I’m A Writer, Now What?

I’ve spent the last several years preparing myself for retirement. After all, I’m not getting any younger, and I watched too many senior citizens struggle on a fixed income. I realized that I have skills I can use after the high-tech world was finished with me—or I was finished with it.

And now that the moment has arrived, what do I do with myself?

Stage One

Well, to start, I shovel out my workspace.

(C) 2019 JJ Shaun
Before cleaning.

This room is about 12’ x 10’, so not incredibly large. Having been a reader and writer for almost all my life, I have quite the collection of books I just can’t get rid of, and books that I use as resources for my writing. It’s probably an even split at this point.

The clutter has been a good seven (or more) years in the making, so getting it cleaned out, painted, and furnished to my new needs will take time. I’m two weeks in and have the central part about three-quarters decluttered. One more corner, then I start shredding. After that, I need to pull everything out down to the bare walls.

(C) 2019 JJ Shaun
Cleaning in progress.

My goal in completely redecorating my workspace is to have an area that seems bright and airy, despite it being a small room with one window. Don’t get me wrong, the view out that window is spectacular. But to be honest, I can’t work facing that view.

(C) 2019 JJ Shaun
My view.

Several years ago, I was diagnosed with Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), and bright light hurts my eyes. For me, the condition is genetic. Luckily, my optometrist found it early enough that I’ve been able to stave off the worst of the progression by following a diet high in the proper nutrients and taking the supplements recommended by my doctor. Most recently, I’ve been diagnosed with extreme dry eye. That limits my screen and reading time. And, because my father’s side of the family is prone to cataracts and glaucoma, I’ve made it a point to maintain good vision care throughout my life.

As a reader and a writer, not being able to see clearly frustrates the bejeezus out of me. Worse, I get bored quickly. If I don’t have a book or magazine to read, or a puzzle to solve, or a mandala to color, my mind goes in a gazillion different directions—not all of them productive. When I’m working outside working, I frequently have an audiobook plugged into my ears, listening to a story. Well, unless I’m on the business end of a chainsaw or weedwhacker, then I wear earplugs.

Stage One-Point-Five

Intermingled with all that office-cleaning, I write. I can’t help it. I sit down to scroll social media, and, inevitably, I find something to write about. Whether that day’s output makes it into publication or not is another story altogether. The same thing with my game characters. They always tell me their stories as we play the game. I just wish the characters in my novel would be as forthcoming.

Stage Two

This stage probably won’t happen for a month or more yet. I need boxes for books and all the desk stuff. And I will likely have to work around my desk. I’d have to disassemble it to get it out of my little office. During this stage, I’ll be using my laptop as a laptop, something I rarely do.

I want to paint the walls and ceiling and add a bit of … something to bring life to a bare room. I have a vision in my head, we’ll see if I can pull it off.

Stage Three

The finished product. If I could draw worth a crap, I’d share my vision with you, but I suck at drawing, so you’ll just have to wait for the pictures.

Now What?

Now, I write. For the most part, this blog has kept my fingers at the keyboard, and that’s a good thing. It would be easy for me to whittle away my days on nothing important or productive, but I need more than that, I get bored quickly. I need structure. I’ve had that in my life for too long to be able to live without it now.

So, I’ll build some artificial structure.

I have some ideas for this platform. I spent years as a Technical Writer and will offer Tech Writing Tuesday one day a month. Freelance Friday will also become a monthly feature. Travel I always on my plate, so you can expect to see #TravelTuesday pop up too. The #FridayFeatures has already been launched. I suppose I’ll miss a day here and there if a Sunday, Tuesday, or Friday is a travel day, and I don’t have something prepared in advance. I’ll make it up to you somehow.

Now that word is getting around that I’m a writer, I have had several opportunities knock on my door. I’m interested to see where this new freelance journey takes me. I tried this path once before, but I wasn’t ready. Big things are coming, I’ll let you know how some of these new prospects develop.

Keep reading and let me know if our interests overlap. I’ll try to make this your page as well as mine.

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