Friday, March 17, 2017

Not Worth the Cost

Think about a time that you saw something you liked, looked at the price, and said, "Well, I like this item, but there's no way I'm paying that price for it!"

Now, imagine that you somehow got forced, pressured, or manipulated into spending a lot of money on this item. When you tell your friends about it, they just keep insisting that this should not be an issue because you do like the product. You keep trying to explain that this product was not worth the amount of money that you spent on it, but your friends just don't get it.

THIS is what's it like when you keep pushing someone to focus on the good things that came of a situation that was horrible. Like the way that everyone tries to tell me that college could not have been that bad because something good must have come from it. Yes, there are good things that have happened in my life as a direct result of bad things, but that does not mean that the bad things were worth going through to get those good things. I never consented to paying that price. I like cupcakes but I am not willing to pay $1,000 for a cupcake, which is essentially what I did.

No matter what positive stuff comes out of a situation, it's always your right to say that it wasn't worth the cost.

Monday, March 13, 2017

You Make the Call

When you're taking a test, the test is only worth so many points. Whether it's 100 points, or 800, or whatever, there's a limit on how well you can do - you hit that highest score and that's it, you can't score any higher, that is the best that you can ever do on that particular test.

When you're writing something, it can always be perfected more. Always. You never reach that top score because it doesn't exist. There's always something else you can do to change it and make it better. Now if you're writing a paper for school, you have a set deadline. You have a point at which you need to hand in the paper no matter what state it's in, and that's how you decide that it's finished. But when you're working independently, when you don't have that set deadline, you can literally just keep editing and editing forever and never decide that it's completed. There is no maximum score. There is no deadline. It's entirely up to me when to stop. I have to pick a point to stop.

I'm picking now to stop because I know I'm there, I know I'm ready. It's hard to stop, but I realize that if I'm going to be a self-employed writer, I'm going to have to make that call. I don't have a due date. There is no such thing as a perfect score. It's entirely up to me. When you're the writer, you make that call. I'm going to have to keep making that call on everything I write, for my entire life. This is only the beginning.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Prepared

Here's the thing - I was unprepared for A LOT of my earliest job interviews. My cover letter was too generic-sounding. I didn't even own a business suit when I first started applying for jobs, and I had to run out and get one at the last minute. I totally blew my first post-grad interview because I didn't know how to answer any of the questions and I ended up saying "Maybe" and "I don't know" to a lot of questions. I interviewed at several companies in a particular industry before I reached the conclusion that I didn't even want to work for that type of company and I had to start my job search over from scratch. When I finally got a job, I had practically nothing in my closet that was work-appropriate. If I had gotten the job in the winter, it would have been less of an issue because most of my fun sweaters can double as work sweaters, but I got the job in the summer, and none of my fun summer clothes are things you can wear to an office. I literally did not have enough work clothes to go to work for a whole week. Luckily My mom let me dig through her closet and wear a bunch of her hand-me-downs. For the first few weeks at the new job, I had to wear pants that were too tight before I had a chance to buy new ones. The first time I went shopping for work clothes on my own, I ended up buying these blouses that required ironing or else they looked horrible, and I never iron my clothes. I had to adjust my sleep schedule by five hours because I was used to staying up late and waking up at noon, and now I had to get up at seven. Totally unprepared.

Looking back on it, I could have made my own life easier if I had prepared more for my interviews. I could have bought a business suit before I got any interviews. I could have gone online and researched what kinds of answers employers were looking for. I could have done more mock-interviews with my mom who has hired a bunch of people. I could have gone shopping and made sure I had black pants that fit comfortably and at least one week's worth of work shirts.

But the point here is, I applied for jobs before I was prepared because I needed a job. I didn't say to myself, okay, first you need to practice interviewing, then you need to get your wardrobe ready to have a job, then you need to do this, that, and the other thing to make sure you're ready. I didn't have time for that. I need a job, so I started applying for jobs. And maybe I should have taken more time to prepare, maybe that would have gotten me a job earlier and been a lot less stressful. But I needed a job, so I just dove straight in.

I don't know why I'm so scared to dive right in this time, when it comes to submitting my book. I keep thinking about every little thing that I could possibly need to prepare first. I know it's different this time because the stakes are higher, because I really don't care about any of those job interviews that I might have blown because I wasn't prepared, but I DO care about getting my book published and there is no way that I want to blow it because I'm not prepared.

But I am prepared. I am so much more prepared to meet with publishers than I have ever been for a regular job interview. I have the "right" interview clothes. I'm on a more "normal" sleep schedule so interview times shouldn't be an issue. And most importantly, I know how to speak intelligently about my book! I know because I've been doing it since I started.

I dove into job-hunting without being prepared because I didn't have time to stop and prepare. This time around, I am prepared. I am so much more prepared than I ever was. There's nothing to wait for. There's nothing left to do to get ready. I am ready.

I'm Ready as I'll Ever Be

Last week, I got to attend a webinar at work, hosted by the Women's Forum at my workplace. The speaker talked about discrimination issues in the workplace, and she specifically mentioned that study where a lot of women will look at a job posting where they have 8 out of the 10 qualifications and not apply for it because they think they're unqualified, while a lot of men will only have 3 out of the 10 qualifications and will go ahead and apply and assume they're going to the get the job. (This research is problematic because it ignores non-binary people).

I had already read about this a while back, but as the speaker said it, I couldn't help wondering if that's what I've been doing with the validation book. I keep saying that I need to edit more, I need to fix a few things, but really, this book was at a publishable quality last June. Then I perfected it even further and had it ready by the beginning of September. But it was ready then. I don't know why I'm still holding onto it and thinking I need to keep editing and editing before I can send it to a publisher. It was ready to be sent to a publisher last September!

Now, I got the news about my grandma in September and a lot of bad things have happened since then, so it's totally fine that I wasn't up for dealing with my book during that time. And it's totally legit if I'm still not up for dealing with it now (which I haven't quite figured out yet, I need to wait till I'm fully not-sick to see if I'm ready). But my point is, if I acknowledge that the book is ready to go but I don't feel well enough to deal with it at the moment, that's one thing. That's fine. But it's this business of having to re-edit it over and over again, to keep thinking that it's not ready when it was clearly ready six months ago, that's the problem. I think I'm doing that thing of saying, "Well, I only have 9.5 out of the 10 qualifications, so I'm not gonna do anything until I have the full 10."

I know my book is ready. I know my book is good enough. Multiple people have told me that the quality is better than many published self-help books that they've read. I talked to Eli about all of this, and they told me that I'm definitely saying "I only have 9.5 out of the 10 qualifications," that they would have said, "My book is awesome!" and submitted it much, much earlier if it were their book. I don't normally consider myself to be a perfectionist, but I think I am being too much of a perfectionist about my book. I think I'm scared to share it with publishers. It feels like my baby and I keep feeling like I'm not ready. I'm scared of it getting rejected. I'm scared of it not selling even when it does get published. And I'm scared of how my life is going to change if it does get really successful.

But I realize that I'm not going to become any more "ready" to publish the book than I am right now. I'm as ready as I'll ever be. It's time to research the process for submitting a book, find potential publishers or agents, write my pitch letter, and hit "send."

Monday, March 6, 2017

Guess What? You Were Wrong!

Everyone always thought that I was a goody-good-girl because I went such a long time not having any interest in guys, not even fantasy crushes on celebrities or anything. But the real reason for that was because I never actually liked guys, I liked girls all along!!!! When I finally started getting into guys it was something I sort of pushed on myself to be cool, and the first time I developed serious crushes on guys was after we did physical touching stuff that got me excited. I kept all my girl crushes and fantasies to myself and I didn't even understand that they were crushes because I didn't see my feelings reflected anywhere in books or TV shows or movies, it was all about girls liking guys and I couldn't relate so I thought I was a late bloomer, I thought I had no romantic feelings whatsoever because I didn't have them towards guys, I didn't know what was wrong with me while meanwhile I didn't know what was up with all the weird fantasies I had about girls. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Nope.

I am NOT a resilient person and I will not accept anyone pushing me to have that quality. Ever.