For some, our earth mission can take us down so many diverse paths until eventually we find our true calling. For so many years, I’ve been writing with the occasional article or short story getting published.
About ten years’ ago, I went into meditation, asking the question, ‘what am I supposed to do?’ I had been out of work for a few months getting temporary work here and there for a few days, sometimes when I was lucky, up to two weeks but nothing substantial seemed to manifest.
A very clear answer came to me. Write.
So, each night I would sit at my computer and just write what felt like channelled messages but on submission to publishers, was rejected. I would get up in the middle of the night, inspired and aroused with energy and wrote. I would get again at four am and write some more. I wrote at every waking opportunity and wrote and wrote but sold nothing.
Publishers had all kinds of excuses for why they couldn’t publish my work. Then there were those who very enthusiastically, said they would publish if I paid exorbitant sums of money. After not being able to pay the rent, starving both myself and my cat, fortunately, I could not pay these guys or I guess, I would have been in a much worse situation.
I returned to formal employment, going from one job to the other. Nothing would last until eventually, I went into selling advertising space. The closest thing to not being published is working for a publisher. I spent two very unpleasant years with one media company then joined a brand new magazine and spent two years there.
It wasn’t all bad, except I started with no salary, just pure commission based on sales. The first three months was exceptionally challenging, selling a new title in an already saturated print market when everyone had already decided that print was dead and digital media was king.
I was walking to work instead of going by bus. I was eating two minute noodles instead of the fresh fruit and vegetables I so longed for until the sales came in. My hard work started paying off. I was paid a basic salary and enjoyed four increases over the two years and also started a digital sales division. However, the basic salary was still not meeting my needs and I needed something more satisfying.
So when I visited a friend who was doing better than I was, I enquired as to whether there were any vacancies. She rattled off the email address, not for once thinking that I was being serious. In fact, I wasn’t. I was in no mood for change. I wanted to assist another friend of mine who’d fallen on hard times. However, when they rejected her application, I decided to submit an application. Within half an hour, the company responded, asking how soon I could come over to see them for an interview.
Not wanting to rush into something new, I went to see them at the end of the week. When I returned to the office and checked my private email, there was an offer waiting for me! It was like winning the jackpot.
I was placed in sales though I was raw with disappointment and rejection. Six weeks into training, I was told that they needed me in sales and that I should start the very next week. It was exciting. New colleagues, new equipment, best of all it was not the hard, driven sales I was so used to. I could crack this and I did, except, one year later, I began to feel disillusioned and my performance dropped.
I felt that I was being dishonest with myself. In a moment of introspection, I heard myself saying, ‘I really should be writing for a living.’ That’s when the universe mobilised all forces.
I was called in and a list of errors was brought to my attention. Errors I’d committed but was never brought to my attention or rectified. Some were quite spurious but someone’s head was on the chopping block and I needed to be accountable.
At first, I was feeling hard done by but when I was told that they needed someone to do editing for the company, I was very surprised. My manager had taken note of my love for writing and told the director about it. I was called in and told a new vacancy had come up for which they needed my skills.
At first I perceived this from victim mode but once I changed my perception, I saw the opportunity. Someone is finally going to pay me for doing something I really love.
Yip! So the Law of attraction sometimes works fast and sometimes very slowly, but ultimately, it does work.
Still feeling depressed and unable to do anything? Wracking your brains to discover your mission? Just do something. Start anywhere. Put one foot in front of the other, walk to the bathroom, wash your face and brush your teeth. Now look in the mirror. Like what you see, or are you disgusted?
Try to focus on the beauty of the world, even it if is just in pictures. Get dressed, brush your hair and take a walk around the block. Smell the air, listen for sounds you may never have heard before and look up at the trees or if there aren’t any, look up at the sky. Just look. Better still, lie on your back in the park and look up at the sky like you used to do when you were a child. Feel the vibration of the earth
Try to visualize something soothing. Imagine yourself floating in the ocean, enjoying the silence of being beneath the waves. Feel the warm water enveloping you, washing away your troubles and holding you gently.
Could you become a diver? Don’t let the fear of water get the better of you. Learn to relax. Learn to swim. Then go for diving lessons. Teach someone to swim or to dive. Make friends who like the things you like.
Did you know that all your problems are caused by your thoughts being stuck in a rut. Living in the past, can cause serious depression. From the time you awake in the morning to the time you go to sleep, you have been obsessing about that one thing that has hurt you – in the past. Why not do something now to break that pattern. Do something that energizes you, lifts your mood and takes you onto a whole new path.
Sit on a deserted beach and just observe the sunset or listen to the lapping of the waves. This will disrupt your thought pattern and take you some place else. Take your mind somewhere its never been before and relax.
Your mission today could be as simple as learning to disrupt your thoughts with something far less disturbing, far less fearful and far less destructive.
If no one’s ever told you, tell yourself that you are precious and you deserve to live. You deserve life. You deserve better. You are worthy of better .
Dolphins are known to heal mental illness. Find a place where you can swim with dolphins. Many who have, report feelings of self-love they’ve never experienced before. Lack of self-love is a major cause of low self-esteem, destructive behaviour and depression.
Today, do something nice for yourself and endeavour to do something nice everyday. Make a list of all the things you longed to do when you were feeling better and start living again by ticking off the list.
I guarantee, that by the end of this project, you will feel happier and healthier.
There are people who struggle to write. I am not one of them. My head is constantly filled with images and voices that often take me out of my daily routine and distract me from performing well at work.
I have to earn a living, I keep reminding myself. It all starts off really well. I am enthusiastic, I learn new things but very quickly the stories in my head take over and I have to steal time away from the job to type a page or two. I email it to my private email address and at night, I cut and paste it into my story. From there, I just keep writing as the story speaks to me and I only stop when my eyes are too tired to stay open.
I get frustrated because more often than not, I am not physically tired and would rather continue until the light of day, but then I have to remind myself that tomorrow, I have to work and perform as best I can in a job I almost like.
I could stay home and write, waiting for someone to accept my stories for publication and in the meantime, starve, be insulted by my family or I can go and earn some money as a content writer for a software company and eat everyday. See what I mean?
There are so many themes I could tap into, so many characters that speak to me. If only I could afford to write full-time. Well, I am but not the kind of writing I would prefer. For now, it works and pays for the little pleasures that make life worth living.
The sky is grey, the wind is sharp. Trees sway wildly as if angry with the world. That’s what I see from my office window on the first floor. The lush garden looks less than inviting today and the pool is the palest turquoise with tiny ripples infused with dust. The normally active squirrels are hiding from the cold. Sometimes, we hear scratches and scurries in the roof, knowing that they are preparing for hibernation.
I feel like preparing for hibernation sometimes, but being human, I have to earn a living, buy food, eat, and get all kinds of things that make human life more convenient. There was a time, I seriously thought that I could survive by meditating for hours but the landlord spoiled it all by demanding rent. My stomach demanded food and my mind demanded less worry.
Through it all, I wrote. Often I’d start a title and while writing start another title. Often it would be a chapter that became another title or a title that became another chapter. I still don’t do great with structure. I simply write till I run out of fuel. Words just flow, fingers type furiously, without an end in sight and no idea of where to take the story next.
When things take a different turn, I simply continue and later on, revise, often a few years later. Like my first title, Waiting for Payday which I first listed on Amazon.com in 2012. I am now revising it, maturing it and giving it some substance. It will get a new cover and perhaps next year will get more appreciative readers.
Over the last six years, I’ve had to give up my computer as it became outdated and could no longer be fixed. I remember wheeling it home in a shopping trolley, accompanied by a store assistant to ensure that the trolley was returned. I was so proud of that computer. Next came the need for internet which fizzled out quickly as internet service providers came and went. Many email addresses later, I’ve now settled with gmail and with a new very cheap Chinese laptop, I can finally use Microsoft Office which I also found cheaply on Bid or Buy.
Oh the joys of being a struggling writer.
Before the laptop, there was the IPad which was kindly supplied by the bank on an instalment plan. I wrote most of stories on this prized lPad but first, I had to master the art of typing on a glass screen and finding characters we take for granted on a normal keyboard.
Then there was the challenge of being limited to using Safari as the only browser, later, Chrome which clashed with safari if you failed to update apps. Many failures to update apps left me with the inability to transfer my stories and so I was forced to get a laptop and Microsoft office which offers a lot more freedom.
Now the challenge is weakening eyesight, exacerbated by the sharp glare of a computer screen. Oh, the joys of growing older. Eating fresh fruit and vegetables sometimes gets boring and I opt for crisps, chocolates and cake which of course does nothing to improve my sight.
Supplements come in handy and I have a container filled with little containers of pills, all natural I may add. Then, joy, oh, joy, I’ve discovered cognitive enhancers. These are not drugs but natural supplements aimed at improving memory and concentration.
Look out. It is not the end of me yet. I may still find a way to replace my entire body to look twenty years younger.
Lewis epitomizes the average, under-paid office worker yearning for a better life. He spends his days working harder than he should in the false belief it will one day bring about change. At night he dreams fantastical dreams unaware that the other side is trying to help him make sense of his life.
He lives alone in a semi-detached council house where he reminisces about better days when family and friends came to visit his parents, now long gone.
Read more here…. Http://Amzn.com/B008A3SSG2
While on my long sojourn, I completed a few books, got paid by Inkitt to publish online and tried entering a few writing contests which needless to say, I did not win. All because my day job keeps me busy and the long commute leaves me exhausted at the end of each day.
The good news is that the recovery period is slowly coming to an end. Writing has kept me sane throughout the challenges but it has become rather intermittent since working fuill-time again. In addition, I find the IPad quite limiting, especially when updates don’t work and one is left bereft of your craft for long periods. Tonight again, I tried installing MSWord but the update wouldn’t install. Will have to take the IPad to the shop for assistance once more but I’m in the middle of another story which wouldn’t update the changes. Ughhh… So frustrating!
Thankfully, Waiting for payday is on Amazon Kindle and can be downloaded at http://amzn.com/B008A3SSG2 for anyone who is battling loneliness and financial obscurity. There is also a sequel with a happy ending which I am yet to upload to kindle as soon as I can get IPad to play along. Then there is the issue of getting a suitable cover at minimal cost. It is just not a pleasure to be a struggling writer.
On another topic, the Rhino poaching issue has taken a turn for the worst with government corruption fueling the flames. It seems the more money we collect, the more things escalate out of control. Only last year I found a book by Julian Rademeyer, titled Rhino Wars which shocked and saddened me beyond belief. Corruption is so deep that I fear we have reached the point of no return. As bad as it sounds, I am still optimistic and continue to believe that we will come up with a plan.