Money

Today, I am reminded of how our view of the World depends entirely on where we happen to be looking at the time.

I watched a fairly passionate discussion via Twitter over the weekend on the best means of selling oneself: a lot came out of it, not all of it was easy to read. It is abundantly apparent when you meet someone for whom Twitter isn’t a lively discussion platform. They’re often the same type of writer who inevitably look down on self-publishing as largely irrelevant. If you don’t have an agent, what are you even doing?

Some days, from where I sit, a lifetime of empathy and understanding is missing between those who publish ‘traditionally’ and their counterparts, who are often digital natives. Bridging the gap between these two continents can appear literally impossible, but there are those who try. When you watch these brilliant souls being taken to task or being belittled for their industry, it is beyond depressing.

In the end, all anybody wants is to be successful. That goes without saying, but I will say that a lot of respect was lost for both the individuals who employed an automated service to try and sell me a selection of their wares via Direct Message, as if I wouldn’t realise they’d paid a third party service to do just that. If I didn’t know what this was, I might believe they’d taken the time to target me specifically too.

Except, in both cases, all this was promotion for content I then had zero interest in consuming. Looking at their Twitter feeds, there was no believable discussion there either, just more advertising. This is ‘pretend conversation’ that is immediately muted, and then blocked, because these people really don’t understand what Twitter is, and it sure as hell isn’t Facebook or Instagram. Your methods will not work here.

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When the time comes, and it will, I promise faithfully not to ram my work down your throats. Effort will be made to create interesting and unique ways to advertise myself. It sure as hell will not be a random, impersonal message into anybody’s inbox. The only way stuff ever changes is if you decide to go out on a limb and do something amazing. Those are the things worth remembering, whilst the DM’s are long forgotten.

True stars will shine without need for extra illumination…

Writing as Therapy :: Shut Up

This is only the second time I’ve used that song title for a Blog Post. I’ll take that as a minor triumph. I’m also aware that I owe you another post on Depression, but this is more important, because when I open my mouth and words come out, there are often all manner of unintended consequences I don’t consider. Take today, for instance.

Sometimes I write stuff and know I’m putting myself up for potential issues. This comes down to an understanding not only of the place I work in, but a grasp of the people who ‘live here’, many of whom I never communicate with unless they want something from me. I know the people who just say ‘hi’ and are happy to chat and normally come with a cuppa or a snack when they do. Then there are those people who’ll ask the occasional favour of me (normally reading shit) and for them, I will drop everything. Then there are those whom I know just read my post and need to point out their perceived injustice: typos, meaning, you name it I get the need to pop up, because you guys care too and that’s utterly cool.

Then I look at the people who don’t say anything at all right up until the moment they think they’re being ignored. I’ve written about this subset before, for various reasons, but today I had an epiphany of the like I’ve not experienced before. I am the agent of my own demise: because I choose to stand up and be critical, often that’s all that is needed to start a fight, often from a place where one doesn’t even exist. It goes back to the ‘popular’ opinion Tweet up top. Saying someone is X, even when X is an obvious truth to you just isn’t useful sometimes, because that doesn’t mean stuff gets better. What you really need is someone who ignores the bad and simply focuses on good in order to effect real and palpable change. 

I, in effect, really am the problem because I can’t look at the world 100% positively all of the time.

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Depression makes me want to fight everybody: the world, other people, myself. When I see something wrong I have to try and fix it right away, and only today did I work out why. It came from the most innocuous of conversations too: my daughter saw a meme I made yesterday about my 5 favourite chocolate bars, and went to the shops to buy them for me. When she asked me what I’d eaten while she was at school, I told her I’d gone for the #1 option. The conversation went as follows:

HER – That’s weird, I’d have gone for the number five and built up to the best.

ME – But what if I died today and then I was only on number 5, I’d have missed the chance to appreciate my favourite first.

HER – Wow Mum, way to make this far more serious than it needed ever to be…

This is my problem. Even the mundane matters, far more than it ever does to anyone else. Twice in recent memory I’ve been asked by friends how I feel, and on both times have replied ‘well if I died tomorrow this is the happiest I’ve ever been’ reducing both to a level of incoherence I’d not quite grasped could be possible. I do look at every day as my last, and have done for as long as I can remember, because death sits with me far more comfortably than I realise is the case with others. When you drift close enough to something, it loses grip on you. I don’t care sometimes what consequences I create for myself, mostly because part of the joy now of being alive is to fight for everything, just so you can feel vital and not this terrible, horrific nothing that depression creates inside your soul.

If you’ve never felt how utterly damning that can be, I have no way I can make you understand, but trust me: your entire existence pivots around it, often whether you like it or not.

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Maybe this doesn’t make me the best advocate for building communities as a result. Perhaps people like me really should keep quiet, but sometimes rainbows aren’t the answer. Grabbing your own lapels and physically pulling yourself up to standing is all that works, because all those rainbow colours bleed into a grey, watery mess. You want joy but you can’t, even though your enthusiasm can be infectious. Only at the highest point will you ever see everything? Try being at the bottom and then look up. Your reference point is different, but the place is the same. Which matters more?

Should you try and make a difference, or is it best to leave it to the people who don’t work in the extremes?

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Some days, I wonder if I make the right choices. Today is one of them, mostly because what I love matters above all else, but others don’t see me well enough to understand what I’m trying to do. That’s when I understand that maybe, if I explained myself better, that might change.

So, maybe that is the place I ought to start.

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