Saturday, November 17, 2018

Betting On Myself

image from by j4p4n

The Problem

Things are crazy in my professional life right now.  My “day job” is in shambles (from my perspective to them everything is the best it’s ever been or at least that’s the party line they are sticking too) and since that’s forty hours of my work week my emotional/mental life is shredded.  I feel like half a person, and that person is always on the attack, hunting for weaknesses in others to pounce on.  There’s no turning the snarky, angry, lashing aspect of myself off.  Something people don’t get: if you are a compassionate intuitive soul, you can take that knowledge and use it to be vicious.

In the middle of what for me is the worst three going on four months I’ve experienced in the last five years, I have to step back and ask myself “What can I do?”  I can’t change the policies happening at my work.  I can’t control how they are implemented.  I can’t force peers, superiors, or team members below me to be the right people to enact this cultural shift within the company.  But if you know me, there is no way in hell, I will sit back and let them wreck me without pushing back.

The Solution 

So first of the all, I’ve rejected the incompetent management and have turned around to challenge every move they make, using their own guide against them.  If I have to follow these rules, everyone will get on page now.  I will not struggle while everyone else tells me that “this is different”, and it’s “just this once”.

How I'm Choosing Me First

It’s time to come back to what I love.  What makes me passionate is writing.  I’m turning inward, back to words, and I’m turning all that frantic energy into creating space for my creative work to stand.

I’m unhappy, but part of me sees this work drama is the best thing that could have happened.  Nothing short of working at a huge corporate place that’s just shitting all over itself would have made me say: “If this is a thing, then I’m rejecting you and going back to my base.”

I’ve done a lot and continue to do a lot since I’ve turned back to reading and writing.  I’m reading more now than I ever have in my adult life, and I love that part of my life (check out my Goodreads reviews and stats here and see my "Best of Kindle Unlimited Series").  I’m writing (though mostly blogs and tweets) about 10,000 words a week.  My blog(s) pre-scheduled posts are insane.

I tried something new with the Writers’ Group where we each share a Halloween based flash fiction this month.  Chris Palmer finished and scheduled his story first.  Can I say, I appreciate how my fellow writers are stepping in and joining me on this new adventure?  I can’t express how grateful

I’ve noticed this conversation game trend on Twitter and I want in on that.  Right now I play with #theMerryWriter and #authorconfession but I’d like to play in some other Hashtag parties/conversations and I would LOVE to host a Hashtag game through NAWG.

I have more ideas and more planning than ever in my creative writing life.  I’m working in a class (the class itself isn’t going great, I’m waiting to give a full review), trying to get beta reading for the second draft of my novel “Follow Me: Tattered Veils”.  While discussing the book with my friend Ashley Sanders, I had a major break through.  Now I know what I need to do to pull the work together that I am beyond excited to dig in and execute.

Ashley and I are also experimenting with running our own writing class.  We’re talking structure and what value we could add to other writers along with all the inspiration they may bring us.  I can’t wait to work with her.  We have a very similar process and goals for our novels, and I’d love to help other people work through what their goals are.

I have an outline for a co-writing novel gig called “Familiar” with a friend in the North Alabama Writers’ Group and I’m thrilled to bits about working more with the wonderful Zach Standfield to create something cool together.

I have never chased so many avenues at once and it’s occurred to me that my job and my lack joy in my professional life brought me to a place where I had to roll the dice on my projects I'm passion about that I would normally keep as quiet background gigs.  My story telling, my ideas, my ability to network.  Stuff I’m “good” at that I figured would never amount to anything.  It feels powerful to see how things I love could bring me an ounce of professional success.  All my life, people have told me my writing would “never amount to anything” and that I “should focus on something that will make me financially stable.”  Here I am, at the worst point in my professional career, with nothing to draw on.  In desperation, I‘ve opened myself up to this blogging, social media, creative writing thing, and it seems like these “useless“ skill set has breathed new life in me.

The path to monetization is opening and new opportunities rise on the horizon.  They are taking time and persistence, but I’m seeing incremental steps towards my long-term goals. It feels like I’m proving all those people who told me my skills and me through association were “nothing special” and “not valuable” wrong.

Have you ever been in a terrible situation at your job or life where you needed to get out?  What did you do?  Are there other angles I’m not exploring?  Did you ever follow your passion regardless of the money or the risk?  What was the outcome?  Do you have advice/regrets/victory stories?  Talk to me.

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