Tag: blogging

All I Want – Meeting My Purpose

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Those of you who have stuck with me for a long time are familiar with my constant wavering of purpose.  Do I try to make money with my blog(s)?  Do I try to write a non-fiction book?  Do I try to sell things on Etsy and blog?  Do I try to become a novelist?  For so long I didn’t even bother talking about being a novelist because I had literally given up that dream  before I ever had a blog.  And then I got past the barrier that was keeping me from writing novels and while writing fiction I was in my element, the same way I am when I draft patterns.

Which isn’t surprising because fashion and writing are my two main passions in life.  Pattern drafting is creating just like fiction is, though obviously it has a more practical application.

When I was draping and drafting the apron for the “A is for Apron” book I felt the same way I do writing fiction.

That I am meeting my purpose.

It’s the writing that is essential to me though.

Writing this blog is vital to me for clearing my head and my heart and my spirit.  This is where I expend the energy that gets in the way of the more focused writing.  This, and facebook.  Writing Stitch and Boots is important to me to keep a journal of the food I’m making and the urban homesteading projects I’m getting up to.  But it’s also become a stress because I’ve tried to treat it like a professional blog.  I started another blog project and it’s a great idea and I could totally pursue it…

But it is a distraction from what I really want.

I want to write novels and be an urban homesteader.

I want to make enough money as a novelist that I don’t need a second job.

I want to write my blogs as way to let off steam and keep a journal of my activities and my thoughts.

And that is all I want.

Treating Stitch and Boots as a professional blog takes too much time.  Starting a whole new project that isn’t a novel takes too much time from my goals.  From what I really want.  So why do I keep doing it?  Why am I forever trying to think of how to make Stitch pay or coming up with new ways I could make a living?  To make Stitch successful as a business I would need to give up writing fiction.  Turning blogs into a source of income takes a lot of work – it’s a job.  It doesn’t matter how much you like doing it – IT TAKES A LOT OF TIME.  That’s the bottom line.  And even when I was spending all that time I never was able to make a go of it.

Which is, I believe, because it has always been a substitute for what I really wanted to do.  To be.

I have spent countless hours rewriting what I have come to refer to as “chapter twenty-fucking-three” because it’s what I want to spend my time doing.  Meanwhile the thought of recipe testing to get more content up on Stitch sounds tedious.  What I really want to do is just post the pictures I have of the mushrooms that we found growing on the property.  I don’t even have the energy to do big research on them but I’d like them on the blog so I can refer to them at a later time.  If I treated Stitch as my personal urban homesteading journal I would just do that.

And so that is what I’m going to do.  I’m going to BE a novelist and an urban homesteader.  Right now I have a second job (which is desperately important) but some day I will make a living writing.

I need to wear a sign around my neck to remind me not to create diversions from what I want.  The only person who keeps getting in my way is myself.  The only reason I keep following these other ideas and complicating things for myself is because I’m afraid.  I’m afraid that I’m going to find out that I can’t write novels well enough to make a living writing them.  I’m afraid of failing.  So I keep trying to figure out how I can develop an income to support writing for a hobby.

But I am not a hobbyist writer.  I never have been.

When you really want something you have to walk towards it with intention every single day.  You have to push obstacles out of your path.  Sometimes there are big obstacles.  You have to ask yourself at all times if what you are doing is supporting your goals or hindering them.  If what you are doing is hindering them – stop doing it.

I’ve finished one novel and almost finished publishing it here on this blog.  I have another novel half finished and the outline for the next Cricket and Grey book.  I have books to write.

Yesterday I entered Cricket and Grey in the Amazon Breakout Novel Award contest.

Whatever it is you most want – set your coarse and don’t veer from it.*

*Unless what you want changes along the way – which happens sometimes and it totally fine.

The Truth is in the Subtext

You know how sometimes you’ve got more than three separate learning curves going on at one time, and how it turns your brain to oatmeal?  I am there, my friends.  I’m working hard to re-format all my recipes on Stitch and Boots so that they are a) easier to read b) printable c) will lure the search engines and d) so I can impress you.  I’ve added a plugin to my Stitch blog that helps me do this but it means I had to register for something that required an image for “branding” and I’ve had to learn how to use the plugin and then, apparently I have to register my blog with Google or something.

The funniest thing ever is that I’m working so hard on Stitch and the traffic has gone down by a significant amount in the last month, I’ve barely worked on Better Than Bullets, posting lots of really emotive late night stuff and my wardrobe fun and my traffic has been going steadily up recently.  What gives?  Better Than Bullets is usually the very slow quiet idiot child with all the ranting and politics and silence inducing revelations.  Who can say?

Simultaneously I’m having to learn how to apply for healthcare through the state.  Things have changed since the last time I looked into getting (at least Max) covered by state programs that reduce your rates and the last time I looked we made way too much money to qualify for any discounts while simultaneously being much too broke to afford paying for private undiscounted insurance.  That was three years ago.  We’ve been without insurance that whole time.  Well, it has become clear that Max is going to need more mental health help and medications there’s no way we can afford without insurance to pay for part of it.  Meds for his issues cost almost as much as a cocaine habit, but without any glamorous plummet into seedy street life and fun hanging out with dealers hoping not to get shot while you wait.  Two friends, independently of each other, told me to check it out again.  There’s one plan that’s just for kids and on our income it isn’t free but discounted (the examples of costs per income bracket look promising – it operates on a sliding scale now) and Philip and I may have a much better chance of getting insurance too.

You wanna know what changed?  Obama did.  Obama raised the poverty level to match actual current cost of living data rather than what it was twenty years ago.  Obama made the children’s health care program a priority.  The adults in Oregon still have to get a lottery number and wait for their number to be picked, apparently, but we couldn’t even qualify to get the number before.  A dear friend of mine got covered, thank god, because she needed hip replacement and is unemployed and was therefore uninsured and you can’t go get work when you can’t walk well or stand for long periods of time.

Thank you, Obama.

-A whole bunch of redacted comments and swearing about Obama haters.-

Slinging paperwork with bureaucrats requires a lot of patience and usually reveals problems and errors in one’s collection of official documents.   It’s a delux can-0-worms.

Meanwhile, I have received more agent rejections.  I want to say I don’t care.  I want to not care.  I’ve now got 4 official rejections, 1 implied rejection, and 4 unanswered queries it’s too early to dismiss as rejected by silence.  So, a new batch should go out.  But that means working on the pitch some more.  Because I’m thinking my pitch still seriously sucks.  Doubt keeps creeping in and I know that soon I’ll need to work on my other novel again because maybe my first one is just too boring and no one will ever publish it?  I know I need to not think like that, but at least you can’t tell me that isn’t often the case.  I am feeling pretty deflated by the whole pitch writing stuff.  I keep saying I’ll get better the more I do it, but honestly?  I think my pitches are getting worse and worse.

I’m tired.  Very very tired.  At least I’m done reading the mediocre book I have been struggling with.  The one with all the icky foreplay and the annoyingly “innocent” 2o year old heroine (with the maturity of a 14 year old).  It is unkind in me but it made me wonder what the hell this author’s pitch was like – this book got an agent and a publishing deal.  I can kvetch all I want and throw my coffee cups at the wall, but obviously she’s a better pitch writer than me, and I know from experience that pitching is the most challenging bit of writing an author has to do.  So kudos to her and her pitching skills.

And thank god I’m free to read a better book now.

If I sound all negative, I’m not.  I mean, it depends what minute you’re talking to me in.  My life continues to feel like a rollercoaster ride.  Well, I’m off to make of the rest of the day what I can.

UPDATE: my friend Skye has explained that it isn’t likely that it is the Obama administration responsible for raising the amount you can earn and still qualify for the healthy kids program, it is more likely that it’s the state’s doing.  She explained it very well but I can’t explain it as well as her so I just thought I’d mention this for anyone interested.  And yes, so sad not to be able to thank Obama for this change.  Seeing as I like him and think he’s way better than any of the scary awful Republican candidates up for consideration right now.  On the other hand, it’s nice to be able to thank my state for something.