Leveling Up!

Lovely Sunday afternoon. Treated myself to a picnic in the park in order to get the hell away from basically everyone and everything. Love to enjoy the silence instead of constantly dealing with whatever drama this town serves up next.

I spend most of my time at home now so I can avoid it. It’s honestly so weird to go out for a coffee and run into all these people who are giving me dirty looks, muttering weird shit under their breath, or just pointing at me and laughing loudly like they’re in middle school. It’s like… I literally have no idea what you’re projecting onto me this time, but I don’t really care anymore. It’s a small town in the middle of nowhere. That’s just how they are. I literally leave to go travel for months at a time on a semi-regular basis and there’s always some new rumor about me when I get back. Yawn. It’s all gotten so stale for me. I just want to come home to a place that feels like home.

Speaking of haters, I haven’t heard from the Fake Twitter Account Screenshot Troll again. I wonder how that whole plan of theirs to ruin my life is going? No idea. Haven’t really noticed a change, tbh. I guess those screenshots of me drunk tweeting aren’t worth as much as they thought. Turns out I can tell my own story a lot better than they can. Huh. Who knew?

I can’t imagine being that person, or any of these people. I don’t understand where they’re getting their delusions from. My Instagram will literally tell you what I’ve been up to for the last several years. I drove through the Southwest on an epic solo road trip. I took a Hip Hop Hood History tour in Los Angeles. I went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. I went to a few Broadway shows in New York City. I joined protests in Washington, DC. I went to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. I went to a writing workshop in Paris. I went ghost hunting in the Black Hills. I visited over 30 Indian Reservations. I saved my car from a bunch of scummy methheads in Montana. I drove that same car across the country several times. And that’s only the start!

Yep, that’s right. I did all of that, built two websites, taught myself marketing, went on a variety of crazy local adventures with Mad Dog, and wrote several crappy first drafts. And you were… what’s that again? You were sitting in a dive bar in the middle of nowhere talking shit, taking screenshots, and trying to paint someone you barely know as a threat to society. Sucks to be you, honestly. Can’t imagine being such a pathetic loser. Good luck in life, really. I mean that sincerely. You’re obviously going to need it.

Otherwise, I’ve been keeping fairly busy. My sister’s idea that I start a bullet journal was absolute genius. It’s keeping me on track in terms of diet, exercise, curbing excessive alcohol consumption, building a solid daily routine, and focusing on my various online classes. I’ve invested a significant amount of my time into my online communities in search of fresh connections. I’m still struggling with social anxiety as a result of all of the literal insanity I’ve been surrounded by, so I’m still having trouble with things like engagement, timely responses, turning the camera/mic on in Zoom, and participating in discussions in a meaningful way.

It’s pretty unfortunate, but I’ve definitely allowed the negative feedback from everyone to dull my shine. I’m just so tired of being hated for everything I say and do all the time. I’m over-policing myself as a result. Yet somehow, I’m still always “too much,” whatever that even means. It doesn’t matter. I have to figure it out either way. What else am I supposed to do? Just give up on becoming a functional human adult? Yeah, I already went down that path and it turns out it’s a dead end. I’m just going to have to find my confidence again… somehow.

The good news is… I recently started writing again. Le gasp! I tricked myself into doing it by keeping a side doc open for Andrew and scheduling a specific block of time every week into my schedule. It’s only once a week to keep the pressure off because my writer’s block has been so terrible. People make jokes about me being the town punching bag, but that actually deeply affected my mental health. So yeah, it makes sense that my avatar is stuck in Bloody Mary’s and Andrew is still blocking the way. That’s where I left off when I stopped writing so it’s only natural I would pick back up there again. It’s not what I was hoping for, but I decided it was better to stop fighting it. It is what it is. It’s just part of the process.

After about a month of scheduling this time for my writing, I started producing some results. They haven’t been the best results, but they are results and any results are better than no results. Unfortunately, it started with Andrew and Bloody Mary’s, but again, I had to. Nothing else is coming out of me until I resolve that story. I’m not writing it for you or for anyone else. I’m doing it for me because it’s what I need to do.

The thing about Andrew that people really don’t understand is that his character already existed before that real person got involved. They were never intended to be the same character. I was going to write the story about the writer creating a boyfriend who comes to life no matter what. That was an idea I had a long time ago. It was going to be written regardless of this person. He just so happened to be the only good-looking guy standing in the room at the time. If it wasn’t him, it would’ve been some other guy with lots of money and a pretty face. I’ve made peace with that fact. That’s all that matters to me. I can’t make other people understand. I can only write what I need to be writing.

So, I wrote a couple stories about Andrew. I only published the one, which I have to set to private because it looks insane out of context. That’s only because it is insane. This whole situation is insane. I still have no idea what the heck really happened. When I go back and read my diaries from the time, all I see is gaslighting and a garden variety of abusive behavior from a bunch of drunks at a local dive bar. It definitely looks a lot different in the daylight. It’s just another crazy thing that happened in my ridiculous life. Okay. Got it.

It didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere until yesterday. I was experimenting with Voice Memos at the suggestion of several people and had a breakthrough on Bloody Mary’s. How do I explain this without giving too much away? Hmm. Essentially, I decided I hated the previous stories because of all the nonfiction elements. By that I mean, these people have done nothing but treat me like trash from Day 1, so I legitimately hate most of them at this point. I don’t want to write some cheesy story about moving to a small town in the middle of nowhere from the big city only to discover the charming, close-knit bonds of the community and fall in love with the lonely hot townie guy who owns a historic inn and always wears especially soft flannel shirts. That’s a Lifetime Christmas movie, not my real life! That has never happened for me here and I’ve finally accepted that it never will.

In fact, it rarely happens to anyone here…

Why?

Because this town is legitimately weird! It definitely gives off more science-fiction/mystery/horror vibes. So my latest outline is centered more around the vortex vibes and incorporates more of the town as opposed to just one bar. It incorporates most of the fictional elements of the original stories (ie: time travel, shapeshifters, an alien invasion, Belize, Ancient Rome, etc). The character list has obviously grown into an entire town thanks to all of my adventures the last few years. I have a lot more material to work with and choose from. I think I finally found the right structure for it and obviously the setting and characters are all good to go.

Now my only problem is… there is no plot! I have to make one up entirely from scratch that isn’t based on reality at all. I’m actually really excited about this discovery. This means I get to have fun writing again! It’s been so long since I’ve enjoyed writing. For awhile there, this subject matter was making me pretty miserable. In the end, it turns out the decade plus of suffering I’ve endured in South Dakota was worth it after all!

Thank. God.

That was yesterday. Here I am today, writing on my blog again to update ya’ll on my progress and let you know I’m getting better. I did have another breakthrough earlier this week with my other blog project. I know a lot of people are eagerly awaiting that. I’m using this course I’m taking to help me but I got stalled on the Pinterest Marketing section for a few months. Why? Because Pinterest is actually a search engine and making pins is a COMPLETELY different and significantly more time-consuming process than just hitting “share” to Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. So I got caught up on that for awhile, but I jumped that hurdle last week and now I’m back on track again.

I can honestly say I feel more empowered now that I understand how to use social media as a marketing tool. Before, social media had all the power over me. Now I understand it. I know how the algorithms work and how to play them for my own gain. Now I am the one with the power over social media. But you know, not really because they’re still taking and selling all of my data without permission and tracking my every move. It is what it is.

What have I learned from this blogging course? That making a “real blog” is much different than what I’ve been doing, which is basically just venting and hitting post without thinking about the consequences. There’s about 10x more work involved. I have to actually be intentional and serious about it, just like everything else in my life. That is something I’m not used to. I’ve been in a “just get it all out” phase. Now it’s time to whip all this raw creative material into shape using all the tools I’ve learned from my courses, workshops, conferences, webinars, and interactions with other writers.

It’s… a lot, actually, lol. Don’t be jealous of “influencers,” you guys. The big ones aren’t doing all of this by themselves. They have a team of people working for them. Remember that the next time you get stuck in an Instagram FOMO spiral.

Hoping things will start moving along here faster now that I’ve jumped all these hurdles. I can promise you these projects are coming, but I can’t promise you a timeline. I’m sorry. I want to. I wish I could give that you, but I can’t. Right now, I wake up every day, follow my routine as much as I can, and try to see how much I can get done. In addition to my first world white girl problems, the world is crumbling around us. That affects things like my mental health and career trajectory. It’s okay. It’s happening to a lot of people right now. Most people, I would say.

On that note, I will close out this entry by asking you to send Hope to the people of Ukraine in whatever manner your feel comfortable with, be it spirituality, religion, atheism, maybe possible but not sure, witchcraft, science, Flying Spaghetti Monster, aliens, The Force, none of the above, or whatever. Let’s send Hope to everyone in the world. I hope that during my lifetime, we can find a way to bring about significant, positive change to stop pointless wars, save the environment, and live together peacefully at last.

Thank you and Goodnight. <3