Professional Progress Report

Just stopping by to update anyone who cares about my progress in becoming a professional writer/digital nomad. Someday I will be financially and location independent. For now, I remain trapped in a small town in the middle of nowhere. Alas.

Novel

Several weeks have passed since I started working on my novel again. Things have progressed well. I’ve been reading through my website archives and pulling out what I need for my narrative. It’s so much easier with the new outline I made. The new outline is allowing me to mercilessly cut out all of the extra crap that has accumulated over time. Killing my darlings has never been so easy.

It’s trucking along well. I’ve been trying to do a little bit every day. Reading my blog from the beginning can be a challenge for me sometimes. It makes me very emotional given everything that has happened since I started. I constantly find myself frustrated by the fact that I established several things up-front (ig: I’m a writer, I’m writing a memoir about my life, I struggle with depression/anxiety, I have a bad history with relationships, and I’m trying to work through my issues), yet so many people refuse to acknowledge any of this. I’m tired of intentionally being misunderstood.

It’s also clear from the early blogs what those people from Bloody Mary’s were trying to do to me. There were clearly coordinated efforts to gaslight me, bait me into reacting, and instigate arguments. It’s really pathetic and sad. It’s also glaring obvious what a sociopath the owner really is.

Ah yes, this character. This character I never planned to write, who snuck up on me out of nowhere, took over the narrative, and used everything I wrote against me. What a snake. It’s depressing to read knowing there is now an unpublishable manuscript dedicated entirely to this character and his sexy ways. It’s crazy. I still can’t believe it. So that’s something I constantly have to deal with. Fun!

The good news is, most of the stuff I wrote about him won’t be making it into the final version. The stuff that does remain doesn’t paint a very nice picture of him, mostly because he is not a very nice person. It is what it is.

I’m super nervous to meet with the agent next week, so I signed up for a pitching workshop at the conference to guide me through the most important ten minutes of my life. No pressure or anything, lol. But seriously, I can’t even think about it or I will totally fucking freak out. I don’t have Xanax to help me with panic attacks, so I’m just avoiding thoughts about it altogether.

Overall, I’m very confident in the current version. I believe in the character arc. I really think the flow of the plot makes sense now and that this character’s journey is relatable to people (mainly women) who struggle with mental health and bad relationships. I’m glad I took time away from it. It really allowed me to see the forest from the trees. Thanks again for everything, Paris Writing Workshop. I never would have made it this far without you!

Blog

As I’ve stated before, I am currently in the process of transforming my blog into a profitable business venture. It’s hard. It’s take a long time. I overthink everything and constantly compare myself to the other bloggers and influencers I’ve been studying. I’ve learned to turn the jealousy into motivation, but it can still be a struggle. The grand vision doesn’t line up with the day-to-day yet.

I’ve been developing content plans, which is good, but I’m still falling short on my posting goals. A lot of it has to do with anxiety and general feelings of worthlessness. It’s pretty common in this world to compare yourself to the false perfection promised by Instagram. I am no different. I fall victim to it every day, especially because I go out of my way to study other blogs and websites.

One thing I remind myself is that I’m just not there… yet. I will be someday, but not yet. It doesn’t happen overnight. A solid, high-quality blog takes time to build. These bloggers didn’t do it overnight either. A lot of them struggled for years and constantly moved in and out of their parents’ houses. It’s part of the journey. I can’t fault myself for generally being on the right track.

Courses & Job Hunting

I’m finally starting to make significant headway on this. There’s a lot to learn. I’m transitioning from gig-hopping in the service industry to full-time digital nomad. There’s a lot to learn in terms of practical skills. I’m exploring a lot of different options, such as digital marketing, copywriting, UX writing, and web development. I want to cover all my bases so I have more options.

I’ve worked may way through quite a few of the courses now. I’m developing more of coherent plan as I go along. I look at remote job boards every day to get some idea of what they’re looking for. My anxiety is still preventing me from actually applying, so I’m focusing all my energy on my courses for now. I think once I round out my skillset and build a solid portfolio, I will feel more confident in myself. As they say on FDS, develop the confidence of a mediocre white man.

I was seriously considering signing up for a TEFL certification course, but it’s financially out-of-reach for me at the moment. It’s always something I can do later on when I’m in a stronger financial position. It’s just not in the cards right now. That’s why I decided to focus my energy on the skills I’m learning from Udemy for $12 a course. The projected salaries for these jobs are also much higher, which is better for my champagne lifestyle.

Networking & Social Life

This is going poorly, as per usual. I tried to put myself out there with the Paris International Film Festival and managed to fall spectacularly on my face. My anxiety is high and my confidence is low. However, it’s not really about me at the end of the day. We are here to watch movies and celebrate up-and-coming filmmakers. In life, you don’t always get to walk the red carpet. Sometimes you’re just in the audience, and that’s okay too. I’m just happy to be here supporting other creatives.

I’m still lurking more than commenting in all of the Facebook groups and reddit subs I’ve joined. Every once in awhile, I pose a question. I always get good, helpful responses, whether it’s about job hunting, traveling, digital nomad life, mental health issues, or “leveling up.” Joining online communities is helping me ease back into a social life, which has been really hard for me to do.

I’ve taken a couple communications courses to help me with this ongoing issue. I’m also seeking out CBT workbooks to aid me in my quest to develop meaningful relationships with other people. I’ve never been the most popular person. After everything that happened with Bloody Mary’s, my trust in most people is gone. I’m struggling to learn how to embrace relationships instead of fear them. The pandemic doesn’t help. Neither does the crap that happened with my cousin. Alas, I remain hopeful that someday this will change for the better and I can finally host the fantastic dinner party of my dreams.

Routine

I’m back in a pretty solid routine. I wake up every day at 8am, come to the cafe, write for a few hours, and then spend the afternoon doing whatever I want. I’ve figured out a nice, comfortable way to work from home. I have a little lap desk I use in bed while wearing sweatpants. Yes, I know, I should set up my home office again and I won’t feel so scatterbrained. I’m not there yet. Besides, it’s the middle of the SD winter. It’s dark and cold and my bed is so soft and warm. I don’t want to leave it.

Mental Health

I’m fighting back against the depression and anxiety pretty hard. It’s ruined my life for so many years now. I’m tired of it. I want to be a different person now. A better person. It’s a lot of hard work. Being in this town really doesn’t help. It seems to drag me back down to where I was before in spite of my best efforts.

I’ve had a couple of minor episodes since I got back. The last few days have been particularly hard. That’s why I’m writing this progress report. I feel like I’m about to jump off a cliff, so I need to spell out everything I’m working on to remind myself that it’s a process and I’m just not there yet. Don’t give up now, Betsey! You’re almost there!

I will get there someday. I’m just not there yet. It’s a process. It takes time. It’s okay. I don’t have to justify it to anyone else. All I can do is live my truth.

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