And some… are pushed.

by Doc Coleman on October 2, 2013 · 4 comments

in Asides

This post is partly inspired by a post from P.C. Haring. P.C. has had a very bad September. The theme of his post is “Why do we fall, sir?” The answer, of course, is so we can learn to get back up. But that got me thinking… There are many reasons why we fall. Some trip. Some will leap for greatness and fail to catch themselves. And some… are pushed.

Last week, I was in a leadership class. Something to help further my dayjob career. I had an odd experience in that class. Several of my classmates thanked me for my leadership.

Why was this strange? Well, because I find that I am constantly having to hold myself back. Part of it is holding myself back so that others will have a chance to step up. Part of it is listening to other’s ideas. Part of it is a long history with people who just want me to shut up and stay in my hole. I’m trying really hard to overcome that part. But the real point of it was that this was the first time in my life that anyone had told me that they appreciated my leadership. That they were grateful for my advice and my guidance.

That’s big.

But I am digressing a bit. This post is about falling…

So, back to the dayjob… On Monday, I was a Division Chief. I was doing a job that was at the next pay grade up, and doing a good job of it. That is HUGE, by the way. Unfortunately, my dayjob uses a rank-in-position system, so I couldn’t get paid for the job I was doing unless I could be put into a billet at the higher level. Bunch of regulations governing the situations where that could happen… and my situation didn’t fit any of those.

Monday, I was a Division Chief. Tuesday, I was a Team Lead… and told to shut down my office. Yup. My dayjob is one of many affected by the government shutdown. My job was not considered vital enough for the protection of life and property, so I was put on furlough.

Monday, I was a Division Chief. Tuesday, I was a Team Lead for half a day. Today, I am effectively unemployed.

Some fall because they stumble. Some leap for greatness and cannot catch themselves. And some… are pushed.

So now, I have to pick myself up.

The sad part is that I’ve been trying to get my novel ready to be published, but I’m not nearly far enough along in the process to make that happen. I’m still waiting on Alpha Readers, although one of them has finished the book and given me all of her feedback. I still have another draft to write, and the Beta Read to get through, and a further draft to write from that feedback. I still need a cover, and need to create the e-book and print layouts of the final copy. Unless the shutdown goes on for a really long time, it won’t help with the bills.

I also have a contract for some voice work. The free time will help me get ahead on that work, but I’m just one voice of several, and I don’t get paid until the whole audiobook gets published.

I also have edits for Way of the Gun to complete. Of course, even if those are accepted, I don’t get paid until the book is published.

I have plenty of work to occupy my time, but it is going to be a while before any of it pays off in a meaningful manner. The one thing that I’m really lacking now is a back catalog. Well, I sort of have one.

I have four short stories out there. You can find links to each of them at my Writing page. The thing is, I only get money back from two of them: “The Gift”, and “Welcome to Paradox”. Those are the stories I published myself. “A Walk in the Park” is published by Flying Island Press as part of the Steampunk issue of Flagship Magazine. I don’t get any returns from those sales. I’d need to re-publish the story to see returns from it. The last story, “The Cross of Columba”, which I wrote for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, was written under a work for hire agreement, so Tee Morris and Philippa Ballantine own the rights to it and get the proceeds from the sales. Of course, Tee and Pip are in a similar state of employment, so there is no reason to avoid buying a copy of that story if you don’t already have it.

When you get down to it, my best chance to make money fast is to try to sell publishing rights to the short stories I already have finished. There are the three I mentioned above, plus “The Price of Surrender” which was podcast on Every Photo Tells… and “Maker’s Mark”, a short story I completed, but that could use a little re-work. I haven’t really pushed to try to sell my short stories because they were some of my earliest work. I really feel like the later work I have done is much better… but I can’t get it market any quicker.

So where does that leave me? Well, I have some savings. We’ll see how well they last, and how long the shutdown goes on. You can buy the early stories above if you’d like to help me out in the mean time. Or, if you’ve already got the early stories and want to show support, you can always put something in my tip jar in the sidebar of this site.

Perhaps I should consider setting up a pre-order for The Perils of Prague. I would be tempted, but it would need a lot of interest to make it worth the effort.

I was pushed. But that won’t stop me from getting back up again.

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