If we’re being honest, the odds are against us from the very beginning. We’re born to an astronomically high number, and while we’re here we got to deal with a zillion things beyond our control. We have to deal with plagues, we have to deal with violence, we have to deal with war, we have to deal with life.
Life is struggle and chaos and pain. And you’re not walking away from it. So our lives are about what we do with it.
The Will to Plan and Create Expectations
I tend to think we all come with power rings. We all have the ability to make our wishes come true. The challenge is figuring out exactly what we want. We all want money, people that love us. We all have a broad sense of what will make us happy. Most of us never go into specifics. How do we want to make us happy? What do we want to be?
Mapping out clear ideas of what we want with anything is going to get us closer to getting resolution to those problems. I wanted to fix my teeth three years ago. I made that decision in May, and it seemed kind of far away. But I knew what had to be done, so I researched Dental Departures, and went to the business of figuring out costs. This is going to be an ongoing problem for me, as I’m not at my objective yet, but going down there and getting those first surgeries was huge. I have a gameplan how I’m going to get there and I’m working towards it.
I have a gameplan as well for both my podcasting and my writing careers. With my podcasting, I want to see what other doors it could open. I’m applying at places across Canada and the United States that fit my skillsets. It’d be fun to be an announcer on CBC, so why not go for it? But I also have been applying to HBO and Vice and Cracked. I never thought I would be doing these things, but why not? Maybe I’ll even try WWE. Maybe.
Writing wise, I plan to publish three books this year. My second book is out in two days as I write this. Both are available on Amazon and I’m stoked. It’s been a great experience and I can’t wait to take my first book, The Cloud Diver wide in October. Alice Zero is coming out tuesday and I noticed a pattern. I’m climbing the charts in Canada faster. My ranking with Alice Zero was at 2508 in Kindle. It’s far lower now, but the image is still here. (By the way, if you got a minute, feel free to click and order one or the other. Combined that is 5.00. I promise you’ll get your money’s worth.)
Will my third book be out in time for the end of the year? Not sure. My unnamed series is my dream pulp series. I think people will dig where it’s going. All in all I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to with my books.
My freelancing has been a bit more of a struggle. The big decision you got to make with freelancing is what you are going to do. Going above, a clear map of what I’m doing is present above. Going below here, my role isn’t as defined.
I got a gig talking about things I love. I do reviews at First Comics all the time. I write critically about the things I’m passionate about, which is comics, games and books. Maybe I should be focusing there more. Seems like a good thought to me anyway. I need to roadmap there more. But I’m making money and slowly, things are happening.
The Will to Fight
“Don’t quit when it’s hard. Quit when it sucks.” That’s a good motto to live by. I’m making a big life change and it’s a crazy thing to do. Things cascade away. You have to be willing to work on the things that build you up. Newsletters for example, and your social platforms. You have a voice and you must put yourself out there to do things. This is the hardest thing, because sometimes it feels like nobody’s listening.
My podcast sometimes is a roller coaster of emotions. Sometimes it feels like nobody cares, and then one day you wake up and there are 200 downloads and your podcast is now in places like Ghana and South Korea. Life is strange and wonderful and you create momentum putting things out there, and you never know what catches on.
And that’s the thing. It’s going to be hard sometimes. There are times it’s just not going to rain. It’s part of the game. No matter what, keep going.
Fight until You Win
The reason why you keep going no matter what? You don’t do the work for nothing. You are the one making the sacrifices. You’re the one putting the words to the page, or putting the lines on the page to make those images. You are the one putting in the time. Get something for it. You didn’t do all this just to say “here I am”. This isn’t show and tell.
Get something for it.
Sometimes it’s not obvious what you get in the moment. I remember wondering what the big deal was when I did my first book way back in the day. It taught me a lot of things, but I wasn’t seeing the results I hoped for. It turns out that the fact that I did it on my own led me to connect to a hero of mine. And yes, it didn’t work out like I ever thought it would there either, but if I hadn’t written that book, I never would have gotten the chance to work for one of my heroes.
How many of us get that opportunity?
You also acquire skills that can lead you to interesting places. I learned how to hire, fire, pay and complete projects on a deadline. All these skills are applicable in a pretty much any field. Showing up and doing the job is a rare thing, and you prove you can with the book.
My podcasting has led me to sponsorships, interviewing NYT bestsellers, award winners, people just getting started. I have talked about stoned flies and I have talked about BLM and everything in between. My platform has been used to promote people and myself.
I’m a freaking badass.
And so are you.
In Brightest Day
I can’t promise you’ll end up in the spot you shoot for, but you will end up somewhere. It’s a matter of being willing to go for it, and take the lumps along the way. The odds will always be against you. But that will never change. It’s about going forward and making yourself be heard, and imposing that will to want more.
So in summary:
- Choose a path in everything. Be very specific about what you want.
- Follow through on those goals.
- Don’t be afraid to be sidetracked, but remember the destination
- Keep fighting until you get what you want
- Or until you get something you’re happy with.
- Impose your will. You are not doing this to quit. You’re doing this to win. You can.
I believe in you. So keep going. Me? I got a map to draw.