Writing for Fear and Money

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In a recent episode of  ‘Exactly What the Hell Have I Done Here?’ a new drama broadcasting 24/7 in my head, Logic, a character in the show I’ve met at least once,  but only briefly, lands yet another ruthless blow to Ego, the main character.   Logic demands to know why we would give up a perfectly good income to follow our lifelong dream of writing. “HAVE YOU LOST YOUR PHUCKING MIND?” she screams (over and over and over again).   “Who will pay the mortgage and buy the groceries?   What about birthdays and Christmas and what will we tell the grand kids about the new Xbox we promised them?   And, BAM, the deadliest of strikes, “WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU CAN EARN MONEY WRITING FOR GOD’S SAKE??”

Yup, that’s right.   We, Ego, Logic, Creative… all of us… closed a successful business to stay home and write.   Sounds way sexier than it is, and out of necessity, I didn’t give in completely to Stupid, the oldest and certainly the most influential character in my brain.   To support the transition into this madness, I operate an independent insurance agency which I started fourteen years ago but recently moved out of brick and mortar into an office in my home.  Big move.

  Car-Crash-Lawyer-In-Las-VegasFunding the Dream

The dream is that the agency will supplement my writing at some point, not the other way around.   In the meantime, between liability and collision and year/make/model discussions, I am learning a completely new style of writing:  Writing for the web.

I am no stranger to creative writing.   I’ve forced family and friends to read my stories since I could hold a pencil.   But writing for online web readers is a completely different style of writing for me.  The rules are stricter, the audience is younger, and the subject matter is fleeting, at best.   Articles and stories are short.   Period.   Readers don’t spend as much time enjoying their favorite genres online (with the exception of Kindle or Nook readers). Newspapers are generally obsolete and except for the modern-day William F. Buckley’s, Op Eds are not highly marketable articles online.

Not that there aren’t plenty of creative writing sites to be found online, just that established and respected websites don’t generally pay to publish creative writing.   Blogging is a fun alternative and a great sideline to the dream of being a successful published writer (with a huge following?),  but successful blogging requires an entirely different kind of writing style and process.  For successfully published (print) authors, blogging is merely a marketing tool. I’m guessing J.K. Rowling and Stieg Larsson did not spend a lot of time blogging before Harry Potter and Lisbeth Salander made them famous.  Blogging, for them, is just a modern-day version of a worldwide book-tour.

Creative Has a Mind of Her Ownmeold

Meanwhile, Creative,  the most loveable actor in my ongoing saga of Self-Doubt and Recrimination, is  curled into a fetal position and fast asleep.   Too much confrontation for her delicate sensibilities.   She’s an artist.   She doesn’t flourish anywhere near Logic.   Luckily, an unidentified new character on the cast – we’ll call her, I’m Running out of Time (Fear, for short) – sneaks up behind Logic whenever possible and Judo chops her in the larynx.

Creative wakes up from time to time and tiptoes to the keyboard.   She sits there for hours, thinking.   And looking over her shoulder for Logic, still hog-tied by Fear, who is making all kinds of dangerous decisions on my behalf.

Logic has a point, for sure.   Changing paths at my age, to do something with no clear path to monthly income, not to mention retirement, is dangerous and terrifying.   Okay, the truth is, Fear and Ego only half took over my brain.   My husband works 60 hours a week and pays most of the bills and I still have my insurance agency, which helps.   A little.   But still.   Hard to argue with Logic.   She and Panic are becoming fast friends.

It’s not so much that I want to be rich and famous for my writing, although, I’d like you to meet False Modesty and point out that I wouldn’t turn it down.   Really though, it’s that I want to make enough money to support myself while I do something I love.   And that, my friends, is Truth. I’ve been ducking her for years and I have Dread and Fear to thank for making me face that monster.   Half of my life is over and I intend to spend most of the rest of it doing what I love.   I’m going to write.  I’ll introduce Happy when I find her.   I think she’s right around the corner.

 

  
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Auto Insurance

I wrote an article about auto insurance and the relationship with an insurance agent.  Anybody who is intimidated or dreads calling her agent to ask questions about insurance may benefit from the article.

Insurance:  Fear and Loathing, discusses some of the elements used to determine the premium for drivers and provides a few pointers for making the call or visit with your insurance agent more productive and pleasant.

 

 

Your agent should treat you with respect and building a relationship with her/him is a good way to make sure you feel comfortable discussing your insurance. If you feel uncomfortable discussing your questions and concerns with your agent, find a new agent.

 

 

Car-Crash-Lawyer-In-Las-Vegas

 

 

 

  
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Just a quick shout-out

To my husband’s sisters-in-law

Stop by any time.

Wazzup

Wazzup

  
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America’s Children

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —The FBI in Kansas City revealed on Monday the results of a nationwide crackdown on sex trafficking which resulted in the rescue of 168 child prostitutes—the youngest 11 years-old–and the arrest of 281 pimps.

At least 230 Federal, State and local agencies assisted the FBI in the eighth Operation Cross Country, rescuing the largest number of children in the operation’s history.

People often think of sex trafficking as something that only happens in foreign countries but experts say it often happens closer to home. “These are not faraway kids in faraway lands,” FBI Director James Corney said.

One of the girls picked up in the sweep was in Kansas City, Mo., another victim in Wichita, Ks., where seven pimps were also arrested.  Children in Topeka, Manhattan,  Springfield and Columbia are also involved in the operation.

The Justice Project, a peer based nonprofit human rights organization, assisted with operation.

There are no available figures for the number of children who are still in trapped in the sex trafficking industry in the US and worldwide.

“These are America’s children,” said FBI director James Comey.

 

Resources for help:

Indicators of Human Trafficking

Identify and Assist a Trafficking Victim

Help in Kansas City

 

  
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Just Another Introduction

In various online classes and forums,  there is often a requirement for new members to introduce themselves using a paragraph or two of blah, blah, blah information.   Regular intros are pretty flat and boring.  At least in my opinion.  About me, anyway.   Here’s a recent one of mine:

 

I find it impossible to introduce myself in writing to strangers, telling them a little bit about me in a way that helps them understand who I am.  I worry about the visual image my self-description creates.

I’m certainly not a gray-haired granny knitting booties from a rocker but I do have eight grandchildren.  I don’t knit, though.  I try it every couple of years.  My fingers are too fat.  The work is mindless.  The instructions are the stuff of metaphysical science and I can’t understand them.

wtf?

I do have a rocker on my screened front porch and I love to sit in it.  Since I’ve had it, a pair of them actually, I’ve assumed they were poorly made and that the chair part is placed too far forward on the rockers, causing the chair to lean forward and the rocking back action to be a task, not a relaxing endeavor which is the job of the chairs, to relax me while I stare into the abyss.

I like the chairs anyway because they look good on the porch, evoking just the mood I set out to create.

Last fall, in preparation for a hard, cold, dark, prison-like winter, I went to move the chairs into the barn for storage.  During this once yearly exercise, one of the chairs happened to be turned chair1backwards, facing the house.  I plopped into it for a quick rest and to lament the coming months of hateful hell in the middle of the U.S. (aka winter).  I nearly rocked feet-over-arse backwards and realized at once that the chairs are constructed exactly right.  My porch is sloped.  Also, my hair is not gray.  I’m a Boomer.  Full of vain pride and trying desperately to be relevant in my old age.

Nice to meet you.

  
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