I have a video I adore that a friend of mine shared on Facebook that apparently has been getting around. It’s been getting around so much that a fellow blogger picked the same week to share it. Haha. (The artist is Ludovico Einaudi btw)
I had to share this because of how much it validates my decision to forego so much misery in the name of following my writerly dreams. I sacrifice a lot–a LOT–to focus on just my writing. There are so many ways I could make more money, but all of them would make me miserable. I’d rather be broke and happy, than rich and miserable. Think money buys happiness?
What, never watched any of those horrible reality shows that follow famous families? They struggle to find happiness as much as a welfare family, maybe even more. Heck, I have a family where financial wealth is all over the board, yet the happiness level is pretty much equal. Having the most stuff and the biggest stuff… to what point and purpose? If you aren’t happy with what you have, then how do you expect to be happy with more? I know I’ve said this before, but this is something always needs a healthy reminder.
Anyway. The video…
I admit it made me cry. Tears of joy and relief. I’ve been focused on succeeding with my writing since age eighteen. Been blowing out every last birthday candle in the hope that one day my writing will be my job, that giving people much-needed breaks from reality via my books is what the world needs from me. I’ve had so many jobs in customer service since age sixteen. I just can’t suck them up anymore. The sheer amount of misery and selfishness, the lies and greed. No more. Please, no more. I’m burnt out for good. Consumerism and corporate mentality… they’re just not me. I have other morals and priorities.
Still, I’ve been told time and time again to just get a job that pays the bills. Um, what? You want me to wake up every day dreading having to go into work, dread standing alongside the people I have to work with, dread the sales quotas they want me to meet for the day? Then go home feeling drained and more miserable? Sure, I enjoyed people every week, but I always had to wind myself up to tolerate it, especially when I worked as a barista fueling America’s horrible caffeine addiction. Even my own boss would suck down at least ten shots of espresso a shift. Holy hell.
Screw pot. Regulate caffeine. It’s a drug, remember? Anyway, I don’t want to waste time ranting about that.
Ever since I got a taste of the working world, I’ve felt this need to wake up every day looking forward to working at my job. I want it to be a career, not work–not even feel like work but a passion. The two jobs I enjoyed most were working in the pizza shop for a grocery store called Big Y, and waitressing for Ground Round. Both places had a wonderful working environment, and my hard work felt appreciated by both customers and coworkers. Ground Round met an abrupt and unforeseen end six weeks after I was hired. Another restaurant bought the place out and hired only one manager back as a bartender. The pizza shop came to an end because I landed my self a job at Games Workshop (tabletop gaming; pleasant nerdy stuff). That job was okay. I was great at teaching people how to paint models and play the game, but getting people to spend money? Not so much. Still, tabletop gaming was dying out to online gaming. I got swept up into WoW shortly after parting ways with GW. Saddening.
Bearing all that mind, I’m glad I’ve stuck with my writing. Sure, it has been anything but fun sometimes. Hopeless, pointless, a vain effort, a waste of time, a joke, etc. No matter how much other people and even myself tried to talk me out of focusing on writing and doing something more practical, I just couldn’t do it. It was like there was this invisible wall or something repelling me from swaying. I still have this inexplicable panic rise in my chest every time I consider giving up, that same panic when I was wondering what to do about going to the career institute I got accepted to.
My book launch was successful. No, I’m not in the top 100 yet, but I’m slowly working my way towards there. We did a promo last Friday. For twelve hours the book was free, and during that time period 320 copies of my book were downloaded. Holy crap! My ranking in free downloads shot up to 11th in fantasy and 1094th in all of amazon.com. Pretty cool. On top of that, it netted me my first book review from someone I don’t know:
So yeah, I’m one happy Angie 🙂
Even though I’m finally getting off the ground as an author, I’ve found a new and exciting way to stress myself out: compulsively checking my amazon.com ranking at least hourly. Bad. Idea. That number goes all over the place like crazy. Ever since it’s stopped being free my ranking has sunk as low as past 200k, and rose as high as 28k. It takes breaking the 10k marker to reach the top 100 in fantasy. Once that day comes, my publisher and I will commence getting book 2 ready for release. Oh how this excites and stresses me at the same time. I so badly want to break into the top 100 but all I can do about that is wait and hope. And keep writing of course.
I’ve managed to drop the number of times I check my ranking to less than ten times a day. My goal is 3-4. The real goal should probably be never but… yeah. I’ll work on it.