Getting up again...
I'm not the type of person who hides their weaknesses or denies making mistakes. There's really no point when you think about it because everything comes to light eventually. And being honest is easier than lying because a lie is a story you have to commit to. And lies get tested until they break, because you might have to add more to the story to the point until you are caught contradicting yourself.
However, lying is not the point of this post. The point of this post is about the mistakes that I have made and how I rectify them. Or more specifically, the times that life has knocked me down and how I strive to get up again, stronger. So I would like to dive into my past and tell you about the times life has done such to me and I've tried to show some resilience.
Almost seven years ago, I was fired from a job. I used to manage the surveillance department at a casino. There was a big shakeup in the management throughout the company and a lot of people were losing their jobs. The excuse they had to drum up is that I posted a hostile post on my Facebook page.
I posted that "I haven't been to the gun range in a long time, it's a great way to blow off some steam."
To give some perspective to that post, I knew that I was working hard and that even my off time was always invaded by my job. I actually wanted to take a week off and I ended up getting called in every day I was supposed to be on vacation. So, I decided that I needed to find a way to relax. And I have good memories of going shooting with my uncle and it was fun to plink off the targets like tin cans and so on.
However, my employers took that as a sign that I was planning a workplace shooting. Or that is the excuse they gave me. I had a feeling that they were looking for a reason to get rid of me, but they couldn't find justification in my performance.
Nonetheless, I was terminated from that job. However, I was also attending school in the hopes of getting my bachelors degree in Criminal Justice. Which I did. I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice in December 2013, with a minor in sociology.
I was very happy to have the ability to say that I was no longer a college drop out. Even though many revered figures have dropped out of college to pursue their passions, I wanted to try for something more.
As part of the degree requirements, I worked as an intern in my hometown police department. Where I was offered a job. I worked there happily for six months and gained a lot of perspective in the police department. Some experiences were kinda funny.
However, after six months I was fired. Again I was terminated and I had done more to earn it this time I suppose. My sense of humor can be kind of bizarre and it didn't seem to fit well with the department I was in. (Records section). I was the first male to work in such a place and the ladies there couldn't tell if I was joking or being serious on what I was talking about.
One example, I was telling a story about a former coworker at the casino who once quit on the job without notice. That employee was rehired despite my objections and he quit later in the same way he had before. I was frustrated with him, and my joke was "I would've liked to leave his body in the middle of nowhere."
One of the reasons I was frustrated was that the employee had left us in dire straights, twice! Each time it happened meant a twenty four hour shift for me and possibly other workers. And when I said what I did, it wasn't a serious threat on the workers life. I'd even heard some of the ladies in the department make similar statements because someone's handwriting was illegible.
However, I didn't make a fuss when I was fired because I had done it to myself. There were other jokes I had made, and then some things that people accused me of saying that weren't true. When I was fired, I just took it in stride and left in peace. I've never made a scene when I was terminated because I know that nothing I can do will reverse their decision.
And I don't have any hard feelings to the police department or the city government. I'm still an admirer of theirs. I am also in good standing with the friends I made and supervisors. But I was depressed about losing my job and being unemployed ever since. Coincidentally, today is the third year anniversary of that termination and I've been out of work ever since.
I can't go back and put right the things that happened. I've even accepted my portion of the blame, but I don't feel racked with guilt now. I've always felt that guilt will paralyze you if you can't move past it. And I went through my phases of depression and blaming myself.
Moving forward from there though, I never have since found another job. Although I have done interviews and met some remarkably friendly people, I haven't landed a job. A little over a year ago, I began to write in earnest on my novel. I've always been a good writer, as I've been told. I just needed to take it seriously.
So I wrote a forty two thousand word novel. Novels are often longer, but I wrote to the natural conclusion of the story as it progressed. I don't feel obligated to add "filler" to the stories, because at that point reading is no longer compelling.
From that first novel, I tried to gain favor with a publisher or a literary agency. I'd done some research on the method in which you submit to such entities and I discovered that most of the big publishers won't accept unsolicited submissions. So I proceeded to try with literary agents and publishers that allowed unsolicited submissions, but just like a job interview or job posting, I failed to gain someone who was interested.
I decided to try and get me feet wet with something a little more simple that the novel. Then I came up with "Trinity the Troublemaker." Her stories didn't take as long to write and I thought it would be a more interesting topic to agents than a war novel. However, that was a bust too.
That was the point where I looked into the self publishing services through Amazon and Create Space. So I began releasing my books on Amazon. I gained several readers at that time. However, most of my readers consisted of free eBook promotions. Which I enjoy, I love it when someone reads my stories. I've been trying to build a significant following to get what they call a "platform."
It's slow growing, but I've been very patient.
In the past few months though, I've become restless. Books aren't selling anymore, and my job applications go unanswered. So I revisited my novel and began to polish it up again. I've kept good relations with a small publishing house who had turned me down on Trinity the Troublemaker.
I contacted them to see about professional editing services and helping me do the work polishing it. I sent in a sample chapter and they were very intrigued by what I had written. I don't have any money to pay them for professional services, but I've been looking into avenues of raising the money.
However, the senior editor nudged me to do a traditional submission to the company for considering for publication. I've done so, but it might be until September until I hear anything back, or later given the backlog of submissions that they receive.
Additionally while all this was going on, I had been tossing around the idea of returning to school to further my education. Criminal Justice was proving to be a difficult field to enter into. So I decided to try my hand at a Communications degree.
Even if I end up as a successful author, I know that despite the royalties I will need an income. I've read stories where successful authors might not have a book picked up by a publisher or agent that they've used before and it left them without knowing where their next check would come from. One of these authors got into the field of copy writing.
It doesn't take a college education to become a copy writer. You can apply for a certification course through certain online sources. However, that would be another job field that I would have stiff and unforgiving competition in. And my gut tells me that such an easily obtained certification would make workers a "dime a dozen." So what assurances do I have that I wouldn't be downsized if I got into a company who had a stack of applicants for the same job who could take entry level wages after I had built a following.
On a personal note, I've seen it that every time I get knocked down by life that it should become my habit to get back up stronger each time. Fired from the casino, got my bachelors. Fired from the police station, become an author and get a masters degree.
I truly feel that every time I get smacked down, that I need to come back better than I was before. It's not enough to just say it, but if I say it then I must live it. This is how I want to get back up every time. Eventually, I will be unstoppable.
Empty pockets, but high spirits...
It is not easy to live without money. Not long ago after I renewed my commitment to writing I made contact with a couple of companies that help with professional editing services. I have the hardest time proofreading and correcting my own work because I have difficulty finding the flaws in my own work. Like looking into a mirror and not believing in the authenticity of your own reflection.
These services that would help me to polish my novel up for publishing standards aren't cheap. Especially when I don't have a job or any income at all. In the past I have asked for help from friends who I trust with the job if they would be interested in helping me with the project. Despite their willingness, they just simply do not have the time to help me.
I can't blame them because life goes on and so do taxes, family, and bills. It's hard enough for anyone to make a living in my area, and I can imagine in most other areas as well. I wish with how easy it is for people to yell at me to "Get a Job!" That is would be as easily done as said.
I've considered starting up something on a crowdfunding website. However, I have a difficult time accepting money from people I know. And much less money from people that I don't know.
I've hoped that the children's books that I've published on Amazon would eventually generate a little revenue so I could invest it back into my own books. Once again, without advertising revenue I can't generate any brand awareness.
I'm too stubborn to accept money to help me in this endeavor of mine. For now at least. However, the good thing about being stubborn is that I am going to see this through until I achieve my goals in publishing. Regardless of when, it's not a question of "if."
Return from dormancy...
Hello to one and all. I am back after a lengthy inactive period. I want to catch everyone up to this point and then discuss plans for the future.
After my last post about Halloween, I began to suffer from a heavy lack of confidence. One of the publishers I had last submitted to gave me some feedback regarding my published works on "Trinity the Troublemaker." They said the book was ripe with structural and grammar errors. Additionally, I wasn't descriptive enough to facilitate to the imagination of children. Because young readers need a lot more of the work done for them.
It wasn't an easy bit of criticism to take since the books were already released. However, with the loving feedback that I've gotten from the readers, I gradually realized that the most important critics have already spoken and they love these books.
I still struggle with self confidence regarding my writings and I've come to terms that Trinity will likely never see traditional publication. However, that doesn't mean her stories will end. On the contrary I'm going to keep them coming and self publish them on Amazon for as long as readers will enjoy them.
As for other projects, I'm seeking out editing services for my novel and finding ways of smoothing it over before I attempt to submit to a publisher or literary agent. It's a difficult thing to invest in when there's almost nothing else to my name.
I still struggle with depression and a self defeating state of mind. As well as struggling with keeping my head above water without making any money. As much as I have been turned down by publishers or agents, I have longer still been turned down by possible employers. It's not easy finding work in my part of the country, and especially trying to find any job I am qualified for.
I truly wish it was as easy getting a job as it was for people to yell at me to "get a job!" If I ever make it as an author to the point that I can live off of the profits of my books that I will remember to treat everyone I meet who is in the situation that I find myself now with a modicum of compassion that this world so terribly needs.