Making Changes for my Schedule

So work has been more or less kind of kicking my butt harder than ever.

And by that, I mean I’ve had to pull 10-hour days of just sitting in front of a computer.

And I know I previously talked about enjoying the grind of working at a job I love, but it’s gotten so that posting and scheduling here on the blog every five days is getting to be too much. I can’t even imagine posting every three days the way I used to.

I want blogging to be something I do for enjoyment, but lately it’s felt like something I have to rush at the end of a work day.

So even though it feels a little bit like giving up, I’m now going to post once every eight days instead of every five. It actually really pains me to do this, because it feels like I just can’t hack it. It makes me feel like some kind of writing failure.

But as several people have told me, I started this blog to get my writing out there and to have fun with it.

And if holding myself to a schedule is stressing me out, it’s not fun anymore. So I’m going to try out every eight days and see how it goes.

I’m really sorry if any of you guys are put off by this, but I promise that I will still keep blogging for as long as I’m able!

Which means a) until I die, b) until my body is so broken I can’t type, or c) until WordPress ceases to exist and my blog is eradicated from the face of the universe.

Thanks for being understanding, which I already know you will be because all of you readers are supremely Above Average people.

Stop Telling Me I Can Work Anywhere at Anytime

I work as a freelance writer and editor. I keep regular-ish hours and spend a lot of time in front of a computer.

It’s nothing glamorous, but I often find that people have a romanticized idea of what working as a freelancer is like. They think a freelancer frequents cafes, plugging in a laptop at a cozy little table with a cup of coffee nearby. Or they picture someone who travels a lot, working at various hours of the day as they go on worldly adventures.

Obviously, no two freelancers are alike, and there may very well be somebody living this idealized lifestyle I’ve just described.

But I doubt it.

A typical workday for me starts with a trip to the bathroom and a brushing of teeth. I usually work six days a week, about seven hours a day.

Once I start working, I do not stop until I’m done. I will do working meals (if I remember to eat), and remain fixated on work for the duration of my time in front of the computer. I do get up maybe every fifteen minutes to stretch my legs for a couple of seconds, but I am laser-focused on accomplishing tasks.

Seriously, I cannot stress enough the fact that I am genuinely working. I’m not just kerfuffling on the the internet like some people seem to think.

People also assume that my schedule is flexible, that I can work anytime and anywhere.

This always implies that I can’t get distracted like a normal person or that I perform equally well around the clock.

True, I get to choose my own hours, but being a freelancer means you have to build your own work ethic. No company or superior provides structure for your work hours. That responsibility falls on your shoulders.

And you also have to build your own work environment. I am most comfortable working at home, with some music of my choice playing in the background and an available bathroom that I don’t have to keep coughing up dough for endless cups of coffee in order to access.

I used to feel pretty morose about freelancing. I would kowtow to opinions that it “wasn’t a real job.”

But you know what?

It is.

It takes discipline and hard work to be a freelance writer.

So please stop telling me I can write anywhere at anytime.

Pimple Poem

To all the pimples I’ve ever known:
You’ve never left my face alone.
On my forehead, chin, and cheeks,
Complexion prospects were very bleak,
From achy red bumps I couldn’t pop
To embarrassing ones with white tops.
Scores of blackheads on my nose;
I never could get rid of those.
You sprouted at the worst of times,
Made my appearance a social crime.
No matter what ointments I would use
My facial features seemed to lose.
But for all the shame and misery
At least you kept me company.

Work Work Work

To put it mildly, work has largely taken over my life.

I work six days a week, from about 7:30 to 3:00, depending on the workload, and it’s gotten so I no longer use my computer for pleasure. It’s either work, blogging, or a video chat with someone.

This might sound like the beginning to a tirade about my overly lengthy work hours but I’ve got to be honest.

I freakin’ love it.

I feel pumped almost every time I hop online to work. I’m writing about video games, polishing up other people’s articles, collaborating with people who have the same passions that I do. It’s just all so fantastically unreal to me that I have reached this point in my life.

I never thought I would be the kind of person to be swept up by a “career,” but it’s accurate to say that (aside from family), my life now revolves around work.

This could all implode in my face one day.

I might find that my work-life balance is not being met, and that my downtime is just being wholly subsumed by my work.

Side note: I’ve actually had days where that has happened, where I’ve stayed in my computer chair till 7 at night and my eyeballs are dying and my back is aching and I am just fed up with words.

But for right now, I am reveling in it.

It feels so mentally active. I’m loving it.

And I just thought I would let you all know that.

Am I Giving Up on Writing?

Lately, I’ve been feeling flooded with guilt over not giving my creative writing a lot of attention. My work has essentially overwhelmed my time. Any time that I don’t spend working, I have to admit, I’m trying to squeeze some relaxation out of it.

At this point in time, I have a minimum of three creative projects that I have on hold. (I struggle with committing to only one of them.) When I am done with my work, I could devote my attention to any one of them.

But I don’t.

I just get so tired after working, and I already spend all of my time in front of my computer for work, that spending any extra amount of time here just feels exhausting.

I keep trying to wring just an ounce of passion from my brain in the evenings. I tell myself that a true writer would just bite the bullet and power through these projects. Would ignore any and all feelings of tiredness in order to pour forth some of those creative juices. This drive to write should carry me past my fatigue.

I mean, whenever I’m asked to provide a short bio (for work of for social media) my go-to response is that “I like to read, write, and play video games, and that’s all there is to me.”

And writing feels like it’s getting the short straw.

But that’s just guilt and inadequacy talking.

The truth is, I write every goddamn day, be it for this blog, errant thoughts, or even work.

I write a hell of a lot for work.

I forget how much I work with words for my job. Not a day goes by when I’m not fixing up a sentence, editing an article, writing my own things, or proofreading an essay.

I’m not going to give up on any of my creative writing projects, but I really should stop feeling guilty about not working on them all on the time.

I’m living up to my bio. I am writing every day.

I am not losing any skills due to lack of honing.

Besides, I’m really trying to practice this YOLO-esque lifestyle. I mean, I’m not looking to take up bungie-jumping, but I do want to enjoy the little things in life instead of bemoaning things I haven’t done yet. I’m happy with what I do. And that’s all I really need.

It’s My Three-Year Anniversary!

WordPress has once again kindly reminded me that another year has gone by since I started this blog.

It’s kind of shocking to think so much time has gone by.

God, I’m getting old.

Have things changed much here since I started? Don’t know. I mean, I think I’m more comfortable saying “blog” now. That’s…improvement. Right?

All I know for sure is that since it’s my three-year anniversary, I’m going to treat myself today. I’m going to walk to Rite-Aid, get some Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, and listen to tunes while I go back home.

And then I’ll probably outline and schedule my next blog post.

You know how it is.

Froley’s Shower Routine: An Epic

The showerhead spouts forth its stream,
A dusty young cockatiel’s dream,
And as mild heat fills the room
Filth knows it meets its doom.
Sprightly bird paces along curtain rod,
Asking for a bath with a bob and a nod.
He steps onto finger, outstretched wings,
But will only bathe when I start to sing
“Little April Shower,” a happy tune
That hums of raindrops coming soon
And encourages plump Froley
To begin to dip and roll; he
Tries to catch the water’s spray
And clean collected dust away.
A stanky smell wafts from his feathers
But I know he feels better
After boldly flapping through this shower
With all his might and strength and power.
Thus with the watering’s end,
Froley with his regards did send
A slick, wet poop to the floor
To conclude his cleaning forevermore.

The Old House

Trees dappled the sun on the ground.
Dogs frolicked and barked all around.
And we would play too,
In the rain, with the flu,
Till they painted the old house blue.

We played in that backyard for years
With leaves from the trees we held dear.
And we’d be there today
Had we not moved away,
So that blue paint is there to stay.

We drove past the old house last night
Expecting to see walls of white.
But since we’ve been gone
That family’s moved on
And we’ll only see blue in the dawn.

I’ve Published 200 Posts!

WordPress has kindly notified me that as of my Meddling Kids book review (slash recommendation, since I didn’t really go in depth with the plot), I have published 200 posts on my Below Average Blog.

Holy moly.

Well, I’d like to thank the computer capability that makes all this possible, my enjoyment of the English language with all its incredibly sucky foibles, and my uncomfortable office chair.

But most of all, I’d like to thank anyone and everyone who has read a single thing I’ve written.

I feel like just yesterday I was writing an appreciation post, but here we go again.

Side note: See? This is what happens when WordPress sends me cute little reminders. I get overly emotional more than once.

I seriously enjoy the fact that people read what I write. It’s like the ultimate ecstasy and comfort at the same time.

So here’s to 200 more posts.

Knowing 2020 and the type of year it’s been so far though, I bet you anything this is the year the internet just stops working.

Knock on wood.

Of Protests and Pandemics

Fractures persist in the criminal justice system.
So we choose to resist.
Meanwhile
An infection spreads,
Using worldwide connections to extend its reach.
The divide has never been wider
(Or Whiter)
Between the haves and have-nots.
This year is clearly
Determined to sear
Itself onto our collective memories.
But perhaps this time of unrest is for the best.
Granted, this trial by virus
Feels like the strike of a viper
Disinclined to let go
Until the flow of venom is spent.
But protests and calls for reform
Bring more than fury and woe.
They bring change.
And changing to better treat the people we meet
Is never a bad thing.