Tag Archives: female writer

One Down, ? to Go

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Werrrrll good news for those who enjoy my Tangent Artists work. I’ve just finished my contributions and edits of our group-project: Steal This Tome, A Book For Thieves.  I hope to post a sneak preview shortly so you can see what you’ve been waiting for.

I was going to post about how I’ve been blocked and rather paralyzed by fear and doubt these last few days, but you know? Screw that. I have been busy. I’m only disappointed with myself that I haven’t done everything, and that’s frankly out of the question.

A lot of my friends are going through this right now too. The bad economy, job instability, the fear of what may happen politically this year, as well as all of our own personal problems—we all have a lot on our table. Maybe our friend got published, maybe someone we know was asked to be a guest at a convention, maybe that chance we didn’t take really paid off for someone else? We’re not them, and we can’t compare their success to our own. We all have our own stories.

We have to look at our victories, no matter how small, and revel in them. Don’t bask in the glory for too, long, you have a job to do after all, but every victory helps us launch ourselves further. More importantly, we set a precident for ourselves.

I can do this, because I’ve already done so much.

So instead of being a sad sack tonight, I’m going to celebrate. I’m still writing and drawing. I’m still hoping that someday it will make enough to help my family. I have all the time in the world, and nothing but possibilities.

Go forth and do!

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The Care and Feeding of Me

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I’ve seen so many articles in the last few years that seemed to be geared towards “educating” normal people on how to treat people with forms of anxiety. Like how to take care of introverts, hyper-sensitive people, people with anxiety, and other personalities that simply don’t tend to follow social norms. And at first it wasn’t such a big deal. I read that first one on introverts and thought, that was a nice way to break the ice. It was new and innovative and I saw no harm in it.

And then more popped up. And then more, and more again. Each one repeating the same maxims like, “don’t pressure us to talk,” “don’t take it personally if we don’t make eye contact,” “don’t be offended if I don’t want to talk to you.” Some were helpful. Some were border-line demanding/whining. At first I was happy because it was reaffirming that a lot of the things that bother me (loud noises, big crowds, talking to strangers) bothered other people and that it was okay.

But you know, the more lists I see now, the more people post about how they should be treated specially, how they require warnings and notices for everything, how they are highly intelligent and therefore deserving of more allowances, and generally how much “better” they are than normal people, I started to get annoyed by these lists. I knew they were about people like me, but I was starting to want to distance myself from these listicles.

Sure, I don’t like to be uncomfortable in big crowds, but sometimes I have to endure them—I table-run at conventions! And sometimes I don’t want to go to parties, and celebrations for my friends, but I do it anyway because my friends want me there, and people I like are worth making sacrifices for.

If I posted this list and insisted that everyone adhere to it, I’m like that one jerk who goes to a Mexican restaurant and demands eggplant Parmesan. “You don’t serve eggplant Parmesan? Well too bad! That’s all I can eat and you should accommodate me!” When in truth I should either a) try some Mexican food, or b) take my business elsewhere.

The world isn’t meant to accommodate me. I have to adapt to the world. That means pushing myself into situations where I’m uncomfortable. It means practicing until I get better. It means gathering my courage and realizing that if I want anything from the world, I have to be willing to meet it on its own terms. And if I’m not up to the challenge, I need to make a quiet retreat until I can try again.

I’m also not so arrogant to believe that I’m the only one with problems. I may hate crowds, but maybe someone else is really nervous without them. I hate loud noises, but what about people tormented by silence? I hate talking to strangers, but what about the person who’s worried they’ll talk too much? Everyone has their hurdles, and we should be insightful and compassionate enough to help people who are obviously uncomfortable.

Most importantly, we should be brave enough to be honest with our friends and family. Instead of posting passive aggressive lists online, why not try telling our friends how we feel. “Go out to the club tonight? No thanks, I actually don’t like loud places so much. Maybe we could do something else like Pho?” “Yeah, I’ll go to the Christmas party with you, but could you introduce me to some people? I have trouble striking up conversations,” and most importantly, “I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. Do you mind if I excuse myself to collect my thoughts?”

Anecdote: For the longest time I would get panic attacks at checkout counters. When I was with my husband, I’d always say, “I’ll take the kids to the car and fasten them in while you finish up here.” And leave before he got to the register. He never knew exactly what was going on, and I really didn’t want to tell him I was having a panic attack, but one day we were shopping without the kids. I didn’t have excuse to leave him so I had to be honest and say, “The checkout counter always gives me panic attacks. Can I just meet you when we’re done?”

And darling hubby, just shrugged and said, “I figured it was something like that. No problem.”

After that, I started to get fewer panic attacks. It was enough to know that he knew what I was going through and that I could walk away from the register without having to explain it or make an excuse. Our openness actually helped me with my anxiety.

Living in a bubble, untested, untroubled, and most of all, alone, is no way to live. We stagnate, we fester, we’re never forced to challenge ourselves so we never win and we never grow. I’ve seen too many people who have shut themselves off from the world because the world would never bend to fit their needs. You can’t live like that. You’re a human as much as everyone else. You’re special, but so are they. So here’s my:

CARE AND FEEDING OF HUMANS.

  1. Never assume.
  2. Ask how they feel or what they would like.
  3. Treat them like individuals with their own lives and interests.
  4. Feel free to help them understand you.
  5. Try your best to understand them.
  6. They will make mistakes. Forgive them and try again.

You Are Your Job

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This is advice that I am putting out to all people who build their business from home. The internet is a wonderland of opportunity where anyone can sell anything to anyone. But it’s also bigger than you think and it never forgets you. What self-starter people need to realize is:

YOU ARE YOUR JOB.

Most people in the 9-to-6 world out there? They get to go home. They get to leave their place of work and go home and the job stays there.

You don’t get to do that.

Most jobs are manned by hundreds and thousands of people. They’re protected and shielded from being singled out because they’re just one ant in a colony. So what if they say something or do something on the internet? It’s not like anyone’s going to connect them to their place of work. And most times they’re right.

You don’t get to do that either.

Because you are your job.

So what baffles me is going online and seeing young independent businessmen and businesswomen go onto the internet and act like spoiled children. They bully, they libel, they slander, they harass and generally act out to get attention or vent frustration online. They do this under their own names, and in full view of their potential customers.

And then they wonder.

They wonder why they didn’t win a competition. They wonder why they didn’t get commission work. They wonder why they didn’t get into a convention.

And then they continue to complain, whine, and bully.

Well maybe it’s because they not only ruined their personal reputation, but because they ruined their company’s reputation too. They messed up because they never thought it would affect their business life and they’re shocked when it does. It always does.

Because you are your job.

And that’s hard! There’s been so many times when I’ve wanted to take someone down a peg, where I’ve wanted write a rant that “it isn’t fair,” where I’ve wanted to complain about a really hard customer I’ve had. I understand that. It happens to us all.

But I can’t talk about it online.

That group I’m making fun of? One might be a client, and they’re having second thoughts about recommending me to their friends.

That convention I’m whining about? Their chair is reading every word and deciding to never work with me again.

That more-famous artist I’m denouncing? They might have been planning a collaboration with me and now they’re deciding I’m not worth their time.

I am my job.

Which means when people have a problem with me, it affects my job. I don’t get to hide behind the anonymity of someone who works at J.C. Penny’s or Starbucks. I don’t get to act like a bitch to people and not have it follow me home. I work at home.

So if you’re an indie businessperson trying to get a leg up? It’s time to wise up. It’s time to be cautious, always take the upper hand, and to walk away from the keyboard when angry. It’s time to second-guess yourself, and never let your emotions get the better of you, and to never let your despair lead you to prejudice and hate. Most of all, it’s time to stop acting like a spoiled child with a grudge.

You’re in the business world now. Act like it.

Our jobs are fun, creative, and sometimes even rewarding (if we’re lucky), but with it, we lose that ability to take off the mask.

You are your job and you can never NOT be your job.

Are you ready to deal with those consequences?

If not, then maybe—just maybe—you shouldn’t post that.

Inktober 22

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Here’s a little fan fun for today. I’m a HUGE fan of Rebecca Sugar’s series, Steven Universe. I love it so much I will have to save how much I love it for its own post because I don’t have the energy today. It’s just awesome go see it! TL;DR awesome ladies of all shapes and sizes with crystal powers fighting to save Earth with the help of a sweet young boy who you just want to hug. Not saccharine, not sappy, just a lot of heart, good messages, great characters, and awesome music. Fun for all ages.

Rebecca Sugar, meanwhile has encouraged fans to make their own “gemsonas” or crystal gem versions of themselves.So today I humbly submit to you: Malachite.

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Today’s inks were all about getting down Rebecca sugar’s own style: colour scheme, paying attention to the star detail, round flowing lines without a ton of detail, the gemstone placement, and, most importantly, to not shy away from my real body-type. Her style embraces the curves and flaws of real people, so I’ve been extra honest here with my curves.

I added colour in photoshop, because you really NEED colour on a crystal gem to make it stand out, but the ink version is below here. So, I had fun today! Later!

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