Sunday Digest: Decision time (and bears!)

Hey.

I got a few things to get through today, and I’ve been it off until now, so lets just jump straight into it. First, you may notice that I have not posted the next chapter of Anubai, or anything else this week. I’m sorry, I have no excuse.

Or rather, I have plenty of excuses, but I’m not going to burden you with them, since it’s a lot of same old, same old. One fun story though: I spent a great deal of time thinking about how the various parties are going to be entering this fight, and I have a good solid progression in mind — but when I sat down to write, I realized I didn’t have any idea at all about how to actually start the conversation at the beginning of the chapter. I got a few words down, and then I set it aside to work on it later, and never came back. Writing is hard. 😦

Anyway, once I finally get concentrated on it, it should flow more smoothly. I think. 😐

Second thing: I built Notre Dame. 😛

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You see those pseudo-arch like things around the building? Those were time consuming. It turned out fairly nice though, with one major error which is completely unrecognizable unless you know exactly where to look — and I’m not telling. 😉

I have exactly one model left in stock, which is actually five models: the train I showed you in an earlier post. After that… well, I’ll probably take a break from models. At least until the metal Gundam models come out. 😉

Thirdly… well. I’d like to talk about my family’s circumstances for a bit. Feel free to skip to the end, if you don’t want to hear about my life. 😛

Alright, so as you may know, I have a wife, a 9-year-old son, and a 3-year-old daughter. My wife is currently the only one working, while I stay at home with the kids. I used to work in a warehouse as a forklift driver, but I was fired due to a confluence of unfortunate circumstances.

Now, for the past couple years we’ve been scraping by on my wife’s income, barely. But just recently, the apartment complex we are living in changed owners, and the new management is raising our rent by a significant amount, nearly $300 a month more. This is on top of shoving almost all the utility bills to us as well, which used to be packaged in the rent. (Oh, and in the future they will be taking away our underground parking space and our storage unit. Jerks.)

We’ve been looking for a 3 bedroom apartment anyway, since getting our two children to sleep in the same room is a horrible experience every night. This just makes the search much more urgent — but naturally, the rent will be higher even if we can find something. Which we can’t, or at least we can’t in this city; property is expensive around here. We’ve thought of moving out to a cheaper area as well, but… Well, my daughter has possible autism spectrum problems, and the city we currently live in has a really good school system, which is giving us a lot of support for her. Also, my own parents live less than ten miles away, and they’ve been able to help us out a lot, which would be tougher if they lived further away.

My wife is already working very long hours, so she can’t really pick up any more. Therefore, to fill in the gaps in our financial situation, somehow I’ve got to come up with a source of income. Now, the obvious answer would be “get a job,” right? Well, there are certain problems with that, setting aside my own destroyed confidence. First of all, we only have a single car, so I can’t work anytime my wife is at work. (Or at school; did I mention that she’s going back to college for a nursing degree too?) Therefore, the hours I could work are extremely limited, and mostly at night, which really limits the type of job I could apply for.

But even if I could solve the transportation problem, I’d still have to deal with daycare for my kids. It wouldn’t be so bad once my son was back in school, but I’d still have to do something with my daughter, and professional daycare is extremely expensive. It’s possible I could work out some sort of deal with my parents, but I really think it wouldn’t be fair to them.

And what sort of job should I look for, anyway? I categorically refuse to do warehouse work anymore, especially for a big company. It just doesn’t work for me. And please spare me working food service anymore… So what’s left? Retail? I doubt that would work out much better than warehouse did.

What I’d prefer to get paid for is writing, or editing. I do have a certain amount of practice using words, after all. But I don’t have a portfolio of my work, except for this site, and even here nothing is complete. So I don’t feel confident applying for official positions.

So let me get to the point. I’ve been thinking, off and on, about setting up a Patreon for this site, and my novels. I’ve been hesitating about it for two reasons: first and most importantly, I don’t think I’ve been consistent enough about posting “on time.” I stuck with a chapter of A Living Will per week on Wednesday’s for a while, but that fell through due to changes in my wife’s work schedule, and I’ve been absolutely horrible about getting chapters of Anubai Hero released in a timely manner. But if I was to ask for money, I’d more or less be committing myself to having a set schedule, if only for consistency’s sake. It’s something I want to do, but I don’t want to end up disappointing people if I can’t make a schedule I can work with, y’know?

The other thing is, if I want to make money through Patreon, I really, really, need to market myself and build up an audience. Believe me, I appreciate each and everyone one of you who read my blog, and especially the 24 people who follow it in WordPress, but I think it would be unreasonable to expect such a relatively small population to support my writing. Which means I would have to make a greater effort (i.e. any effort at all) to draw more people to my writing, and provide a consistent, valuable product.

Reading over what I’ve just written, you may get the impression that I lack confidence in myself. This would, indeed, be the case. But whether I believe in myself or not, something needs to be done.

So what do you think? Should I start taking donations through Patreon? Or should I do what I originally intended, and build up a good reputation and work habits to prove that I am worth investing in first? Or should I just go back to serving coffee? For now, things are still OK, but I’m starting to feel a certain amount of pressure from the difficulties coming down the pike. Something needs to be done… 😦

tl;dr: Should I start a Patreon?

……….

Extra: So, my family went to the Minnesota Zoo yesterday. It’s a great place to visit, if you ever get the chance. Outside, at the entrance to the Northern Trail, they have a splash pad for the kids to play in, along with various animal sculptures.

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My daughter really liked the bears, for some reason. 😉

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6 thoughts on “Sunday Digest: Decision time (and bears!)

  1. Hey Jackel, still having a hard time huh. As one of those 24, I’ll say my piece. As I don’t yet have a full time job, it would be rather hard for me to donate on Patreon, but whenever I do, I wouldn’t mind supporting a friend. Take that as you will. I can’t presume to offer advice as I am far younger than you are.
    Anyway, there’s a lot I could say, but I don’t wanna put it in the comments section of your site. So for you, I’ll just remind you that at least one person will read everything you put out. It’s not all lost to the nether real.

    Good luck with the situation, hope yer family is doing alright~
    Tea

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello dark Jackel, well, as someone younger, I don’t think I can give any useful or constructive advices, but I’ll try to squeeze something out;

    First of all, I’m in the same situation as your wife. I have a job (not a part time one, but a full time one, by the way), and also go to college. It’s really tiring. Respects to her. In any case, if worst come to worst, going back with yours (or hers) parents for a while, until you guys find a new, suitable place may be the best? If it’s possible, of course. You guys really need to move from that place, after all. It’s quite difficult to find a place that can accommodate to one’s own budget. Wait, I’m derailing, you don’t need to hear that.

    About getting paid writing, why don’t do both? Just get a pantreon and do your best to have new chapters in a set schedule. That will get you the trust needed. And I think the 24 here can spam this blog to help a bit, at least. I think that what you write is wort it. You could also write your original works in volumes format, and put up a site to sell them in digital format.

    In any case, I think it would be good if you get a job, too. In which country do you live anyway? You could try to be a translator, a freelancer one. You would need to know another language, though… Well, if you’re up for it, I can help you with learning Spanish. I’m just saying, because I’ve taken translator in college, it’s just an idea. It’s something you can work in while in your house, too, depending on how you do it.

    Well, don’t know what else to say, sorry. In any case, good luck to you and your wife.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Unfortunately, moving back in with my folks is 100% impossible, since they moved out of their house after dad retired. Not nearly enough space. As for translation, the closest thing to a second language I have is Japanese, and I’d have to review for a year just to be bad in it. Good thought, though. 😅

      Like

  3. Well… I’d donate if I weren’t going through my own tough time. I have 7 days to clear out my dad’s old garage or else I’ll have to pay $400 plus the $100 he owed from last month. Not to mention that I just stayed up all night helping my step brother fix a tow truck so he could help me get the truck my dad had from the place (and hopefully fix it up before the deadline so I can make more trips). I’m just lucky that dad didn’t sign the back of the title after it was notarized, thus meaning I don’t have to take it through probate court as legally it wasn’t his. Not to mention I still gotta clear out the house he was renting. And I gotta get his death certificate now that he’s been cremated so I can try to get the military to reimburse me for it.

    All I can do right now is pray for you. I wish I could do more. And like you, I’ve been debating on starting a patreon.

    Liked by 1 person

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