Gatekeeping

So, I’ve been beating my head against this post for a while. The last few days has been really difficult trying to figure out just what the hell I am doing with my life. I’ve felt like this probably my whole life. Why is it that someone has abundance, while someone else struggles? How is it that someone can just go out and buy an $80k vehicle, while some of us are driving an old worn out piece of shit?

Today, the agency I write for released the top ten earners for the month of March, which is arguably my worst month ever writing for this company. I might have made around $300. Nothing is moving. The assignments I can pick from are usually already choked with other posts, or the guidelines are overkill. Two PDFs and a tutorial to write 1000 words on something they have outlined the piss out of, with an insanely high rejection rate. I guess it stands to reason the picky clients are the only ones who have jobs available, because nobody wants to spend an hour working on something with a 90% chance of being rejected.

The top earner made $8700 in March. All I could think was “How the fuck did anyone manage that?” The assignements lately have been complete dog shit. Am I missing something?

I just feel a little…lost today. I don’t know what the hell I am doing. I feel like I have the opposite of the Midas Touch, where everything I touch turns to crap. My aspirations at freelancing and especially travel writing are stalled. Yet, somehow if I watch a YouTube video or a TikTok of someone making a go at it, everything looks easy. For whatever reason, nobody seems to want the content I’m producing.

And before you offer up advice, just know I’m venting, I’m not looking for solutions. Seriously, I had one person comment that I needed to just make a food blog once. Mostly because that’s all they are interested in. Yes, because the other 40 billion food blogs out there haven’t already saturated what could be considered a market. I tried a food post and it flopped harder than my usual shit.

I’m reluctant to start a Fiverr account because it will just be another attempt for me to reach another evolutionary level that for whatever reason I’m not allowed to participate in. So, basically an empty booth for my services people couldn’t give a fuck about. And I’ve seen the videos for some people who could hardly string a few words together to make a sentence making six figures a year and turning down work because their Fiverr is so lucrative.

My travel blog is dead in the water. People only read this one because they might see me Taylor Swift somebody I once dated or I discuss my miserable fucking existence during my marriage, which I blame for being about ten years behind any trend or opportunity, because now I have to compete with Millennials, GenY, and bots from India for clicks or likes or whateverthehellelse I am trying to accomplish here.

If I were a 19 year old girl with a giant rack and tank tops, I would probably be killing it. I’m a 46 year old divorced dad losing my hair, who writes a bunch of shit nobody will look at, much less buy. My ex-wife was right, bless her black and malignant heart. Of course all the years I could have been doing something about my life, I was taking care of her ass. And now I have nothing to show for it except emotional damage, lots of attorney bills, and trauma.

The world doesn’t want people like me.

There’s a blogger who posts pictures of birds with bad puns as the caption that gets hundreds of likes…meanwhile, I try to tell a story, and all it does is serve as a platform for self-aggrandizing. I’ve been accused of whining. Like maybe 10 people will read it. Half of them are scammers liking my post to hawk fake cialis. You should see my spam folder.

I’ve been told my work is too “editorial.” Not sure why some people can be editorial AF and I can’t be. Maybe it’s not in my stars.

I just keep thinking I’m missing something. Is there some kind of club or goddamn ritual sacrifice I’m supposed to do to actually put my talents to good use? In other words, turning my abilities into a way to make a living?

Not a lot of people can write and even fewer can write well. I can write real good and yet…

So it goes.

There doesn’t seem to be any goddamned reason behind any of it.

What I’m left with is editing a book nobody will buy because the goddamned publishers would rather print another Ruth Bader Ginsberg biography for kids or some Live Laugh Love shit than anything that I would write. More gatekeeping. I’m sick of all of it.

Between the failed blogs, the failed podcasts, the lack of outside interest in pretty much anything I try…I’m not feeling encouraged to keep going. Whereas it feels like other people can just spit a peach pit out the window and it will grow a whole fucking arbor.

This buzzing in my head

Today has been a rough day. I dropped my son off with his mom at 7:30 am. For the last several days, he said he wasn’t ready to go back. He had three weeks solid with her because she decided to quarantine him because of suspected COVID19. For years, she has been a hypochondriac. Since I know as a dad, I’ll get no sympathy, I decided not to fight her on it. There’s not a court that would say right now, “Lady, just let the kid go back over,” much less any police who would. So my son came back for a week. On Thursday when I suggested to her that he stick around for a few weeks to make up the time, she threw a fit.

It was my son’s idea. He just wanted to spend some time with me. He misses me and I’m sure he doesn’t want to deal with the hysteria of a “Pandemic” at his mom’s place. But, you know, there’s no such thing as a reasonable request when dealing with her. There hasn’t been for 20 odd years.

So, he went back to her today. He was sad, and I’ll be honest, I’ve been a little bluesy about it myself. I feel like I let him down. Sure, there are times when all he does is jabber about video games, and Nerf guns, and Army stuff, and other things he has gotten partial information of on YouTube, but I miss having him around. I miss the company too.

Today, I piddled around with some day job stuff. A whopping total of five emails. I have a month left before the job ends. Today, I invoiced clients for my writing job and didn’t do too badly. The plan was to take today to work on projects I want to work on. Not the blogs, just my own books. I had a great desire to work on the fantasy novel. I got 250 words in and just fucking couldn’t. I distracted myself. I cooked. I fiddled with my new AppleID because the old one was attached to my work email. Then I scrolled through the unholy trinity of Facebook, Email, and Instagram for what felt like hours.

The writing keeps me sane, I like to tell myself. Even now, I can feel my thoughts align instead of thinking about my son walking back to his mom’s car and already getting interrogated by her as he stood outside waiting to get let in. I can put my thoughts together instead of wondering if going freelance means I have to file taxes quarterly now because I’ll be self-employed. Or about the 1940s Ball this summer and how it got canceled this morning. Or why I can’t just sit down and write some goddamned story I’ve been thinking about for 20 years. Or why the University book hit a few thousand words and then just ground to a halt.

The paid blogs are doing great, but that is just stringing words together that mean something only to the client. I don’t care about restoring a rusty bumper or motorcycle helmet laws or any of the things I’ve been writing about for pay. Today was supposed to be my day to get things done I wanted to get done, and well, I watched two episodes of Ozark and made some funny comments on Facebook.

I wondered what the hell is going on with my life.

I fixed my AppleID and now I’m trying to figure out how to synch up my phone to the cloud because I pay for a service but I have grown to loathe Apple products so much now because none of it makes sense. Why buy an iCloud service if you can’t delete things on your computer because they delete them on the cloud too?

And what about plane tickets and AirBnB? Neither of them want to give up money for a canceled trip. I didn’t eat a bat. I didn’t release an engineered disease into the world. And I sure as hell didn’t submarine the economy because people were maybe, possibly gonna die from a headcold. For all I know, I had this crap back in September. The webhost that I had my travelblog site through claims they already chucked all my content, even though I’ve been asking them about it since February.

I think I might be cracking up a little bit tonight. I don’t even know what to say. I just run out of the words.

I’m thinking about podcasting, but what would I have to say that anyone would want to hear? I can’t even get people to read my book. Most of my readers here are spambots with sites that start with Ipsem dolerum…

Nights like tonight I used to go to the gym, but those are all closed now. I have a feeling this virus will resurge soon because people are getting sick of being cooped up and are just going to say the hell with it once it gets warm again, and the government will be clutching their pearls and everyone will go outside and catch a cold…and probably live through it.

There are only so many hours in the day, and right now I’m hating myself a little for wasting too many of them. I’ve wasted enough hours to fill up a collection of years already.

Some changes

Over the last year, my efforts to do my travelblog have been hard and other than the writing and some of the feedback I get, not especially rewarding.  I’m thinking of leaving the webhosting service that I currently use, which gets no love on Google, and just keeping my URL and writing here on my wordpress.com service.

Keeping a dedicated site that gets no hits for $200+ per year is not worth the effort.  Not when there are free services.  I mean, hey, they don’t monetize, but neither does my site. Also, my independent site messes up photos, makes everything too big, and isn’t very user friendly.

So, fuck it.

If anyone has suggestions or reasons why I shouldn’t just move everything to a free site, please feel free to let me know.  The blog has been the most frustrating part of this whole process.  Not the writing.  Just the service.  I am not a fan.