Blocking

You know what else has been blocked besides the Suez Canal? Me! So, I’m posting today to talk about ways to overcome those blocks and hopefully some of this advice rubs off on myself.

I recently moved my hosting for my travel blogging website to a new domain host. This is the second time I have done this, and I’m hoping the third host is the charm. Some of the problems I have experienced is the learning curve for things like this. Honestly so much of it is fumbling my way through the dark and realizing at the end of it that if you just pump a little bit more money into it, it would work.

People make money off the internet, whether it is TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, or back in the day some personal blogs that went viral. The best use for a website nowadays is using it like a storefront, or marketing yourself. I have never been able to get my sites to monetize properly. Even when I had a trial affiliation with Amazon. Not a single shiny nickel was paid out for the links I had plastered all over my sites. But a kid on TikTok blows salad all over his friend with a leafblower and he has new Nikes for the next three years.

So, as I sat there all week, trying to figure out how to rebuild my website and how to do it right this time, I could feel that frustration begin to build. My mom asked me how I was doing on things in an almost “Get a move on” tone and we even wound up discussing my renovations on the house which have stalled after putting up drywall. On the weeks where my son is with me, the majority of any day is letting him use the computer, because schools demand that a kid stare at his lessons for at least six hours a day, rather than just letting them do the work and turn it in. When he’s on my computer for school, I’m not on my computer for work. But it is considered vital for a bunch of ten year olds to Zoom in every day like some split frame movie with a frustrated and bedraggled teacher at their epicenter.

So I’ll save the renovations for when he’s doing school.

I have pitches to make, queries to locations too, and unfortunately a lot of that hinges on having a decent website to refer people to. If you are a writer and hate building synopsises or pitches that is 99% of what I have going on right now. So rather than beat my head against the wall, I decided to write today. It is the second day I’ve been writing instead of fighting DNS and ICANN and Registrars and all sorts of other web-fuckery.

It felt so good to write. Even though it was right in the middle of the story and I don’t even know if I can use it. It was necessary.

Like that freighter blocking up the Suez Canal I had too many things going on at once and by just ignoring some of them I got to do something that felt good for my soul. I made coffee, poured it into my favorite mug, and sat down and just started writing. Now my head is clear for other things, and I have a train of thought that I can use to continue working on the story because that (as much as I enjoy doing it) is work too. I’m not a web designer. I don’t know about proxies or a lot of that technical crap. But I can write content, I know about SEO, and it would be great just to get to that instead of screwing with the technical stuff that a webhost always says is going to be easy, but really isn’t.

Anyway, as the weekend approaches, if you find yourself in a bind, remember to do something that fuels your soul. All the rest of your problems just might figure out a way to go with the flow.

A writing rut

So, not counting the copy I was writing for life-sized sex dolls a few weeks ago, lately my writing has ground down to a crawl. That company is now gone. The agency where I get assignments has determined that those sorts of clients are pretty offensive and chose to release them. I don’t mind one bit, because they are right.

The process of moving, doing some renovation work on the house, and of course the stress of dealing with legal BS and the impasse of those difficulties has been distracting me from working on the book. I’m not a fan. The few times I’ve been able to sit down and write, I just stare at the screen. I wonder where that momentum went that I had back in October. I used to just fly high with the word counts, sometimes writing until 3 or 4 in the morning. The story was telling itself.

Now that I’ve moved, I almost feel like the story was left behind in those walls where so much of it happened, and now the memories, the emotions, everything else are just fading away.

Tonight, I sat down to write some more copy for companies. This one was a website in Australia that sells high-end strollers and prams. I have enough versatility to write the Queens English, with all the old school spellings (just throw some more U’s into the mix), but the work is on-spec, so it could be a while before I hear of anything. I need to get caught up. I need to focus on writing for paying customers.

*As a note to my ex wife’s attorney–who seems to be one of my most loyal readers these days–just because I wrote something doesn’t mean it is/will be selling. Wordcounts don’t mean much in this game. Look up “On spec” if that isn’t clear to you yet.

The More You Know | BRAIN TRUST MUSIC

The book is stalled, but I have been working more on the personal site. My readers are always supportive and seem to enjoy the stories I am sharing. The big questions of “Why am I doing this?” and “Who even cares?” haunt me. When I get some feedback, it feels good and it justifies work that right now I have been doing for the love of writing alone. Some feedback is nice, because writing is very lonely at times. Though the words you send out into the world might affect others, and reach dark corners of their heart and shine light into them, you might never know that.

Sometimes when you talk to people they don’t understand why you would do something unless someone was paying you to do it. To them, I would have to say money doesn’t have anything to do with the currency of the soul. You should try doing something you love just once without expecting to get paid for it. You’ll live longer. You’ll be happier.

The book is stalled where I left it, which is about 3/4 of the way through the story. Maybe tomorrow will bring something new and the words will come to me out of the aether like they did before. What I do know is I am ready to do more. I just need to stop getting in my own way.

*further note. It doesn’t help a writer’s creative process when someone is stalking them online and using misquoted or out of context versions of what they wrote against them. In everyone’s common interests, stop getting in my way and let me work. Thanks.

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.