New Aspirations

Working to get started as a freelance writer is turning out to be more difficult than I imagined. I’m not delusional or believe that filling out applications and applying to positions will get me in the door. My experience in writing is limited to personal advancement and self-study. I haven’t accomplished anything in the writing field or worked as a freelance writer before, and my education is limited to what I have achieved in high school.

Madeleine Reid Eye Practice (C) Terran Designs @ DeviantArt.com

For the past couple of weeks, my focus has narrowed to working towards finding freelance writing projects to work on. My focus was transcription. When they say you need a typing speed of 60 words per minute, they aren’t lying! With the speed at which people speak, you need higher speeds than 60 words per minute. I had to keep backtracking to catch up.

I didn’t realize that you needed to be able to let the words coming from the audio flow direct to your fingertips. Let go of yourself and let the ears, eyes and fingers do it all for you. It isn’t easy. Far from it.

I have gotten pretty far with three leading companies.

The first, I pushed through all the assessments and skills tests to the finish. But I didn’t make the cut. With a forty-five-day waiting period until you can try again, I can’t reapply until May 10th. And I will be trying again. I haven’t given up yet.

The second, I got through all the skills assessments. To succeed, you have to get high marks in all sections of the assessment. If that one question hadn’t stumped me at the finish line, twice, I would already be working. I wouldn’t be typing this now. I would still be working on whatever work is available. But that one question continues to stump me, and now I have to wait thirty days for my retries to reset.

And the final company, I went all the way to waiting for an interview. My resume killed me. I have no accomplishments, no education, and no experience to sell myself with. I gave them what I had, but it wasn’t enough. And this is fine. Taking courses for transcription would aid me in getting a job of this nature better than me banging my head against a wall doing it on my own.

Hitting this wall has shown me another opportunity that is available. Going back to school.

Another wall to hit on. This wall is my fault. Researching the possibility on the internet has turned up some discoveries and inevitable pit falls. I started school after my son’s birth and quit school while pregnant with my second child. What did I go to school for? Business accounting and management. Now I have student loans to worry about.

According to the website, as long as my loans aren’t default, I am able to return to school. I may even be eligible for other loans, or prepare to pay for the new education on my own. As much as I wish to return to school, I lack the means to catch my loans up or pay for school on my own.

And the wall is still standing.

After receiving the notice that my application for the third transcription company was turned down, I did what anyone does and got all depressed. Admittedly, I am desperate. Not to make the kind of money that will allow me to live without concern, but to give for my family what’s needed at the least in case something happens.

It’s in this desperation that I’m making newbie mistakes.

During my battle of depression my husband made a comment to me about my book. The novel that I have yet to finish and is being neglected to find a position with a stable-ish income of both work and pay. He said, “Why not turn your book into a light novel and publish it through Amazon? Publish it one chapter at a time instead of the full book all at one time. That’s what light novels are.”

Hate to say this, but he has a point.

In writing my book, I jump from one scene to the next. And through this jumping around, I create scenes from the book, a book of alternate plots and twists, where I can’t seem to make my mind up. If I start publishing or working towards getting it published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, I can do the chapters one at a time with a discounted rate as a result of it being a part of a book.

Or, as this idea seems monetarily uncomfortable for customers interested in my book, I can go ahead and start working on polishing the scenes already crafted and deciding which plot I wish to keep. Which plot makes me feel is more put together and realistic in today’s world. Working on a Chromebook means that my access to Microsoft Word on my Behemoth (Dell All-in-One – it weighs a ton when carrying it around) is barred, but I can work around this. For the time being.

I am keeping myself plenty busy, which means that I haven’t been keeping a regular program with my blog. I’m going to start making it something that happens a minimum of once a week for posts to keep in touch with all my readers. I apologize for not doing this sooner.

Sincerely yours,

Terran.

Glutton for punishment.

It’s been weeks since I have posted anything. I apologize to my followers and subscribers for not being steady. Getting back into the mindset that this is my occupation, to keep going, is rough. We are experiencing life in the apartment. It’s a struggle with all the incidents that are occurring to keep this up.

Having problems getting all the adults on the same page. The mother of my stepchildren is into her ways. I could say I understand what she’s going through, but I don’t. In fact, I don’t understand half of what she’s dealing with.

At this point, I don’t care to try.

I think I’m dealing with depression. My mood swings are becoming erratic. I go from destabilized to numb, from angry to numb, and back and forth. Sometimes, all I want to do is stay in bed and let my husband and her figure everything out. I don’t have the energy to keep doing this.

When we discussed this situation, I doubt this is the result we hoped for. Each of us come to an impasse, and my problems lie in her current motivations and decisions. Her lack of resolve to help with chores around the apartment unless someone asks this of her. The constant doctors’ appointments. Driving. Dealing with issues that aren’t my responsibility.

I am exhausted, stressed, and depressed. I have my own children to take care of. My own bills to pay. My life is whittling away while living in this situation.

I find I have to force my compassion and sympathy for her situation. Her medical issues, her wish to live outside 9-to-5 schedules to make end’s-meet. I want this, too. She started years before me and has found minor success, but constant procrastination to tend to business is wearing thin on me.

And I can understand that the package, the internet and TV bundle we purchased for the apartment, that promised unlimited data which, in fact, is limited to 15 gigabytes, is ridiculous. She could have asked for my phone at any time. All she has to do is ask.

She came into this claiming to be an adult, but has displayed consistent childish tendencies. Now we face a food shortage if she continues to fail to find a method of reminding herself that seven people live in this apartment and all need to eat. We have an entire cabinet for junk food, but this won’t nourish us.

I hate to admit this, fearing she may read this post, but her brother was right. About her, keeping on her case to get up and deal with her two boys, not letting her sit down for long periods of time on the computer. She hasn’t done much of that since buying her own PS4, but the same scenario applies.

This situation is convenient, but not worth the trouble or stress involved to stick with it.

Household responsibilities are 50-50 between my husband and I. I shouldn’t have to say anything about her helping with the chores. The house is a mess. The floors, dishes and trash speak for themselves. Bedrooms speak for themselves.

Yes, she helped buy the van, helped get the title and taxes handled. I owe her the money back and I will pay it.

This is the real world. People need jobs to make money. Money for bills and necessities. For food. This isn’t The Sims. We can’t open the refrigerator and buy ingredients to make food as we need it.

Would be nice.

But it doesn’t work this way.

I apologize if this post is dark and depressing. I find that this is my outlet for resolving my issues. Talking to her directly is touch and go at best. Never know what I have to say will push her to have an anxiety attack.

I wish I could write inspirational articles. Articles that inspire people to be better than what they are. All I seem to be writing is this mess.

When my main computer is fixed, I will be able to do more than what I am doing now. It has all the important programs to showcase my true talents. This replacement laptop isn’t up to the level of my Dell AIO. I long to show you what I can do.

These posts are depressing.

In days to come, I may post some excerpts from my novel on my blog. Give you a taste of what I am working on. I won’t give you too much. Enough to wet the pallet.

Enjoy the rest of your day.

Questioning myself.

Advancements in technology are advancing as years pass by. The world is reshaping the way people express themselves and reach out to others. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media outlets are making it easy to express ourselves in new and interesting ways. Taking pictures, meeting new and interesting people, keeping in touch with friends and family, and sharing ourselves with the world.

Sharing ourselves with the world.

For people who know me, that isn’t something I do. I am the epitome of a hermit or recluse. All I need is food, drink, utilities, and the walls that support my house. Well, apartment, for the time being. And money for the bills.

It takes time to prepare myself to venture out of my home. Less now with four children attending school and two adults lacking the legality to drive themselves. Alternating schedules, a child in trouble, chores piling up, and my writing is limited to one or two hours a day. No time to do anything else.

My original reason for blogging is to express the hardships in my life. A way to release the stress of routines and issues that arise. A diary can work better than a blog for this purpose. I understand this now. My ranting and raving isn’t helping anyone.

Since creating my blog, I’m researching different methods of building the blog of my dreams. I find that most advice centers around writing about what you know, taking the time to learn new topics, and finding a way to sell a product that helps others. Most of the bloggers that are inspiring these details have successful blogs and ways to make money.

Yesterday, March 19, I signed up with ProBlogger to take a free course on building a successful blog. The instructor of this course is a blogger that started his blog in 2002. He provides materials to help me understand if blogging is right for me. He presented twenty-two questions to help me figure this out. I have yet to answer these questions.

The course is giving me inspiration, topics for conversation. Topics for my posts.

A majority of the bloggers offering advice are building businesses around their blogs. Offering advice, materials, and training for others towards building these types of blogs. This is how they are making money. This is their business. That is what their blog is for.

I admire them for it. They are successful.

But I’m not interested in building a business like that.

Not saying anything is wrong with this. I’m happy they can do this and make money. Envious, even. It helps give me insights into how the writing world works. A side of it.

I want my blog to be a success, like what they have built, but I don’t believe I’m capable at this level to inspire others to branch out into freelance writing and go at it hard. I can’t get myself organized. Doubt I can help others get organized while I’m struggling with the prospect.

My goals for writing are to entertain others. Perhaps through my crazy misadventures, they get a chuckle or a laugh. Something I might write will inspire them to face similar situations with a different perspective. Or be prepared for what awaits.

Writing for the public is a method of advancing my writing to a new level. My goal is to publish a series of novels based on a character I’m developing. This is my purpose. A public blog will prepare me for the discomfort of being in the spotlight.

After reading this, some of you may have questions. I want to inspire comments. I have a question for my followers and my visitors.

What is the force that drives you to write? Is it an interest in your topic? Is it a passion? The prospect of earning a living? To reach out and help others?

Comment on this post with your response. I will answer any and all comments as I receive them.

I appreciate you joining me today.

Terran.

Dreadful nights.

Illness is a parent’s worst enemy at the best of times. Put this nemesis in the mix of an apartment shared by seven individuals, and you have the inevitable nightmare that will spread the illness to each tenant. If you are fortunate, one or two of the children will contract the virus responsible for breeding chaos. If you are not, be prepared to fight this battle while suffering the symptoms that are associated with the virus in question.

This paragraph summarizes the events of my weekend.

First signs of illness sprang up on Friday. My husband, C, ate leftover Chinese from a popular buffet in the area. It isn’t uncommon for anyone in our immediate four-member household to become susceptible to food poisoning from this buffet. In fact, it’s a game of chance. Half of our visits end without health complications. Half of our visits are plagued with long nights and countless visits to the trash can or urinal.

This past instance is the deciding factor that restricts future patronage to the buffet.

Friday, C left work and walked over to the emergency room a block over. After meeting him there, waiting two hours while the systems were restored from crashing, a thunderstorm brewing and raging overhead, we made it into the back to a room. A urine sample for testing was administered to make sure he was not under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.

Once in a room, the visit went quick. The head nurse came in, introduced himself, discussed the symptoms, and stated that C was not the first experiencing this ailment. He was the tenth this man had seen today, with the same symptoms and issues. Nature is being spiteful.

With prescriptions for nausea and pain, an excuse for leaving work, and the understanding that negative events were unfolding at the apartment, we leave. We take the note to his workplace before returning home.

At home, M is an emotional mess. Her ex-boyfriend, JB, is contacting her with the hopes of reuniting. But this ship has sailed.

Saturday comes. C feels better, overcoming his slight bug. Nothing worse occurs.

Sunday. Yesterday. What a pain.

My daughter, H, takes a nap in the middle of the day. She starts in the van while waiting for C to get off work. When we return home, she naps on the reclining love seat. At supper, C wakes her to check if she’s hungry. She isn’t, and she goes up to her shared bedroom to sleep on the bed.

This is the sign that the illness has infected her.

Supper is hot dogs, boiled in a pot, snaps and peas, and fries. The toppings available are condiments that we purchased at Walmart, sauerkraut, and Sloppy Joe mix. The children get the entree, hot dogs, any toppings they ask for, and one side. Entree and one side are required for the meal.

After everyone has finished eating, H comes down from the room, hungry. She attempts to eat a hot dog with some toppings. She finishes her meal and moves herself into the living room to watch YouTube with the other children.

I am upstairs writing. I’m working on potential scenes for my book. The plot has changed yet again… Close to bedtime, H comes up the stairs and into the room. She declares she’s having a horrible evening. She has vomited on the rug we purchased and a blanket she is allowed to use, shared with M.

Evidence of illness is confirmed.

I go downstairs and gather the contaminated items together, moving them away from the boys. I attack the mess on the rug. It’s a shag rug to match the furniture. I go through two cloths and a couple of rounds with the hose attachment on the vacuum. Once satisfied with the result, I move on to gathering the rest of the contaminated items and putting them in a laundry basket for washing.

How I wish we had a utility hookup for personal machines, a sacrifice we are willing to make.

H stays in our room where we can watch over her. She is up and down more than five times throughout the night, with a wastebasket to hunch over from the bathroom upstairs. At one in the morning, she settles into slumber.

To my relief, she doesn’t expel anything more this morning, but I take her to the doctor to be sure. I want her to get better. As long as the expulsions don’t return, we should be safe. If they do, I have to take her back.

I count our household fortunate that nobody else seems ill. M was ill before C, and C was ill before H. I have felt ill all weekend, but that is the result of something else. I know this to be certain. If we can avoid any further illness, we may survive Nature’s attack on us.

This has yet to pass.

Vigilance, determination, and preparedness. This is my checklist.

Choices we make.

Handling anger and conflict is something we as individuals all deal with. A comment here or a remark there, can escalate a situation in the blink of an eye. At times, some instances go beyond the boundaries of what is considered is acceptable or proper for the situation. People get spiteful and vindictive. Any little thing can set us off.

This is also true when we receive advice or criticism. Not everyone takes it well or reacts the same way. In fact, due to our unique personalities and experiences, everyone does react differently to any given situation. As well as the choices that we make every day.

But what if it doesn’t come at us directly? What if aimed at someone close to us? Whom we care about deeply enough to make sacrifices for to lend a hand when and where it’s needed? Is it okay to take the insult that is directed at that person as a personal insult against us?

I have a feeling you may say “yes.” It’s almost second nature to come in defense of someone you love as a member of your family. Any insult paid to them is an insult paid to you through association and consideration. Any conflict that arises drags you in and places you in the same quandary as the individual taking the brunt of it.

If the situation grows beyond the boundaries of controllable to hostile, you would get involved, right?

The questions now are: How do we go about processing and adapting? Do we lash out? Try to control the flow of negativity on our own? Or involve the proper authorities?

I suspect it depends on the situation at hand. I have a situation in mind to focus on for this post.

In an earlier post, I introduced my current household to everyone. Seven people sharing a four-bedroom apartment, three adults and four children. We moved into the apartment on March 2nd, a day later than originally planned. Our original target was March 1st, when the apartment was to be ready for us. Robert and Terrance, the maintenance men working to get everything finished, were already at the apartment, rushing to get the finishing touches completed.

A minor setback had them behind schedule. This didn’t bother us. A major setback had us behind schedule. It all worked out.

The week of the move is when it struck. A lightning bolt out of the blue. And all from a lack of communication, to avoid any conflict.

M, my friend and roommate, was living with her brother and his wife at the time. She had been there since later 2018, between Thanksgiving and Christmas. She had been kicked out of her earlier home by her roommate and lover, to whom I will refer as JB, over her two children, D and E. JB said that he couldn’t deal with or be around the two of them anymore, and he had no choice but to let her go.

Her brother, JF, came with his van and collected M, D, E and their belongings. M, D, and E began living with JF and his wife. JF and his wife live in a three-bedroom house. D and E had a shared room, JF and his wife had their own room, and M had her own room. In late January to February, M began working at KFC in our local area. Everything seemed to be going well.

Then, her babysitter decided to bolt without a word. Her younger brother, A, was her babysitter, and he didn’t contact her until later, letting her know that he couldn’t deal with D and E. This is where I became involved. D and E are the biological children of my husband, C. C and M used to be married, and thus it became necessary that we do anything we can to help.

Over the weeks that I have watched all four children, C, M and I came up with an agreement to make everything more convenient for the lot of us. To streamline the process. Get a house together. We have lived together before, while they were still separated, but it didn’t work out at that time. Too much emotional carry-over and not enough space or time to readjust.

It has been about a decade now. Our problems are resolved. We are all friends and on great terms. We all share in responsibility of watching over the children. And now D and E have their father in the picture, as it should be.

I will not lie. The atmosphere are tense. The apartment hasn’t been unpacked and arranged. Dealing with a bit of a space issue. More furniture than we can place. Boxes are still scattered here and there, but it’s better than last week. Now that we have a van.

Poor Impala. Not enough room for seven people. At a better home.

JH’s house is for sale for $110,000. Our original plan was to finance the house through a bank. It fell through. The three of us lack the following:

  1. Credit.
  2. Work history.

Sad, but true. I quit my job, like a child, August 2018 to begin homeschooling my children. Tired of fighting with the public school they attended and their Montessori programs. I will discuss Montessori at a later time, but it isn’t like traditional education methods. It requires self-motivation from the students to complete assignments.

C didn’t get hired until October 2018 at KFC. His original target was Burger King, but that fell through. For three months, we were dependent, living with his grandmother. What was supposed to be financial aid on our part turned out to be a burden. Hurricane Irene delayed his application process.

I went back to looking for another house. An affordable house. And found one. A foreclosure for $16,500. Four bedrooms, two or three baths, fenced in yard with room to play, and plenty of space for all. Not far from the courthouse, in the heart of town.

This plan was also a dud. The house was listed on a website that isn’t updated. The house was purchased September 2018, months ago. I was devastated! I put days into the search for a house.

We found the apartment. The listing was for three bedrooms and one bath. When I called to speak to the landlord, I discovered she had purchased it. If we could wait until March 1st, a four-bedroom apartment would be ready for us. We waited. We placed the deposit to hold the apartment, signed the lease agreement, and we were ready.

The week of the move, tired of having to deal with her relatives, we arranged to have her stay with us. We brought bare necessities, clothes, shoes, and uniforms. We went out and purchased necessities for the house. Dishes, utensils, towels, and odds and ends.

A couple of days pass and it’s Thursday. Friday, we are geared to move. Come Thursday morning, M’s phone starts pinging like crazy from message notifications. Her sister-in-law is furious. Over the course of our arranging, M has been warned that C and I are drug addicts, we are out for her inheritance, and we will leave her to fend for herself. It will not take long before we will bail on our deal.

All over money left to her after her father passed in 2018.

This isn’t the first time someone accused me of being a drug addict. One of the reasons why my children no longer attend the school with the Montessori program. Someone sent DSS our way. An unfounded venture. I worked double and swing shifts as a shift lead. Natural that I would be inattentive and flighty during a parent-teacher conference.

We aren’t desperate for money to want M’s estate for ourselves. We have everything settled to repay what she has purchased for our household needs, van included. And this is a mutual venture. She brought this to us, not the other way around. Her family doesn’t give her enough credit.

The following rules are established:

  1. C and I aren’t permitted into the house. On the property, yes. House, no.
  2. She must come after work at four without delay.
  3. She can’t postpone and get her belongings at a later date.
  4. JF and her in-law must be present.

This is all fine. Other ways around the first hurdle. The rest are agreeable. Work to their beat, not our own.

Come Friday, after stressing M out Thursday before and after work, we go over with JH, my brother-in-law, and get ready to begin. JF and his wife are both on the porch, smoking. We pull up into the driveway and wait for JH to arrive with his Jeep and trailer.

The moment JH backs his trailer into the proper driveway, JF and his wife both go into the house, locking M out and preventing her from getting her belongings. C and I stay in the car, watching M standing at the door, looking at us. She knocks on the door and speaks to her sister-in-law.

A new hitch arises. The wife demands M replace a queen-sized mattress protector that she claims D ruined. M explains what her sister-in-law means, stating that D had chocolate in his hand and a small spot has stained the cover. No bigger than a dime.

By this point, my blood is boiling. This is harassment. I don’t condone harassment of any form. It leaves a negative mark on people. M has endured enough stress the past four years to last a lifetime. She is getting back on her feet, and we all get hit by this drama.

C was livid during the text message exchange, but this situation boiled my blood. Washing machines are intended for the cleaning of more than clothing. I wash comforters, pillow cases and sheets in them all the time. Protectors are no different.

This is my example of how situations can escalate. It seems foolish that someone can enforce new rules on a person without considering the consequences beforehand. JH called the proper authorities while C and I drove to Walmart and purchased two different protectors. By the time we arrived back to JF’s house, the police unit was nowhere in sight.

All because chocolate was smudged on a mattress cover.

People need to realize choices they make affect others. Every action produces an equal and opposite reaction.

M didn’t communicate her feelings to JF or his wife. She didn’t try to explain what she was doing or why she made that decision. She made the decision not to deal with either of them directly, worried them, and it became a hostile situation. Her in-law decided to see her actions as an insult. She became upset and created controversy that was unnecessary. Both sides were on edge, and nothing good was achieved.

The move itself helped achieve the end result, true. Yet, the ending could be better. There has been no contact between JF, his wife, or M. This means that their relationship is now suffering and sinking. Business still exists between them, and that will have to wait until they can reconcile their differences.

But that is a topic for another day. In the end, it isn’t for me to say which way they go. They will have to deal with that on their own.

One can always hope.

A necessary evil.

Rejection. We all face it at some point in our lives. A boy/girl you like doesn’t feel the same as you. Your parents tell you that you can’t drive their car after you get your driver’s license. Your application to a renowned and well-established university is denied. Applications you have filled out for employment opportunities are dismissed. No matter the area in your life, rejection is always a possibility.

Coming into freelance writing as a career choice, I knew it to be an ongoing challenge without any doubt. I mean, look at my biography:

“I will not lie. As a writer, I am not experienced. I have no degrees in any field. I did attend an online university for a year, from 2011 to 2012, but I didn’t finish. I wanted to go back to school for something that I was interested in, but the school I was enrolled at didn’t offer the fields I was interested in. And, as I discovered early on during this year of college courses, online education isn’t an effective method of furthering education. Convenient, but not effective.”

Nothing on this particular page states that I am qualified to be a freelance writer. I have no education beyond high school in any fields of freelance writing that are in high demand. My college education amounts to Everest University Online, based out of South Orlando. My major was accounting, but I switched it to business management after enrollment was completed and classes had begun. I never finished.

I quit school due to stress within my household. Keeping up with classes, watching my son, and dealing with my second, and final, pregnancy. My husband, bless him for dealing with the double shot of estrogen coursing through my veins, worked at a local fast food restaurant. Finances were becoming an issue. We were struggling to make end’s-meet, but we were happy. Sort of.

My worst fears always encompassed our ability to care for our children properly, putting a roof over their heads, providing for their needs and some of their wants, and being as comfortable as possible within the limitations of our income. And we still do. No easier now than before.

During one of my earlier posts on my blog [Writing is breathing to me.], I mentioned finding my last try at getting published to be a rejection. Here is an excerpt from the post:

“It is a good thing that the publishing house I selected was a subsidiary and required $20,000 up front just to publish it. That helped me reanalyze my previous manuscript and account for all the newbie mistakes that I made throughout the course of its creation. Such a horrible excuse for a story. Not at all something I would be proud to call my own.”

As you can see, I was adamant at how atrocious the first manuscript I had ever written was in my own eyes. I destroyed that manuscript with as much passion and enjoyment as I get out of writing itself. I found it to be a gaping wound in my history of accomplished works, which amounts to that piece. A sad reality of my writing history, but I am happy.

This rejection in particular stung a bit. I was in high school, and I wanted to get my writing published. I was desperate. And foolish. I did the least amount of research into the process of getting published and everything about that process. I took the rejection harder than I should have, as it’s my own fault that I didn’t do more to investigate more thoroughly.

People often take rejection one of two ways.

The first way is to crumble. We are weak in self-confidence as new writers and struggle under the weight of rejection. As a result, we fail to regain traction and let opportunities for self-improvement slip by. It takes a while to drag ourselves out of that crushing weight and come back. To bounce back from the upset for the win, if we ever make it to that point.

And the second way is to realize something about our finished product did not meet the standards of the publishers. If you are like me, a perfectionist and won’t take “No” for an answer, you look at your final product and pick it apart with a fine-toothed comb. You go back through the manuscript and reevaluate every single part. When I was finished, I looked at it and put it on my bookshelf.

For a decade, I used it as a prime example about what not to do when writing a novel. Instead of rehashing it and rewriting it, I turned around and began practicing my writing ferociously. I found the following wrong with it:

  1. Characters. The main character was all strength and no weakness. She didn’t learn anything throughout the plot. Also, there were similarities between her and characters I had read in the books of other authors. It would have been a catastrophe to bring her to the world. None of the other characters seemed to hold a flame to her, either. They were all bland and one-dimensional. Fillers for the novel.
  2. Story line. Redundant. Fast-paced, which allowed the words to flow naturally, but generic. There was nothing unique about it.
  3. Twists and turns. Not enough depth. Not enough detail. They didn’t speak to me. A quick read without much reality to it.
  4. Livability. Absolute zero. Too much creativity and fantasy and not enough realism or plausibility. You could blink at it and say, “Huh?”

In all, the manuscript was garbage. A total waste of time. For a high school student that received a distinguished mark for my final portfolio, my English, College-Bound English, and English 101 teachers would have wept for my stupidity. I believed that such muck could be published and inspire others to continue reading my books? I must have been crazy!

That is the way it goes, sometimes. A deranged idea pops into our minds, and we roll with it. Some ideas manage to grab the attention of the target audience, wins their hearts, and brings them back for more. And some, like my first manuscript, get analyzed, ridiculed, and burned to ash.

I still remember the words I wrote all those years ago. Still remember the base story line, sequence of events, twists and turns, challenges, failures and successes. I’m confident now that I can return to that original piece and turn it into a novel people might enjoy reading. But I already have a better, more refined story in mind. I may return to the characters with my latest deranged idea, but not much more than that.

If you take a rejection and turn it on its head, you will come to find that it helps you grow as both a person and a writer. It opens your mind to endless possibilities of what can be. Allows you to broaden your horizons and scope of knowledge in style and flexibility. What can be and what can’t be compromised. How you sound to your audience. The level of detail and plausibility it brings to the world you are creating before the audience’s eyes.

And above all, practice. Practice, practice, practice! A masterpiece can’t be completed in a day. It can’t be published as a rough draft. The key to success is through lessons learned from rejection.

Writing is breathing to me.

I just read a blog post on WordPress that struck a chord with me. “Deciding between a writing book and starting a blog” by Sam at Living! Just search “writing” while browsing through the multiverse of WordPress blogs and you will find it not far down on the list. This blog post was so articulately crafted that I have to give my respects to the author.

A truly inspiring, poetic post.

As an aspiring novelist, it reminded me of why I originally became a writer. More than anything else, I have an all-consuming desire to be one of the long list of legendary novelists that have created masterpiece after masterpiece. Ever since I was in sixth grade, practicing writing through the utilization of twisting the original stories of authors that have inspired me and entertained me. It allowed me to explore my own creativity and possibilities regarding the prospect of writing fiction.

I am now thirty-two years of age. I have yet to attempt another go at the possibility of being published. For the past two decades, I focused more on the creativity and process aspects of writing a novel. I have accumulated a massive collection of random bits here and there, some involving the pieces of a favorite author of mine, Laurell K. Hamilton, and her Anita Blake Novel Series. I have read a majority of the series itself, and I had a huge collection of her books. Until a majority of them were damaged by a roommate’s stay with us years ago.

To speak about my writing collection like this doesn’t really speak to the volume of writing I have done. I feel it is vacant of any deep and realistic connection I have to the craft of writing. I will be rewarding you with details.

In total, there are now eight individual files, all named the same with ascending numbers from 1 to 8. Each file, excluding number 8 (and only because it is the most recent addition), is filled to around four hundred pages, not all full pages, some sections multiple pages, and carry-over paragraphs tied to some part of the writings that come prior to or following. And each file, again excluding number 8, contains around 200,000 words or more. After about that base amount, Microsoft Word starts hating me.

When I was not working at some regular job, most of my time was spent on the computer typing, hacking away at the keys the same way a lumberjack hacks down a tree. I chipped the bark off the base and started swinging away at the core. Hours upon hours, day after day, week after week, throughout the last two decades. There were some instances where I needed a break or got stuck with a serious case of writer’s block. As any writer can tell you, if you have something you wish to continue working on and can’t seem to get the information out of your head, you get frustrated and leave the throne of your kingdom.

Once the writer’s block dissipated and I was freed from my shackles, I would go back to my throne and start dictating my laws to my kingdom once again. I still become so absorbed in what I do that the world around me fades away. Unless I have to leave my throne for biological reasons, like a filled bladder, a growling and neglected stomach, to wash away the grime of the day in the shower, or just to rest my body for work and necessity, I will not leave that spot. I will reign over my little worlds with an iron fist and watch the twists and turns unfold before my very eyes.

Makes me sound like a tyrant, doesn’t it? But that is always the case when it comes to writing. Unless you can learn to make writing work for you, you will always be a slave to the ideas locked within your mind, demanding to be released. They push and shove, argue with each other over which one should come first. They may even catch you off-guard and you start vocalizing the thoughts.

I know that sounds crazy, and this will too, but I use the vocalization of my thoughts to hear it and determine if the conversation sounds realistic, or if the dialogue seems forced. Dialogue seems to be my current weakness at the moment. Some of it flows smoothly, and the rest seems pasted together by glue sticks.

The ideas for my novel have changed over the years. Like water rippling in a pond, they seem to shift from one direction to another. Whenever one thought begins to fade from my mind and appears on the screen, I move on to the next. An endless cycle of one right after the other, pouring from my mind onto the page through my fingers. None of it is thought out or orchestrated, just written.

One of the key components of my thoughts surround a single character. A muse for my consistent writing creations. I want the novel I am working on to be based on this individual’s experiences while being raised away from her blood relations. She is a mystery to those around her, an enigma, but not to me. She provides a sense of purpose for me to be able to bring her to life, to breathe oxygen into her lungs and provide her with the soul she needs in order to exist.

The main problem with this is, well, honestly, there are several plots that I have available to craft a story. I’ve worked on multiple, plausible scenes just for writing a book tailored to bring people from our reality into her world. Now I just have to choose which one I believe is likely to grab the attention of publishing companies the best. A simple choice that has become impossible to make.

Thanks to Sam, I believe that I should share some of this with you and get some feedback. If it is possible to get the feedback of writers such as myself with the experience needed to refine my final product to the selling point, I believe I will have achieved something that I have yet to since the previous attempt I made in high school, my initial blunder.

It is a good thing that the publishing house I selected was a subsidiary and required $20,000 up front just to publish it. That helped me reanalyze my previous manuscript and account for all the newbie mistakes that I made throughout the course of its creation. Such a horrible excuse for a story. Not at all something I would be proud to call my own.

Thank you, Sam. You are truly inspiring in your blogs.

Now I wish to share a personal message for this blog post.

Writing is breathing to me. A passion like no other. A flame I can’t extinguish. I am certain there are others out there with the same feelings as me. If you are reading this, take this away from the reading:

When you know you have a talent for something, instead of wasting it or putting it on the backburner, work on it until it is no longer a lump of coal. Through consistent practice and persistence, you can take that talent, mold it, shape it, and refine it into the most exquisite diamond in your possession. It will become the greatest weapon in your arsenal.

Even if you get rejected, don’t quit. Take that rejection and use it to push yourself harder. If you feel that what you are creating is excellent and don’t understand the reason for the rejection, do some research. Read the works of other authors.

I am not telling you to plagiarize!

Writers take painstaking measures to ensure that everything they write comes from the highest caliber of their arsenal. Not only is it illegal for you to take what they have written and turn it in as your own, but it also causes unnecessary distress and conflict.

I want you to take notice of what is written on the pages of their novels or their blogs.

Just reading the books or posts of others, taking notice of syntax, grammar, structuring and vocabulary, can teach you many things. Every author has a refined and individual style. You can learn a lot about your own style by comparing your written work to another author’s written works. Self-analyzing and self-criticizing is a part of the refinement process.

Being hard on yourself is a part of this process. It teaches you how to find your own voice and style.