It’s Time To Nut Up Or Shut Up

Friends, today I received some bad news. At the end of summer my current job, which I have worked faithfully for the past seven years, will no longer exist. I received this news just before it was time to go to bed and thus, rather than sleep, spent the day tossing and turning in bed as I progressed through each of the stages of grief. In the end, believe it or not, I found serenity.

Serenity ship
I wish

After much considering and a little gentle prodding from my wonderful girlfriend, I realized I had two options.

1. I could start looking for another job where I’d be miserable and earn a pittance while making someone else rich. Or…

2. I could stop talking about becoming a successful writer and actually work full time at making it happen.

The first option would be the smart route. I would have a steady paycheck which I could count on to be there and maybe even get something with some benefits. But would I really be happy? I think we all know the answer to that.

Admittedly, the second option will be downright terrifying, but as they say, fear is an excellent motivator. If failure is truly not an option, then I can’t let myself fail. Besides, all the best writers had something I don’t. They were hungry, both figuratively and sometimes literally. The fact of the matter is, I’ve gotten way too comfortable in my current job anyway and spend far too much writing time doing other things than writing. (Damn you Netflix.) It always seemed like there was more time. Well my friends, time has suddenly gotten exceedingly short.

Don’t worry, I’m not expecting my writing to pay a living wage right off the bat. Fortunately I have other hobbies that I think with a little hard work could turn enough of a profit to pay my bills. I am an amateur blacksmith and also make copper jewelry which I sell here. I admit there isn’t much in it right now but keep checking back. I’ll also post to this Facebook page when I add new items. I plan to add items on a regular basis. I am also going to be setting up an eBay store to sell some of my items as well as swords and knives not made by me. I will post the details here when it’s up.

As always, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter @JustinMKelly1. Also, check me out on Tumblr

I also have some informational e-books in the works on topics from wilderness survival to romantic advice and everything else I’ve learned in my time here on earth. I’ll post a link as soon as they’re done.

So basically, it’s time to make my dreams happen. Or as Tallahassee put it…



My Brain Is Trying To Tell Me Something

Yesterday I had what was quite possibly the most terrifying dream of my adult life.

I was working in a warehouse at the top of an unfinished skyscraper. I had no safety equipment and I spent every second of every day in mortal terror of falling to my death. I found myself so paralyzed with fear that I got very little actual work done. My bosses kept offering me drugs to calm me. I got to the point where I was desperately clinging to a beam for dear life and refusing to let go. Finally, after all my efforts to prevent it, I fell anyway.

And I was just fine.

And now for my absolutely unqualified analysis of the dream.

For some time now I have been considering some drastic steps to jumpstart my career and leave my days of working for someone else behind me. The problem is, some of the things I have in mind are very risky and liable to cost me dearly if they don’t work out. It’s a frightening thing to think of living life without the safety net of a steady paycheck. At the same time, I’m afraid if I don’t do something soon it may be too late. In short, the dream was my brain’s not so subtle way of telling me to take the leap. I’ll be just fine. Chances are, one of these days I’ll find myself without that safety net anyway and have nothing to show for it.

It’s time to start taking chances.

It’s time to start living.



Desperate People

I recently came across a quote by Charles Bukowski.

“Writers are desperate people and when they stop being desperate they stop being writers”.

It got me thinking, perhaps I’ve grown too comfortable. Maybe that’s why I get stuck so often. Have I grown so comfortable in my life that I no longer have anything important to say? Is that why even when the words are flowing reasonably well I sometimes feel like I’m just going through the motions?

Or perhaps I am still desperate after all. Perhaps the very fact that I’m so neurotic about the quality of my writing proves how desperate I am. Desperate for approval, desperate to leave something that will live on long after I’m gone. Most importantly, desperate to write something people want to read. I am realizing that these aren’t the ways a writer should be desperate.

I know that if I try to make my writing perfect I will never write a word. It’s the reason I get so frustrated and give up. The words sound so perfect in my head but when I try to put them on paper they all come out wrong. The beautiful thought I had is garbled and unrecognizable.

Maybe it’s time I started taking steps to make myself a little less comfortable. Comfort equals safety. Maybe it’s time to stop being so damned safe about everything I do. It’s time to take a risk or two. Even if I start small it will still give me that taste of fear I’m so desperately craving. Maybe it’s time to be daring and stop caring so damned much about what other people think.

The time has come to start pushing my babies out of the nest to see if they fly.