June was a hell of a ride. I’m in the time of year where I have no steady work and no steady income so I spend most of the day worrying and deathly afraid of everything falling apart within a matter of weeks. I’m also in the middle of a writer’s block, so I’m hoping writing a blog post about what’s bothering me will help me get past it.
But before I get to that, there were some bright spots. I had an article posted in XOJane and got some really good reception for it. (No I didn’t read the feedback.) I talked about some of my favorite Black woman-led podcasts and why I love them. I focused on podcasts that do not have name recognition or any kind of corporate sponsorship yet manage to do so much for filling a void of Black women’s voices in media. I’ve found what these women do so inspiring and really appreciate all they do with not only their podcasts but also their other endeavors. Hopefully within the next few weeks I’ll have some more podcast news 😉
I also went ahead and started the scifi series for the website. I’ve thought about this character on and off for the past three years and finally decided to go ahead and go with the series even though it is not even halfway written. I’m looking at it as a writing challenge to keep a consistent series going. I also chose it as my goal for the Clarion West Write-a-Thon this year and so far I’ve gotten behind on my second week goal since I did not complete the chapter last week. However, I have done a web series before and later novelized it, so I believe I can write this one.
Of course, there are other issues at work, too. As I stated, I haven’t had steady work since May. My regular part-time job only allows us to work during one summer session, which means I’m out of work for seven weeks. And even when I begin work again at the end of the month, I still have much less than the 19 hours we’re allowed during fall and spring sessions. So I had to use most of my savings to make rent for this month, which means I demolished almost everything I saved in order to get to a writing workshop next year. I don’t know if I can make it up when things get better again, but I had to decline this year because I had no money to go.
I hate when things get this way. I feel that I should be able to take care of myself by now: I’m able-bodied, neuro-typical, categorized with “above-average” intelligence and possess two degrees. By all means, I feel like things should definitely be better at this point in my life. But I’m failing this adulting thing miserably and sometimes just can’t figure out how to get myself out of the hole.
I want to look more into freelance opportunities, but I’m not always sure on the etiquette when working with the same freelance outlet(s). For instance, if I have another piece for XOJane, is it okay so submit within the same week as they ran another piece or do I wait for a later time? Am I allowed to query a more mainstream publication even though I have limited pieces to my name? I’m genuinely baffled by these types of issues and not always sure how to approach them.
Another issue I’ve had is with crowdfunding. I absolutely do not want to do this again. I had some very generous help already earlier this year and doing it twice in one year feels so wrong. As I said, I should be able to take care of myself. Furthermore, most of the people within my circles are in the same or much worse positions and it feels like everyone is already stretched so thin; asking anyone else to help seems to be asking for too much.
I’ve considered doing a Patreon, but I have to ask what have I done to earn it. I’m not as vocal as many of the women who were part of #GiveWomenYourMoney (or #GiveYourMoneyToWomen – I forget) and I’m not really offering much in terms of “educating” or making a similar valuable contribution. Most of the time when I get to the Twitter convos that matter, I see others who have expressed what I would have said more eloquently and the moment is over. Furthermore, I still do not yet feel safe enough to get deeply into Twitter discussions that turn into fights because I do not have the type of support to come to my defense.
I’m also hesitant to do a Patreon to support my writing because I only seem to have one reader as far as the series goes and even with the blog. Apparently, I’m not offering anything anyone wants, so who am I to ask for money to support it. When I get no feedback, I just assume no one’s reading or “listening,” so I keep trying to think of ways to build an audience and get to the point where I deserve to ask to help keep me going.
So all of this leaves me at odds at how to get through the next month and then the next. I definitely never thought my life would be this way, but that’s how the dice were rolled. I’m not sure what will happen this month, but I have to keep going because I don’t know what else to do besides that. Maybe something will work out soon and I can sleep better and get my focus back. Until then, take care and thanx for reading.