Jump to content

Struggles With a Life Start-Over


Recommended Posts

2021 was a very crazed year for me, and it's left me with some pretty steep challenges to resolve in 2022. I'm not talking just the insanity of the United States of Germophobia and the current geopolitical bouillabaisse of apocalyptic doom. I'm talking small stuff that adds up to what John Lennon once said "Life is what happens when you're busy making plans". A rare thing he said I agree with the older I get. But marriage, out of state relocation, death of a friend, getting multiple illnesses including one that nearly killed me. Out of the top 10 psychological stressors one can face in a single year I think I faced 6 of the top 10. At least the first one was a good stress. 

 

Not the hardest start-over year in my life, but it's in the top 3. 2011 and 2013 still beat it.

 

But I've had to give up my job, for they wouldn't hear of it going remote despite it being done remote all the time. I've been unemployed ever since. I hear people screaming they need employees, yet I am getting the "we decided to go with another candidate" or it turned out they were doing the new hot thing for cybercriminals "job board phishing".

 

There is the added complication of being partially disabled (shattered elbow knocked me out of many careers, and the relocation has put me out of range for most jobs in my field of logistics). Despite what they say on the news, businesses are not being reasonable in their demand for employees, and of course my disability makes the most common (menial physical labor) jobs that are the ones people seem to be hiring for, I can't do. You may or may not know how many times I've applied for jobs "hiring urgently" and they never fill the position. It stays up week after week with dozens if not hundreds of people applying on the job websites. I've looked at their "Santa I want a pony" list of requirements they're pretending are "preferences" and shaking my head. The low pay and the 24/7/365 schedule they expect from these "desperately needed" employees and realize there's a huge disconnect going on.  I saw a job requiring a masters degree that only paid $14/hr!  I mean what is going on? Only those willing/able to do the crappiest jobs, or those with advanced degrees are being hired into better situations. Those of us who are in the mushy center of middle management levels lacking advanced degrees... well... there's no "there" there.

 

With no legitimate job offers out there for an experience logistics coordinator who's not willing to work for inflation devalued peanuts while having to deal with an "on call" schedule without recompense for customers and employers that have no respect for personal boundaries or even a laughable understanding of the realities of logistics in the age of Covidiocy... (as if they did before either. Trucks don't teleport, people... and ports have set hours they won't bend for little ol' you) I'm having to consider how to earn more income for the household some other way.  I mean, I can't even consider going back to hospitality management around here, the hotels are too far away for what they pay, and reputation doesn't feed the bulldog. The jobs are paying less than what I earned as just a night auditor 20 years ago!

 

Sigh.... basically, since the book series I have out is so niche, I can't count on it to do better than laundry money in a month, and have to get a new job somehow. Wife's got a great job, fully remote, very secure. But, I need to make up the gap in our budget. The TL:DR is I could use some prayer for a possible job opportunity doing graphic design. Right now, It's not much of anything except for maybe a couple things of piece work. I haven't done graphic design for 20 years, but I still have the eye, and just need to get my skills beefed up on software that isn't going to cost me obscene amounts a year for a subscription (looking at you Adobe). Now this week I turn to the next round of edits/drafting and see if by the end of this year, my Dream Nebula series will take off, work on music for an added bonus once the first three novellas release and possibly this art job. At least I'm not doing nothing.

 

Thanks in advance for the prayers.

Edited by M. D. Boncher
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear you're struggling with things right now.  Praying that God will get you through and provide all you need.

 

On a side note . . . 

9 hours ago, M. D. Boncher said:

Covidiocy

This is really clever and funny, and now I want to use this term.  It's so true. 😂

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, M. D. Boncher said:

John Lennon once said "Life is what happens when you're busy making plans".

 

*sidenote: Actually, he wasn't the originator of the saying. "A quote that is often attributed to John Lennon was actually first used in 1957 in an issue of Reader's Digest by a man named Allen Saunders."

 

I'm so sorry you're going through all this.These are really difficult times for so many. I totally understand. Praying for the Lord to bring His best outcome for all you need.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

Why don't you start your own business?

That's something I've been pondering heavily if I should try, but my problem is an abject lack and pure phobia of business acumen. I tried doing just this back in 1999 and made it with a partner till 2002 (living in sub-poverty levels) before it all fell apart. I'm good in the production and planning end, just not sales, marketing or business mechanics. Although I have many years and commendations for customer service over a decade in hospitality and public transportation. It leaves me so cooked off I practically ragequit life and hide under the bed with the dust bunnies by the time my workday ends. No writing right now, I'm too busy trying to calm my shattered nerves from dealing with halfwits devoting their lives to demanding the impossible for nothing and finding a diplomatic way to get them to accept that they can't have <impossible task> without being sued or fired by a just as unreasonable boss. (You can tell I've worked for some stellar employers 🙄) Even my wife pointed out how bad I was and how severely it affected me.

 

I am and want to be the hermit author. Problem is, that doesn't work in this day and age and I have no answers for or courage to implement solutions to those problems. That's been my hangup. It's also what's been hobbling my author/IP side of being a creative. 

 

But that doesn't mean I don't think your right. I just don't know how or have the intestinal fortitude to solve this roadblock.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, M. D. Boncher said:

I am and want to be the hermit author. Problem is, that doesn't work in this day and age and I have no answers for or courage to implement solutions to those problems.

 

You don't need courage to implement solutions to those problems.  Just try watching YouTube videos.  @Accord64 and @Jeff Potts are two self published authors that I respect.  Maybe they can help you out.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, M. D. Boncher said:

I definitely could use a mentor, to be sure.

 

Well, I'm not sure, exactly, how good of a mentor I'd be.  But I'm more than willing to help.

 

To that end, I created a video that encapsulates my experience in trying to self-publish my debut work: The Revenant and the Tomb.  I wasn't going to release it until February, however, seeing that it sort of meshes with this thread, I'll provide the ChristianWriters community an advance showing via my website.

 

Yeah, I know that this is technically promo material.  I bid the powers that be here for a wee bit of leniency...

 

Enjoy.

 

https://www.hphunterwriter.com//post/the-21-steps-to-self-publishing-a-book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jeff Potts
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, M. D. Boncher said:

That's something I've been pondering heavily if I should try, but my problem is an abject lack and pure phobia of business acumen. I tried doing just this back in 1999 and made it with a partner till 2002 (living in sub-poverty levels) before it all fell apart. I'm good in the production and planning end, just not sales, marketing or business mechanics. Although I have many years and commendations for customer service over a decade in hospitality and public transportation. It leaves me so cooked off I practically ragequit life and hide under the bed with the dust bunnies by the time my workday ends. No writing right now, I'm too busy trying to calm my shattered nerves from dealing with halfwits devoting their lives to demanding the impossible for nothing and finding a diplomatic way to get them to accept that they can't have <impossible task> without being sued or fired by a just as unreasonable boss. (You can tell I've worked for some stellar employers 🙄) Even my wife pointed out how bad I was and how severely it affected me.

 

On a more serious note...

 

I spent 4 years working with a guy who wanted to fire me but was prevented from doing so by the CEO.  So he went about backhanding me whenever he could.

 

Part of the reason for this is because I had a hand in having to leave a major automaker.  Well, actually, he had a far greater hand in it than I did.  But, you know, no one ever blames themselves.

 

Trust me...I know what it's like when something about your job sucks badly.  I often say that the difference between me and a janitor is not only the pay, but the size of the mess I have to content with each day.  No one's like is easy.

 

There is two ways of looking at this situation.  The first is: you can't do it.  It's too hard.  The odds are against you.  There is no money in writing, and your life sucks.

 

The second is: this is a way for your life not to suck.  It just won't be easy.

 

When I graduated high school, I had ZERO clue as to what I was going to do.  My grades were in the toilet.  I wasn't going to college.  I knew I liked playing with computers, but not much else.  I enrolled into a vocational school for electronics, discovered that I liked it, and also discovered that I was good at it.  Some 40-ish years later, I have a decent life, make good money, and really don't have the stresses and the angst that others do.  I love what I do and do what I love.

 

It was a long road to get here.  But once I found something that I liked, I just pursued it.  That's really the long and short of it.

 

Ask yourself: do you like writing.  Do you love writing?  Yes?  That's 50% of the struggle right there.  The other 50% is just pursuing that love, making mistakes along the way, and learning what not to do.  That's business 101 right there.  Don't like people?  Want to avoid people?  Well, social media fixes all of that.  You don't have to actually meet people nowadays, on their terms.  You can meet them on yours.

 

What you will have to deal with is a lot of rejection and criticism.  I deal with it now and I will continue to deal with it in the future.  It literally will sap your will and your desire to write.  However, there are a few things you should know about critics:

1) Most of them haven't done anything worthy in their life other than criticize.

2) Not everyone agrees with them.

3) Some of their criticism is helpful.  Learn to discern the difference between good criticism (20%) and trash (80%).

4) Social media allows trolls to disguise themselves as "critics."

 

As for rejection, a few things to be aware of gatekeepers:

1) Most gatekeepers will pass themselves off as experts.  Roughly 80% of experts are laughable wrong (that's from lived experience).

2) Many of them wish they could find the next J. K. Rowling (before she became toxic), while ignoring many potential J. K. Rowling types whose manuscripts are sitting on their desk.

2) Given the state of publishing today, these gatekeepers obviously suck at their job.

3) Back in the old days, you didn't get published if you couldn't get past the gatekeepers.

4) Self-publishing now levels the playing field.

 

You want my advice?  Write.  Publish.  Fall on your face.  Get back up and repeat the process.  They next time the fall won't be so hard.  Or maybe, you won't fall at all.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, M. D. Boncher said:

I've done half of all 21 of those steps, except the "promote the book". Perhaps there's a flaw to my method.  I can't imagine why?  Oh that's right, I suck at it and hate social media which is where 99% of all promotion lies. Sigh....

 

All you need to do is be yourself.

 

Well...a more enthusiastic version of yourself.  😄

 

 

Edit: most promotion is merely repetition.

Edited by Jeff Potts
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, I'll give you a prime example --> that video.

 

Did you find it amusing?

 

Was it engaging? 

 

It was also short.  It's going to be tagged as part of the AuthorTube community on YouTube.  Ever see some of those videos?  It's the SAME redundant crap from people whose books have been...well...mediocre.  Moreover, most of those AuthorTube videos are long-winded, and are about as entertaining as watching paint dry.  Who wants to listen to someone for 25 minutes drone on about their writing, their books, and their life.  The fastest way to get attention is...

 

 

 

 

...do something different.

 

Plus, you have an entire community here that's willing to help.  So, utilize that as well.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Jeff Potts said:

Well...a more enthusiastic version of yourself.

Thanks that was a serious lol right there.  In other words... moar coffee! Do they make a Meth Roast? Hmmm, that probably would have unpleasant side effects.

 

2 minutes ago, Jeff Potts said:

AuthorTube community

never heard of it, the same way that till last year I never heard of Bookstagram or Book Funnels. And of course, I hear about it all right as I'm deleting almost every social media account I have after watching a wave of bans dropped on my friends for thought crimes.  I know they say "you have to be where your readers are", and that's true, but I'm starting to believe if your readers want to live in Big Brother's Digital Penitentiary, I shouldn't have to join them there. There must be other ways.

 

that said, I do have my gamer youtube channel. I used to tape PvP matches of games I used to play and set them to music. Not for money, just for fun so I set it to music. So I have video editing software and music software because I've been composing my own music now too. Sometimes the hardest part is just putting out the affiliated work.

 

Here's a "recruitment video" I put together for my gaming guild back in the day.
 

 

Next up is figuring out how to do a merch store for my series. People keep telling me they love my covers and my series logo plus they loved the tee shirts I had made for Realm Makers last year. May as well give it to them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Jeff Potts said:

.do something different.

The one thing I thought would be kind of fun would be to game with other authors and stream the feed either on Twitch or through Discord. The problem is doing it on a regular schedule. I am terrible on being consistent. I'm working at it, but I pants my life too it seems. 😄 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, M. D. Boncher said:

The one thing I thought would be kind of fun would be to game with other authors and stream the feed either on Twitch or through Discord. The problem is doing it on a regular schedule. I am terrible on being consistent. I'm working at it, but I pants my life too it seems. 😄 

 

I am on a bunch of Discord servers.  Believe it or not, that seems to be where I'm getting the most traction.

 

The guy who narrated my sample chapter?  Found him on a comics Discord channel.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Jeff Potts said:

I am on a bunch of Discord servers

The biggest problem I have is how to find new Discord servers. There's no real good/safe database of them anywhere and it's a bit difficult to find them or join. I have my own Discord channel and work to do most of my time there, but for now, it's mostly just me and a few friends in the evenings a few times a week just talking and hanging out.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Jeff Potts said:

Yeah, I know that this is technically promo material.  I bid the powers that be here for a wee bit of leniency...

 

Comic Sans is an interesting choice (but perhaps it helps promote the book). 😉 

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/12/2022 at 12:55 AM, M. D. Boncher said:

I hear people screaming they need employees, yet I am getting the "we decided to go with another candidate"

 

I once saw a job listing for a clerk in a jewelry store in the downtown area of our city. I went in and inquired of the man who  was at the counter. He told me that the position had already been filled. Not three days later, I heard on the radio that that particular jewelry store was "GOIN OUT OF BUSINESS". I was somewhat angry.

 

 I will pray for you. I know how this lack of work can be frustrating.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, quietspirit said:

I was somewhat angry

I don't blame you. We've a company up here advertising non-stop for a position but when you contact them they literally tell you they don't even have that position and claim to not know why the ad is still out there... when they seem to think they never placed it.  I mean... wut?

 

Going through jobs available in my area right now, gas to get to the positions sometimes would consume upwards of 30% of my weekly pay after taxes if full time. I can see why people are not applying. It's a losing proposition. Some of the jobs have been up now for 6 months, but who's going to drive 30 miles for a job that pays $9/hr and 32 hrs a week or less? That's the disconnect I keep hitting. I mean I just looked at an office manager job that pays less than a pizza delivery driver job, working 10 hours a week more. (and of course the mask/vax mandates interference)

 

This is the disconnect. The chronic undervaluing of employees plus the crazed inflation that's going to be hyperinflation before Christmas this year at the rate things are going.  I'm probably going to have to try and become an entrepreneur if I can figure out how to do it, but doing what?  sigh... I dunno.  Just so very frustrated.  

Edited by M. D. Boncher
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, M. D. Boncher said:

I am and want to be the hermit author.

This is my life. Sort of.

 

You may be able to find work-from-home Technical Writing gigs. I work from home for Big Blue as a Sr. Technical Writer, a job I fell into because I had some FrameMaker and RoboHelp experience. Many places these days are Word shops.

And when I say 'writer,' I mostly mean 'editor.' Most of what I do is editing written content from Devs who can't be bothered, and I'm paid rather well (without a TechComm degree - what I have is a knack, and after 22 years, experience). 


I love what I do, as well as the flexibility of working from home. I can tell you have the ability to crank out grammatically-correct word count. All you really need is a good internet connection, a decent grasp of grammar and writing instructions in an Active voice, and (most importantly) the ability to ask questions from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and parse that feedback into written instructions. You can pick up everything else on-the-job.

It might be a long shot to get your foot in the door, but it worked for me. I think it's worth a shot.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will also pray that your situation changes for the better. Sometimes life throws in difficult situations, health issues and all sorts of "maybes." Hold fast to prayer and God's goodness and direction; He will show you the way.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.