The Dream

“Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream that no one but you can see.”

I came across this quote some time ago. I’m not sure who said it or really how I came to find it, but it resonated with me. Maybe because I have this crazy dream where I am going to become a published author and share my little world with everyone. But it’s scary as hell. Because first, one must pull a story from the depths of one’s soul, and secondly, because every force in the world seems to be working against following that dream and people can’t seem to understand why you would want to quit your well paying job to pursue this. I mean, I get it. I wonder myself. But I did it. And I’m still not sure if I’m better off. If nothing else, I’m committed, or should be.

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Still Sick & So Busy

Alas, I was not quite better, as I thought I was, and have fallen sick again. Booooooo. I hate it. After a short shift at work, I spent much of yesterday in bed, sleeping, sweating, feeling gross. Today was much the same. I woke up around 10:30 and then kinda dozed in and out of consciousness for a few hours, sweating and sleeping, and sleeping and sweating. It was kind of terrible. I’m feeling a little better this evening, but who knows if that will change come tomorrow morning. I find when you fall ill, it’s either the mornings, or the evening that are the worst. At least that’s the case with me.

To top it all off, we’re in the process of moving, which is never fun. And after one more day off tomorrow, I go into a very busy six days of work. Let me tell you, I had one day of work, a day off, and one day of work, and those two, separate days at work took it out of me. Not really sure how I’m going to go six in a row without really struggling. No matter what, I’ll get through, but it probably won’t be fun.

Alas, through it all, my writing has fallen by the wayside. My plan was the have all my chapters written/rewritten before the 10th. It’s the 11th today, and I can tell you that they’re not done and I honestly don’t have the capacity, or the time, to get them done right now.

It’s been weird. Over the last few days, I’ve spent less time working and less time at my computer and online, and it’s been good. I feel well rested and stress-free. Of course, that’s very likely just because I’ve been sleeping 10+ hours recently. It’s probably that, and not my aversion to the computer. However, I do think limiting my phone time might be one of my goals for the New Year. I don’t think it causes me undo stress, I think it’s just a massive time suck. I spend a lot of time scrolling through Instagram looking at pictures, or through YouTube, trying to find something to watch. Instead, I want to use that time to be more productive. That’s one of the big goals for the New Year. I want to get into a lot more things, and I need time for that. Taking away useless time will definitely make it easier to get those new things in.

But, goals are for another day. I want to recap my goals from this year and see how I did, and then set my goals for the coming year. I’ve slowly been collecting notes and thoughts about them over the course of the year, and I think I’m getting there. But I’m glad I have a few more weeks to get everything sorted. 2020 is going to be an awesome year. I’m just going to keep putting it out there.

The Dreaded What Ifs

As the year comes to a close once more, I’ve been reflecting on the year, and that leads to reflecting on life in general, and that means I start to think too much about what could have been. I think I’ve said it before, and I’ll always say it again, but the “what ifs” are some of the hardest things to reconcile with.

I’ve had relationship what ifs, I’ve had career what ifs, and education what ifs. I’ve wondered if things have happened for a reason, or if I’ve let them fall apart. I’ve been wondering if I took the right path through life up to this point, and I hate it. I usually try not to question things that I can’t change. But in the middle of the night, as I try to get to sleep and my insomnia roars its ugly head, these are the exact things that come up.

Sometimes I wish I could go back in time, with all the knowledge I had now, and start fresh. Not from birth, but maybe from 17 when I was stepping out into the world alone. Or maybe a little before when I got my first job. For me, my first job was great because it meant I could have things, and food was great too. Not saying that I was that impoverished growing up that I didn’t have food, but I didn’t always have food. It was like, once I got a job, I had to really start taking care of myself, paying for sports and extra curricular activities. You grow up fast when you have to do that. You become an adult too soon, and then all your money goes towards that one thing. As much as it would have been nice to defer school for a year or something after I graduated, I didn’t really have a choice. I didn’t really have a place to be, so going off to school made the most sense. But I didn’t really want to go, I only went because I was told I had to. And I think that made a big difference. I had to be there, but no one told me what I had to take so I just took courses I found interesting, which was great for my mental health (mostly) but also led to me not having a marketable degree, at least not for anything I would be interested in. But honestly, even if someone in my life had told me how important co-ops and other things were, or if I had come back from the future to tell myself, maybe that would have helped. But that brings back the problem of growing up too soon and having to take care of yourself. It’s harder to apply to a co-op and take off, knowing that you might not make as much money as working for the summer, and then you won’t be able to afford the next semester. So maybe it was a path that I could never “what if” off of. This is why I try not to think about where I’ve come from, because I think I arrived here because there was no other path. Well, maybe there was, but it wasn’t apparent at the time, nor do I want to take the time to try to find the “what if”.

I think the biggest thing that affected a lot of my life, and still to an extent does, was/is my mental health. I had to make a lot of choices around what I knew would be toxic situations. There were some things that, maybe I could have done which would have changed my path, but they would have destroyed me and I don’t think I would be around, or be the person I am today. And that’s not a fun thing to think about. The thing with mental health is, when it takes over, you need to prioritize it, even if you don’t want to. Well, that’s something I’ve learned at least, and it’s made a difference. I’m in a place right now where prioritizing it is a little harder, and I feel trapped, and that’s why I’m running down all these “what ifs”. They’re hard not to think about, especially as I’m attempting to follow my dream and feel like I’m getting nowhere.

But the New Year is coming, and that’s something. That’s something I can hold onto. I can push through the rest of the month, work as hard as I can, and then start fresh. Although, at this moment, I’m not sure that I’ll be able to get this book edit done by the end of the month, so it might drag into the next year, but we’ll see. At least I am still excited about my book and the story. I don’t hate writing. I still love it, and I think that’s a miracle sometimes.

The “what ifs” are there. I think they always will be. Even if everything works out and everything seems perfect, no doubt there will be a “what if” at the back of my mind. I think I just need to do my best of minimize how much I think of them, and to take steps to ensure that one day, the “what ifs” won’t matter.

Sick

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been working so hard lately, or if it’s just because it was due, but I have been out of commission for the last day and a half. Yesterday was the worse. I was down for the count for the entire day. I woke up at about 10 in the morning and found I was sweating – never a good sign. I proceeded to sweat and pass in and out of consciousness for the next few hours before I managed to stay awake for a few hours and eat something. Then it was back into the in and out and the sweating. So much sweating. And just pure exhaustion. I didn’t have any crazy symptoms, like no sore throat and no stuffed up nose. Mostly it was just a bit of a cough, if anything, and just being very tired.

I highly suspect it’s just exhaustion finally catching up with me and pounding me into the ground, which is rude. I had four days off, and I did get a little done, but I also felt a little off the entire time. I slept more than I had for quite some time, which was good, but obviously I needed it. I worked today, and it was a struggle, but I got through after doing almost everything I needed to. I then came home and had a nap. I got up from my nap to have dinner and now all I want to do is go back to sleep. But there are things I should be doing. And not just that I should be doing, that I want to do.

As much as I’ve been moaning and complaining about my book, I still love it and definitely want to get back into it. I still have those few chapters to do, and I want to. Just like I want to get back in and edit the whole thing again. Part of me wants to get it done so I can move on, and the other part of me also wants to hold onto it forever.

I also have some Christmas present to wrap, which is something I do enjoy. And I need to clean my room and organize things, etc. Yes, so much to do, but being sick has made me just not want to do anything. Even now, as I’m laying in bed writing this, I just want to roll over and go back to sleep. But I won’t! I’m off tomorrow and don’t have any commitments until later in the day, so I can sleep in like crazy then. I’m hoping that settling down and getting a few things done between now and when I have to collapse into bed for the night will make me feel better. Even if it’s only a few things, at least it’ll be something. And honestly, that will feel like a win today.

Struggling

I’ve really been in my “feels” for the last little while. I’ve been trying to push through it and ignore it, because I know if I go down the rabbit hole, it won’t be a good time, but the reality is that the “feels” are becoming more and more prominent and it’s making regular life harder and harder. I hate that. I’ve been here before, so I know what it’s like, but honestly, it doesn’t make it any easier knowing that I eventually came out of it.

Lately, I’ve been feeling lost.

When I was younger, I had all these hopes and dreams. But you could say I dreamed above my “station” which means that everything I try to do a million times harder. It doesn’t help that the cost of living is just ridiculous. I currently live with my mom and her boyfriend and there really isn’t anyway for me to not, just based on the cost of living. I make a fair amount of money, for sure, but the cost of rent is just ridiculous around here. And we don’t even live in a big city or anything. I hate it. I miss my independence and I feel trapped. I also feel like I’ll never get out of here, and that’s hard because I’m getting older and older. It’s crazy that this is the reality of life. I can work hard, make money, and still not be able to afford my own place. Sure, it probably has something to do with my job choices. I could maybe find a permanent full-time position instead of my casual temporary position and my seasonal employ. But if we’re being honest, the “casual” position is becoming more and more akin to full-time, and we only call it “temporary” because that’s what I told them when I first started there. I was only supposed to be there for a month and now it’s been more than two years. Plus, with invoicing on the side, like I said, I make money. I just can’t justify $1000 for a place when I was paying less than that to live in downtown Vancouver, you know? So I feel like I’m stuck.

My lovely mental health has been struggling lately, too. It happens around the holiday season naturally, and the weather probably isn’t helping. My anxiety is high and I can feel my depression pressing down upon me. I’ve been so good for so long, and normally I can shake it off pretty quickly, but it’s not happening this time, and I think it’s because of the above mentioned factors. I have so many dreams that I’m pursuing, but I also feel so lost.

If I look at it objectively, I’ve done a lot over the last two years since I quit my job and decided to pursue writing with everything I have. Okay, so maybe it hasn’t been everything I have. I still need to keep querying, and that’s definitely not helping the mental health. But I’ve written two books (almost three if you look at what I have sitting in a draft for my third book), and I’ve edited them like crazy. I’ve had many people read my book, and even if they wouldn’t normally read the subject matter (young adult), they enjoy it, and I think that’s pretty awesome. I had someone send me a message the other day after she had just started the book who said “I have only read one chapter so far but I have to say, you got it, the text flows so smoothly….” That is such a high compliment. I have to hold onto those compliments, and the people who keep asking me when they can read the next book, to keep me afloat.

Even just writing this, I can already feel my anxiety levels dropping a little. Also, it makes me want to get back into editing my book. Honestly, I think coming to the end of my time with this book might be contributing to my “feels” as well. I’m definitely excited to get this book finished because I want to send it off to people, but I’ve decided that, when I finish this edit, I’m leaving this series behind for a while, and that kinda sucks. I’m not going to lie, I’m excited to go into a new project, but it sucks to leave this one before it’s finished. It’s like not reading a book or a series to its completion. While, for the most part I always read a book/series until the end, there is one series that plagues me, and I have a feeling that will be the same case here, even though I know how the story plays out and how it ends.

Anyway, I feel a little better about everything now, and I’m just hoping that I can keep pressing on, keep writing, get back to querying in the New Year, and make 2020 the year that everything comes together and everything happens.

I Did Nothing

Yesterday I was off. It was the first day of four off in a row, which is huge for me. I haven’t had more than one day off for a long while now, so four in a row means that I have no idea what to do with myself.

Ideally, I’ll use these days to be extremely productive. I’ll write a lot, edit some, make videos, clean my room, blog, etc. I’ll function not just as a regular person, but as an extreme person! I’ll do all the things. That’s the ideal. I’m on day two right now, and I can tell you that that hasn’t been the reality.

Yesterday I stayed in bed for a lot of the day, just watching YouTube videos and then binge watching Kim Possible on Disney+. I have no regrets. Well, that’s a bit of a lie. What I can say is that I really enjoyed myself. I spent a lot of time relaxing. I did a bit of cleaning and tidying in my room, but for the most part, I just chilled. Did I need it? Probably. Do I still feel bad about taking a day for myself? Yes.

In all fairness, near the end of the day I did try to settle down and get some writing done. I looked at chapter 15, which is one of the ones I need to rework/rewrite, and I tried to do so for about 45 minutes. It didn’t go well. I think the main problem was that, what I had to start was not a good foundation. Which meant that, as I tried to add to it, it just go worse. My solution was to skip ahead to the next chapter that needed some work, and then make my way back around. Here’s the problem. That next chapter relied heavily on what happened in chapter 15, so that would automatically be a struggle. BUT! I was smart enough when I went through on my last edit, to put notes in that chapter for chapter 15. So I copied and pasted the notes to where they’re supposed to be and then gave up for the night. There was no easy skip, and I think I’m going to have to rewrite chapter 15 in its entirety. I’m not mad about it. I think it’ll make it a better chapter, but it still kinda sucks, especially when I did put quite a bit of time into it.

At one point, I stopped and asked myself if I really needed that chapter in the book. But then I had to decide if I was just asking myself that because I didn’t want to write it I think it was the latter. In any case, we’ll see. I would rather write it, though, and then cut it later, than not do it and realize at a later date that I should have. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Today, I am hoping to be more productive. In fact, I already feel like I have been, and that’s a win. My room is clean. I’ve sent off one #PitMad pitch and will send out another later. I’m not doing three today because I was lazy and stayed in bed too long. And then I’m hoping to crack down on editing a vlog or two, as well as attacking and defeating that chapter. Fingers crossed it all goes to plan, but if nothing else, it can’t be worse than yesterday.

A Small Victory

It may not have been lot, and it may have taken the entire day and several sittings to get it done, but I finally managed to finish writing chapter 12, which was one of those ones I felt like I had to add to the story.

At just over 2,000 words, I’m surprised it took me the whole day to get through. Actually, it’s a little worse than that. I had written some of the beginning before the day started. Still, baby steps are sometimes the only steps you need if you string enough of them together. Only six more chapters to get through before I can go back into my next edit. In good news, even though I’m near the beginning of the book, I don’t hate the story. That, in itself is progress for two reasons. One, I feel that the beginning of the book is currently a bit weaker than the end of it. And two, I’ve been knee deep in this book for so long that it’s a miracle I don’t hate it. I’m once more excited for it.

Maybe it’s because I know the end is in sight (kinda). Maybe it’s because I’m excited to share it with people. Or maybe it’s because those people are excited to read it. I spoke to my gramma yesterday and she asked about it and if it would be finished before Christmas. I doubt that. I told her hopefully by the end of the year. Then she asked me to let her know when I was getting close to finishing it so she could reread the first book and refresh her memory. I know it’s my gramma, so she’s going to support me, but it’s really cool that someone wants to, not only read my new book, but is willing to reread the first one so she’ll be set when she gets the second. That’s pretty neat.

I have a fair number of books that I’m willing to read over and over, and I think it would just be the coolest thing if someone, someday, wanted to do the same for my book. Yeah, not bad.

Anyway, away I go to try to get a few more things done before I tuck into bed for the night. For any writers out there, ready to query, the next installment of #PitMad is coming up on Twitter. Prepare your pitches and let’s to this!

The Problem

My current problem is that I have troubles prioritizing what I should be doing. I was having troubles about a week ago where I was prioritizing writing and editing over cleaning my room, and doing laundry, and functioning as a regular human. This week I switched focus, and now I’m struggling with the productivity on things that actually matter. Writing hasn’t happened for quite a while now, and I don’t really want to even look at my book, which is a terrible attitude. It’s not surprising, though, because I just had a crazy month of editing, including that last crazy push at the end of last week. Blogging has been falling by the wayside as well, and I don’t like that. I like coming on here and writing down my many random thoughts.

Wow, I think I just figured out the major problem here. See, I’ve been able to do all these creative tasks for some time now. I’ve been able to daily vlog and daily blog pretty consistently, while also working on my book and working a real job, a little. Now, however, the “a little” has become a lot, and work is taking up more of my time than it used to. This makes sense. Well, that sucks. I can’t just not work. I wish I could just not work and have everything else help me survive, but that is honestly not feasible in this exact moment. Maybe later, but not now.

Okay, well, in that case, I guess I’m just going to need to figure out how to work smarter and harder in the time I have available to me. I basically just need to stop being a lazy bum and spending too much time on the internet. Of course, all work and no play… But there’s other things I want to do with my time, other than just watching YouTube videos. I don’t think I’ve read a single book this year, which is terrible. I love reading. I love reading so much. But I just feel like I haven’t had the time. Okay, I’m remembering that I went on a trip earlier in the year, and I think I likely read a book or two while I was enroute. But still. I used to read a least a book a week. And now I don’t. It’s not something I’m looking to rectify before the end of this year, but I definitely think it needs to be on my goal list for next year, among other things.

Wow! I can’t believe it’s almost the year and I’m going to be reviewing my 2019 goals and setting some new ones. That’s crazy! But right now, I think I’m just gonna focus on getting through this week, and the next, and the rest of the month, while maintaining some sort of sense of normalcy.

I Could Really Go For A Vacation

After the year I’ve had, and how much I’ve worked, how much more I’ve taken on, and everything that’s gone on in my personal life, I really just want to step away from everything for a while. I want to relax and let go. I want to not think about what is happening next at the theatre, or if I need to jump on the computer and do invoicing. The number of emails I send and receive on a daily basis just for my remote work is crazy.

I just always feel like I’m working.

What’s more, I feel like I always have to be working. If it’s not one thing, it’s another, and lately my To Do list has been getting longer and longer each day and I’m not really sure how I feel about that. I’m constantly exhausted, but whenever I’m at home I feel like I need to be doing something. Which is why I need to step away and take a vacay, I think. It doesn’t even have to be anything exciting. I’d be happy enough to go stare at trees. Or lay on a beach. Or go to Disney. I could do that, too. Of course, that’s just as exhausting because it’s go go go. Maybe that, and then a beach vacation.

I say all these things like I can truly afford to just disappear. Well, I probably could for a while, but there’s other things and goals I’m working toward that my money would be better set to go towards. But maybe, just maybe, I need to make an exception. That’s not going to happen this month, that’s for sure. Nor will it happen in December. Maybe January could be good. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve almost booked flights somewhere. It’s been close. I was almost there today, booking flights and hotels. I just couldn’t 100% decide on where I wanted to go. Maybe I will soon. Maybe this will continue to be a dream. Whatever the case, I think I need to slow down a bit on the work front. But somehow, I don’t see that happening any time soon.

Book Three

The current book I’m editing is part of a larger series. It’s a series that has been with me for ages and has grown along the way. I have the whole thing planned out and I know how it’s going to end. I am so excited to get to the end, in fact. Mostly because it means that then other people will get to see the end as well. There’s a few problems with that, though.

First of all, the end doesn’t happened until the end of book five. That’s fine, I can deal with that. Secondly, I’ve told myself that, after the final edit of book two, I’m going to step away for a while, focus on something else, and then, eventually, get back to this series. It makes sense. I mean, I can keep querying book one, and I use the word keep quite loosely, and maybe something will come of it, but I’m not so sure. Or I can more on to something else that I think might be a bit more marketable at the moment.

The problem is that, as I’m getting closer to shelving this series for a while, book three has been calling my name. I lay in bed at night, trying to get to sleep, and my brain goes “Hey! I’ve got this great idea for how book three should start”. Or “Here’s a really interesting thing you could work in.” And “What you have right now doesn’t really make sense, but if you make these few changes, it’ll be a much more realistic story.” All those thoughts. As I am trying to get to sleep. And the worst thing is that they’re good points. So when I think about them it makes me excited about book three.

But I said I was going to leave this series behind.

It’s actually funny, but I already have about 75,000 words of book three written. It happened when I was writing book one, and before I realized that it was a series, not just a trilogy. I had about 75k of book three, 50k of book two, and another 60k or something of book one. I underestimated how long it would take to get through certain areas. But none of the work will go to waste, obviously. I will use, or have already used, a lot of it. I think that 75k is laughing at me though, and that’s also why it’s so tempting to continue on. That, and the fact that I love this story. There was a reason I chose to write this particular story first. It wasn’t because I thought it would be an easy one to convince people to represent. It was because it truly is something I enjoy. It’s a book I would want to read. It’s a series I want to read. I want to finish it so I can read it.

I know what happens. I know how the story goes. But it’s not the same as when you’re writing it. You don’t always see the bigger picture. Still, while editing, I forget stuff happens and get too excited, or panicked for my main charter. And I shouldn’t feel these things because I know how it ends. I know everything that happens. But even as a reader of my own work, I get so invested.

So now the question is, do I stick to my plan and switch focus, or do I keep going on something I absolutely love?

Another Productive Day

Looking back over the month, I feel like I’ve been pretty productive, all things considered. On a daily basis, it doesn’t feel like that regularly, but looking back, as I’m nearing the end of the month, I think I can be pretty proud of the things I’ve accomplished.

It’s been a very busy month at work. I’ve been working almost five days a week every week, which I know is pretty typical for most people, but for the better part of two and a half years, same the summer, I don’t work that many days. Usually it’s around 3-4, and even then, they aren’t long shifts. I used to work ten hours day, five days a week, but I retired from that life. This month has been pretty crazy, though. The theatre has been getting more and more busy because the programming is amazing, and also, the shows have been selling out. It’s growing pains for everyone and we are working on creating more depth within departments so we can grow in a productive way and not fall flat on our faces. It’s been nice because my department was one of the first to grow, and that means I have help when I need it and I won’t have to work 7+ days in a row anymore. I like that.

Besides working like crazy, I also edited a book. I started on the first day of the month and I started pretty strong. It didn’t last, though, and I had a rough week where I edited almost nothing. It honestly got to the point where I didn’t think I was going to manage finishing the edit by the end of the month like I wanted to. The plan was to finish two edits by the end of the year. I started at the beginning of November. Which meant that I had to do each edit in a month. It’s definitely manageable, but losing almost a week was definitely a blow to the goal. I’m pretty sure the only reason I managed to get it done was because I did 57k on Sunday. That was about a third of the whole book. In one day. Yeah, I don’t think I could have finished if I hadn’t had such a solid day. I have less than a week left in the month, and I’m hoping to fix a few chapters that either need a full write, or that just need a bunch added to it. So that’s the plan for the rest of the week.

I’ve also been editing videos on a regular basis, which is awesome. I’m still a little behind, but I managed to get three done today, so I’m going to call that a win. So today was super productive. I finished everything on my to do list, and I even stayed in bed until noon. I was awake before then, but I wasted two hours just chilling. I also slept for about twelve hours last night, which was most definitely needed.

While I have been very productive this month, I’ve also been constantly flirting with burnout, and I think that’s something I need to watch, especially going into next month when I want to get another edit done, and also the holidays will be upon us. Holidays always kind of bring out high levels of stress and less sleep, so I’ll have to be careful, but if I can keep it together, I think I’m bound to finish out the year strong.