You learn a lot about people in the midst of a crisis. I only wish I was talking about Irma.
My past week has been hectic for me. I tend to lead a very quiet life that most would consider boring. I like it that way because right now I don’t have a lot of energy and the energy I do have I like to funnel into my creative endeavors. But, sometimes, other people intrude into my quiet life and I learn about myself and about them. The type of person that you really are comes out under pressure and starts to show the good, the bad and the ugly. Sometimes I guess we need these reminders of who we are so we can remember what is truly important to us.
Back in August, a acquaintance of mine came to me with a job opportunity. It’s an opportunity that would actually make use of my college education. (I have the equivalents of credits in an Associates Degree in Fashion Design. And I’ve bought more industry related books since I left college than I did in college because these books weren’t published while I was in college.) And since during August I was in the midst of moving apartments, and in September, Hurricane Irma hit, I wasn’t in too much of a hurry to pin them down on the details.
This month, I got the details, and the opportunity isn’t at all what they initially made it out to be and because of the personal crisis they brought me into, I got to see a side of them that I didn’t know existed. So, now, I have to sit back and evaluate where I go from here.
It’s been exhausting, emotional and the type of ordeal where I call my aunt and explain everything in detail because she’s had the checkered sort of life that would understand and validate whether or not I did the right thing. And then I talk to my father about the business side of it mostly and tell him I don’t know if he knows how much he taught me while I worked for him or by the example he set and how grateful I am for him showing me and being the type of person he is.
Don’t cut corners. Profit is not a dirty word. Pay your taxes. Be honest. There is nothing wrong with a day of hard work. Under promise, over deliver. Measure twice, cut once. (My god, that is more useful than just machinists and carpentry. Double check everything!) Measurement goes to what is important on a blueprint. (Don’t hit the auto measure button in Auto-Cad.) Have integrity, say what you’re going to do and do it. Doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do even when no one else is watching (or caring.)
These things aren’t necessarily easy. Nor should they always be.
I’ve been reminded of what is important to me in life and in business.
And during all this, I’ve been sitting here at my computer staring at the screen and telling myself, I don’t know how to talk about my writing. I’d love to tweet about my writing on twitter without spamming twitter with advertisements of my books (because that turns me off and I mute authors who do that. I also mute authors who post nothing but pictures and inspirational quotes.) Talking about Fashion or Project Runway is easier. I know what to say and how to say it. I can post pictures of my designs without it turning into spam content.
I don’t know how to talk about werewolves on motorcycles having adventures without being angsty about being werewolves and not considering themselves monsters. Not and make it interesting. Or, warrior princesses taking charge of their mixed up broken fairy tales. There isn’t a hashtag for #notalpharomance. Especially when in my books there really isn’t an alpha. There’s Brand, the big daddy of the pack who no one wants to disappoint.
Writing outside of genre conventions means that when it comes to talking about your writing, there isn’t the genre framework and buzz words to rely on. (Not that I feel anyone should be relying on the genre type jargon anyways, because I don’t want to know about your space dystopian thriller. That means nothing to me. What is your book about? Who are the characters? What is the conflict?)
Now, I’m left with reorienting my head space. A head space that really still wants that job opportunity because I’ve been told enough numbers that the statistician part of me is going “yes, yes, audience, market exists. Money!” While the rest of me is going “Be wary and go forward cautiously. Verify. Verify. Verify.”
I want to step away from the edge of this volcano intact and onto a path for success.