So now that we’re in sight of the change over, I got no problems admitting I’m scared. Yes, I’ve gone part time in the past. Yes, I’m looking forward to a lot of things this time around when I make the switch this Wednesday. But I know that this time is different than the other times.

The other times I wasn’t as serious as I was now. Don’t get me wrong, I was well meaning and I had seriously good ideas and plans for execution and it wasn’t as if things didn’t go well when I did it last time. This time though, there is a lot more at stake in my head than last time.

Last time, I didn’t have an Aurora Award. Last time, I didn’t have other cool opportunities head up, and last time I had a lot less pressure. Now maybe the pressure I’m thinking about is all in my head. That said, I’ve proven an awful lot to myself in the last year. A lot of good things came about this year ever since I fixed my teeth.

This time feels more serious. It feels like a gut check. At some point in your life, you have to look at what you want, and what you feel is possible, and most important, what you feel you are worth. At the end of the day, you have to live with the last one yourself.

Two important words.

So, I had dinner with my sister Friday night. Her present to me was a man bag. This bag came with a shirt, mints, a unicorn pen and more. The most important thing about that whole gift? These words she gave to me.

“You were meant to stand out.”

She’s right. I march to the beat of my own drum. Always have. But now, i am ready. Since last year i have worked hard to improve my self care. I am getting better but am still not satisfied with it.

I have my boxes and my own concept and idea of who I am. In order to find success that I want to, I need to keep evolving it. That means modifying my whole approach.

I need to go beyond my comfort zone. Something I chastise people with, but this time around it’s me. And that terrifies me. I know the next few months are going to be adjustments. I’m going to continue chasing sponsors, I’m going to set up a patreon, and I got books (including my second one to announce at the bottom.) But I have hit my own comfort zone and one of my goals is to bust it out.

There’s a third word I have to mention here. Integrity. I’m not just talking about your word, but rather, your actions. Your integrity ultimately is what you do and what expectations you create with your actions or inactions. The podcast taught me consistency, professionalism, and creating expectations.

I have to do that with my writing. And that’s going to be the adjustment. My look, my actions, all have to match up. That more than anything else is what I have to do. Keep being good at what I do in every thing.

One thing my day job taught me was that all jobs are the same. The same basic skills of any job – showing up, doing the task at hand, solving problems – translate. Now it’s time to take what I’ve learned with podcasting and apply to writing.

I got three books like I said in Part one coming up. I’ve done poetry before, so while Alice Zero excites me, in one sense it’s a familiar place. I need to go beyond the familiar and do something new.

I’ve been working on my first novel for a long time. Throughout time, I feel this has gotten better and better. Along the way I got to work with another amazing talent I’ve always wanted to work with. Lance Buan might be the most talented individual I’ve ever come across. He is a first class designer, and what he puts together for fun is better than most professionals can do for pay. He is a one of a kind talent.

See? I’m super excited to do this.

The Cloud Diver ultimately is about stepping out of your comfort zone, discovering just what was out there in the world. Johnny is a prototypical coward, who happens to be perfectly fine with his routine. The whole idea of adventure just didn’t appeal to him.

Until he follows a girl with a gunblade into the cloud, gets a file where everyone, from zombie mobsters to unicorns who fart rainbows, want it. His only out is that same girl with a gunblade, who probably doesn’t like him very much. This is book one of a series of books. I wanted to do an old fashioned science fiction pulp series and this is my attempt at it. I’m hoping when it hits Amazon and places in the spring, you will enjoy it.

This is my new world and my new uncomfortable zone. I’m scared, but I’m also excited. I’m ready to do this.

I think I’m worth it. I think I can do this. I think my efforts will borne fruit. My efforts have already borne some, but I can do more. I believe in myself, and I believe in the people I’m working with. There is a lot more I want to talk about for the rest of this year, but this so far is my plans.

Again, at the end of the day it’s about integrity. I have to be able to deliver what I promise, not just in my words, but in my actions. I intend to deliver Alice Zero and the Cloud Diver this year. I intend to keep pushing my podcast. I intend to keep testing my board game, and just being open to the opportunities presented to me.

I can’t promise success. No one can. But I’m hoping to keep putting myself into positions to succeed. At the end of the day, it’s about recognizing the opportunities presented to yourself.

I’m excited. I’m terrified.

I’m ready.

Yup. Unicorn pin.