that my online presence is on point.

Facebook is my friend. I’ve found some great writer groups and had some excellent conversations. I still don’t know how to get the most out of Twitter, and I haven’t even looked at LinkedIn lately, but my nemesis is Google Plus. It doesn’t help that I have two active Gmail addresses.

It doesn’t help that I have two active Gmail addresses. One from when I was living in the US (copeland.tony@gmail.com) and my new UK-based email that I would prefer to receive all my writer correspondence through (antonym.copeland@gmail.com). Both accounts on Google Plus are in dire need of an update and some TLC.

I’d prefer to close my old account down completely to avoid confusion, but my WordPress account is registered to it. All my email notifications regarding this website, Games and Geekery, and any of the pages I follow still go to the old one. So I can’t get rid of it yet.

For some reason I don’t quite understand, despite the fact that the RPG sourcebook project has my new e-mail address, I received the Google Hangouts invitation for the last meeting via the old one. It’s particularly confusing because they also have me in their Google Plus Community under the new profile, as well as sending emails to the correct address.

In addition to that, I’m falling behind on Patreon.com, Wattpad.com, and Inkshares.com. Whenever I sit down to do it I become frustrated. I know it’ll take time and experience to get each of these up to date and professional looking, but I also know that it will all be pointless unless I also keep writing to provide content for each site.

I think, for now, I shall just have to leave it all a disorganized mess until I have the time and motivation to sort through it all and figure out what needs doing. In the meantime, I have a Science-Fantasy short story to write based on “The War On Magic” that I hope to submit to The Writers Of The Future when it’s done. I also have to draft 5,000 – 10,000 words for the RPG sourcebook project, and also continue writing Hermes925.

I have plenty to do without having to worry about my online image, and yet I still do. Maybe I need an intern or something to do all the social media and website curation for me? Someone who can understand html and enjoys playing around with it, who can handle all my marketing and media, so I can just write.

What are your thoughts on this?

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