Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The problem with me

For as long as I can remember, well, maybe not that long, but for many years now, there has been one thing that I have always wanted to do.  This one thing has never changed and in fact, the more that time goes by, the more determined I am to make it happen.  So, for the life of me, I cannot understand why I don't just sit down and sort it out.  My dad has said some wise things in his time, but one of the wisest of them all, though he cannot take credit for coining the actual phrase although I do think of him every time I think it, is: 'If you want something bad enough, make it happen.'   And I totally agree with that.  I know I have said these same words to many people.  With the added words of 'If you want something bad enough, go out and get it' and 'Only you can make your dreams come true' and (as if I haven't got my point quite across yet) 'You are in control of your own life, take control of it and go for it' etc.

A few years back, we had an administrator that used to work for us who had aspirations of working with Orang-utans.  She had a passion for them and one day I said to her 'Trish, you are still young, there is nothing stopping you for doing just that, go study, go do what you need to do and live your dream.  Because before you know it, you are 40, married and the chance is forever gone'.  And that is just what she did.  She is now doing something she totally loves.  (although I believe her love went from those orange creatures to Gorilla's or something) but still, she is passionate about this and doing something she really enjoys.  I wish somebody had said that to me when I was 20 years old.  Or, maybe someone did, but I just wasn't listening.
Anyway, tick tock the clock goes, and indeed, before I knew it, I was married and 40 and working as an Office Manager for a recruitment consultancy with 2 children who are both in their teens and my excuse now is, 'there never is any time'.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  Is that really a decent excuse? No, I don't think so, I think I've been lying to myself, because I think I'm scared.  The problem with me is, I have delusions of grandeur. When I picture myself as a novelist, I picture me being someone everyone has heard of.  I don't mind saying (as ridiculous as it is) that I want to be as big as Stephen King.  I want to write a cult story like Stephanie Meyer.  Be as well read as Jodi Picoult. Neither of these writers may have impressed you much, but the point is, everyone has heard of them!  You might not be a fan of Twilight but the fact is, everyone knows what it is.  And as for Stephen King, who hasn't heard of him?  The list of successful novelists is huge and I want to be right up there with all of them.
So, the other day I had a serious think to myself.  I need to stop that.  Its not about writing the next best seller (although that would be nice) but its about seeing my work in print.  One thing I used to say years ago, is it would be nice to know, when I die there is something of me left behind.  And I know, I know, its easy to say 'well, you have your children left behind that is a part of you once you're gone' but that goes without saying and besides, so does millions of people.  What would be nice though, is for my children, and my children's children and so on, to pick up a book and see my name of the cover and to read it and to be proud of that.

I've had some of my work published, but its poetry, and not to belittle all the fellow poets of the world, to me, its not quite the same. It was too easy to submit poetry and to get a letter back saying it was going to be published in some poetry compilation, and never to hear anything about that again.  No, its not quite the same for me.  I never even bought the poetry compilation books they were published in.  That's my bad I guess.  But I am willing to bet, not one of you who is reading this blog will own any of those either.

So what is the problem then?  How badly do I want to write a novel? Oh My Goodness (censored that for you mom) More than you will ever know.  I'm following a few writers on twitter.  Brandon Ford, you might not realise it, but both you and Kimberly inspire me.  Especially you.  I do listen to the advise you give and I intend to apply it.  I'm not actually stalking either of you *sticks out tongue* even if your conversations on there amuse me sometimes. The fact is, you've done it, so there is no reason I cannot. Unless of course, I cannot write to save me life.  I don't believe that's true though.

So, enough of the procrastination.  Enough of the excuses.  Enough.  I'm blogging this now, so I'm essentially setting myself up for ridicule if I don't, but the motivation needs to be more than that and it is, its there, it really is.  I need to sit myself down and just make a start.  The story is in my head.  Its already there, I just need to start.  And like I have been advised, set myself a target of so many words per day and just begin.  I somehow think, once I do that, it will be a lot easier than I think, and I am hoping that I will be able to look back and ask myself why I was ever scared in the first place.

Here is hoping .....

I may not be the next Stephanie Meyer with a massive cult following who wrote a story loved by millions. Nor will I EVER be the next Stephen King.  I can only be me, and hope that I manage to get published and read by at least one person who will enjoy it.  Any more after that will only be a bonus.


Listening to Adele while I blog and having the best time - I could just keep typing forever.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

What is it with Romania?

Right, I don't know what is going on, but I don't trust it.  Not one little bit.

For the last week or so, I have been getting a lot of random hits.  OK, maybe a lot is an exaggeration, but there is around 5+ hits per day that I am rather confused about.  Also, I have been checking the referral sites, and the one that shows up day after day is one I do not recognise.  Turns out, I've made it to a search engine (or something) in Romania, and I have no idea why?  Is it because I'm suddenly famous over there, well, I'm not inclined to believe that unless you know something I don't.....so...what is it?  Why is it that suddenly Romania (and Russia) is hitting my website a few times everyday.  Hmmmmm.  I smell a rat!

Could it have something to do, do you think, with the fact that suddenly I'm getting comments on my blog?  The sad thing though, is that its all spam.  I never used to get this before either?  Oh, how exciting it is for me every time I log on and am informed that there is an unauthorised comment waiting for my approval, only to read it to find someone is trying to sell me something.  Or telling me how I can get my blog 'out there' for everyone to see.  Now while I don't think that's such a bad idea, because, seriously what would be the point of all of this if I didn't want it out there for everyone to read, I am feeling a little bit like...hmmm...i don't trust you matey.  Delete and Next!

So what is it with Romania?  (And Russia).  What has happened or what did I click that's got someone or something, clicking on my blog daily.  Wish I knew.


Saturday, 5 November 2011

The Twilight Zone

So everything came to a head this week.  You know how I have been complaining about my work load and about how I was struggling to cope?  Well the last few weeks things have gone from bad to worse.  I have been sat at the edge of my seat, day after day, literally ready to grab my bag, get up and walk out of the office, uttering a few words along the lines of 'take your damn job and shove it' (I've described the censored version here).  Instead, I grab a cigarette and go downstairs and stand outside smoking, whilst trying to breathe deeply and stop myself from crying.  I feel sorry for the few people that I drag downstairs with me and complain about my sad lot.  I fear poor Colin's ears may start bleeding soon.  If nothing else, I have grown sick of the sound of my own whining voice. 

Earlier in the week a friend asked me on Facebook how things were going at work and I once again started typing about how awful it was, but then stopped myself because I really just didn't want to have to complain again, and instead, I said to her that I would need to sort this out once and for all. And finally, I realised that I would have to do something about this.  While I was sat there complaining and feeling the way I was, nothing was changing, It was up to me to make that change.  So, on Thursday, I sat my directors down and told them.  And when I say told them, I mean I laid all my cards on the table and didn't hold back any punches.  It was the best thing I have done in a very long time. 

I was so incredibly scared.  I don't know why I was so afraid, but I was literally shaking like a leaf.  The heat of emotion spread across my chest and even as I sat there talking to them, tears were welling up in my eyes and I had to force myself to hold back.  I did not want to get all emotional and girlie.  I was ready to quit my job but I wanted to remain professional about it.

I was preparing myself for the challenges they were going to throw back at me to the things that I was saying.  But this never happened.  I thought I would have to try justify everything I was saying, but this too, I need not have worried about.  Instead, they sat there in front of me nodding, agreeing to everything I was saying.  As I sat there speaking, I felt this awful weight start to lift off me and slowly I started to smile.  They agreed with me, with almost everything I stated.  And the outcome of it all?  Get whatever you need Bernadette.  We know you are overworked.  We knew this was coming.  We are sorry we have neglected you. 

Why had I not done this months ago?

What on earth is wrong with me?

If anyone knows me then they know how strongly I feel about communication.  Speak, tell me how you feel, tell me what you want.  Always be honest.  This is me.  Yet, for months I have sat in that office, slowly brewing like a volcano getting closer and closer to that inevitable explosion.  What an idiot I have been! All I can think is that I have been subconsciously not wanting to appear to fail.  That I have wanted to appear super efficient and able to cope with it all.  That I would somehow catch up and get on top of things again. Oh the irony.  I have not been able to catch up and get on top of it all for years.  I don't know what I was thinking.

Anyway, since that conversation it is like I have entered the twilight zone.  Suddenly, everything is different, suddenly the way I am being treated is different.  Its like I have been raised up and put on this pedestal.  I complained that I am not respected in the office and suddenly I am VIP employer.  Obviously I am loving it, but it does all feel a bit surreal.
Its incredible what a bit of recognition can do for a persons self esteem.
At the moment, I am advertising for help and I have a few 100 CVs to go through this weekend from applicants.  I CANNOT wait to get the interviews over with and to begin to train someone. 
Yes, it will involve MORE work that I can very well do without.  More of my time spent on training someone, time that I don't have, but I will have to do it in order to reap the benefits.At least I feel positive now, Its been a long time since I felt that at work, and I am SO happy about that.

I hope you never have to read me complain about work again.  I wish never to have to hear my own voice whine 'woe is me!'  I am not stupid enough to believe that its all happy days from here on in, as I know there will be lots of bumps in the road, but if I learned anything this week, it was to speak up before things get that bad again, so I never need sit down here again and blog about how unhappy and overworked I am at work.  If I ever do, please remind me of this...