My financial/career goal is simple: to live off my writing, music, and app/game development (supplemented by investments). I'm not quite there, yet, so I have been working in Information Technology for over 5 years. Before getting into IT, I spent 3-4 years working in fast food, retail, and facility maintenance.
During my time in IT, I have held 6 different jobs. One of them was outstanding--perhaps the best one I will have until I work exclusively for myself. Four of them were... problematic, to say the least. The last of these 6 jobs is my current one. I have only been here for 4 weeks and I typically don't make a judgment call on a job until the three-month mark. So far, though, it's a great job!
Anyway, I'm writing this post (or this series) for two reasons. The first reason is to validate people who think that their job sucks (not just in IT) and the second is to (hopefully) inspire leaders to change their methodology. I guess there's a third reason, too: I hope that my former bosses (not leaders, bosses) read this and, in a rare moment of self-awareness, realize that they are being passively addressed by me.
So, if you're an employee who needs a stranger on the Internet to tell you that your job might suck, here I am. If you're a manager/boss who had an employee print this out and hand it to you before walking out of the building with both middle fingers in the air... hi, I'm here to help you reflect on why you might be a bad boss (or why that employee sucked and you're actually a great boss, as the case may be).
But when you toss in random background noises, writing becomes impossible. Kids screaming, noisy conversations, a television blasting cartoons, someone constantly asking you for favors and tasks, etc., it all makes every sentence a painful task. And, if you're like me, you tell yourself things like I didn't get anything done because people were distracting me as an excuse for being a lazy writer.
Well, I have a solution for these things: ambience. Creating ambience makes writing possible in even the noisiest of locations.
This past week, I had the honor of talking to numerous individuals with my same ideals and interests. One of these outstanding people happened to be a writer who was--and is--struggling to get his creativity onto paper. He explained that he had all of these ideas in his heart, but just couldn't get them into the open. When I told him that I understood his plight but had overcome this same issue some years back, he gave me the same gasp and wide-eyed look that I usually get from writers/creators who have yet to finish a single project.
This isn't unusual. Finishing a project is hard. I firmly believe that no one is a greater critic of good writing than the work's creator. I have several friends who are writers and all of them have poured their hearts into projects for months and even years only to leave them unfinished. It isn't easy to finish what you started, but why is that? There are actually several reasons, but I'm going to pick a few that I know have personally impacted me.
About the Story
The Imperfect's Journal is a Wattpad exclusive (for the time being) prequel to Chainbreaker. It is told in diary-like installments, written by a young man who suffers from severe memory loss. The author of the journals, Darren Stratt, is trying to get to Australia in order to reunite with his beloved Sara McKenzie. His journey takes him all over the world and unites him with hundreds of different people.
While every novel in the Coldheart world is a social commentary at its core, The Imperfect's Journal is primarily a story of love and survival. No matter the cost and no matter the hurdles, Darren continues to push forward, keeping his beloved Sara in his heart at all times.
While trying to edit Chainbreaker and keep up with The Imperfect's Journal, I have decided that I need another creative outlet: short stories set in the Coldheart universe, mainly following side characters who have little to do with the main story. So, without further ado, here is the first one: Adalynn Rose.
Well, the first page is here.
As everyone who checks this site likely knows by now, I've been editing my novel, Chainbreaker, for nearly a year. The first draft has been finished for quite some time. After going through numerous iterations of the story (often writing more than 200,000 words only to discard each and every one of them), I think Chainbreaker is the perfect beginning to the Coldheart Cycle (previously referred to as the Imperfect Saga).
Right now, I need people who are willing and able to read and critique the first 50 pages within the next two months (critiques will be needed by August 1st, 2018). If you are interested, please contact my Facebook page or Instagram account. Alternatively, you can easily fill out the form at the bottom of this page.
Use It or Lose It
Unfortunately, I don't make enough money from my novels, website, and music to pay all my bills. This means I'm still under a tough, callused corporate thumb that tells me I can only have two weeks off (total, including sick days). So, of course, I saved all those days off for a day when I'd really need them.
Well, last month I realized I was nearly at the point when my vacation days would expire. This meant that I had very little time to use up my remaining 3 days+4 hours of vacation time (the rest had been spent on a brief, terrible trip to Texas and a few sick days). I decided that memorial day would be a great chance to take off that time. I could leave early on Friday and have (almost) a whole week to do things I actually care about.
Well, everyone, The Imperfect's Journal is still going after nearly a month! I think this might be the longest I've managed to maintain something that involves daily updates. I have so much planned for this story, though, and I'm always eager to post the next entry.
Since its creation, I've received a couple of common questions about the story and figured I'd take the time to answer them here. If you have any questions, you can always email me using the Contact page on this website!
For the thousandth time, I've reduced the site to an even more minimalist design than was previously featured. Now, everything is so ridiculously concise that nothing will be difficult to find at all. I think it's as simple as it can possibly be, now.
There is also a second site, Rhetrosoft.Com, where my game design work (in collaboration with several other team members) can be followed. We're actually on the verge of releasing our first mobile game at some point this month (May, 2018).