Positivity Journal, Day 50

I got to write that up there ^^^^ down today. Fifty days of the Positivity Journal isn’t exactly a milestone where months are concerned or anything, but fifty days of doing this was definitely a personal milestone. I’d imagine that’s enough time to say I’ve successfully managed to integrate this into my life. Whether or not it’s been a ‘success’ in all aspects I intended with it is yet to be seen. I really like to think it’s brought something positive into my life, but then I could get into the question of how much of a positive mindset is mental (strictly mindset) and how much of it is physical (events). I could ramble for days about that, I’m sure. (Now I’m thinking about Little Giants . . .)

Some days have been harder than others, of course. I feel like most have been salvageable, even when they’re riddled with more than a few frustrating events. My internet going out for ridiculously long stretches of time while I’m trying to do stuff on it doesn’t seem like as big of a deal now as it did on the day of, where almost every negative bullet had at least one F-bomb dropped. I’m not a very patient person, and as I know I’ve said multiple times on here, when I want/need to work on something, it drives me nuts if I can’t. So the internet going out consistently on a ‘catch up’ day makes me feel sort of crazy. Like the sort of crazy where I couldn’t even abandon what I was doing to go write (with a legitimate excuse) because I got so riled up about it.

There have only been a few unsalvageable days, where both events and mindset are concerned. Two, unless I’m missing one. If I’m missing one, I guess whatever happened wasn’t bad enough (at least in comparison) for me to focus on. There was the piracy day. That one’s obvious, and I’ll be honest, it’s still messing with my mindset. (Because it’s not something you can easily put out of your head, especially when you’re still trying to remedy the situation. And I think that, in a sense, it would be a good idea to not let it get completely out of my head.)

Then there was two days ago. I did something stupid. I’m talking potentially catastrophically stupid. I’m talking about the sort of stupid that should never happen because you know so much better and of course you would never be so careless.

I was sending the first book in the trilogy to the next beta-reader, right? I might ought to add that I was getting rushed by outside forces (along with being busy that day and rushing in general trying to get things done), and I’m sure all that played into it. Anyway, I wrote the email address down wrong. Then I typed it up the way I’d written it down. I’m sure you can gather that I sent my book – that I’m getting ready to publish – to some random, unknown person.

It took me a few hours to text and be like, ‘Hey. Did you ever get that?’ (I didn’t want to be annoying.)

‘Not yet.’ (Or something.)

‘Maybe you should check the spam folder.’

Obviously it wasn’t in the spam folder, so the next thing I did was type up the email address in a text with a question mark. Again, I’m sure it’s obvious that the email they sent back was not the same. I immediately checked the message where the email address was initially given to make sure because I could’ve sworn I’d written it down right.

Yeah, I hadn’t. This was totally my bad. When I’ve spent years being so unbelievably careful with my work, I’m still baffled as to how I could’ve done something so careless with it. I guess you get used to stuff, right?

I can’t even explain the panic that ensued. That was probably the fastest (and the most ‘violent’) instance of me going from maybe ten (because I’m never at zero) to one hundred that I can think of. (It was probably more like in the nineties. Getting that close to 100 is terrifying.) Even figuring out about the piracy didn’t happen that fast. There’s always some sort of buildup. This was seriously like snapping your fingers and going straight into panic-mode. I’m sure the bad feelings there were exacerbated by the recent piracy experience and knowing how quickly and easily your work can be messed with, or taken, or whatever.

So, I did what I could. I wrote a new email to whoever it was, explained the situation and whatnot. I tried to send the book to the correct person. Of course . . . internet goes out. About ten seconds later, my computer just . . . froze. (Maybe it was feeding off my vibes?) So I went outside, lit a cigarette, paced around for a minute, then I went and sat down on the concrete, putting my face in my hands. And I just sat there, going through all the potential (bad) scenarios my head could come up with. When I was done with my cigarette (not even sure if I actually smoked it or let it burn, to be honest), I went back inside. I sent the file to the correct person. I retyped the email to the unknown person and left it up until my husband would get home from work, so I could make sure it was alright to send. (It might be weird to some people, but I like to get his opinion on pretty much everything.) When I was done with that, I went and sat down on the couch, and I hugged Pig (my dog) until Husband got home.

Maybe that doesn’t sound like a super big deal to anyone. It was a majorly big deal to me. It was so ignorant and careless, but that sort of stuff happens in life. I guess it’s like taking your kid to a park (or something), taking your eyes off them for a few minutes, then realizing they’re standing next to a complete stranger. But you can’t be eyes-on 24/7. You can try. You can get close to that. But people blink and whatnot. Or accidentally fall asleep while they’re watching TV. You just have to hope that nothing bad happens when you hit the lulling moments. (That the aforementioned ‘stranger’ will ask, “Hey kid, where are your parents?” In this specific case of sending the book, I’d be more than happy with, “Get away from me, kid.”)

Careless mistakes just happen, even when you’re just about as careful as you can possibly be. Kids slam their hands in doors, fall out of trees, trip and bust their faces up. That’s life, right?

I feel like there was an important lesson to be learned for me in this, that it’s further proving what I already know about planning. No matter how meticulous you are, even the best of plans don’t always work out. I guess part of this that’s so hard for me to accept is that I just can’t be revving at NINE THOUSAND at all times. Something’s going to eventually break if I don’t slow my ass down sometimes. And all I can think of now is, ‘Unfortunately, that’s not really an option.’ If I’d just slowed down two days ago . . . this probably wouldn’t have happened.

Anyway, I’m still freaked out about and shaken by that. I’m sure you can guess that after all the piracy garbage (and by reading my second post about that in particular), I’m not exactly at a high where ‘faith in people’ is concerned. So . . . here’s to hoping that everything goes as smoothly as possible with this release, and that whatever address I sent that to is someone’s old, unused email account and that my book never gets seen.

I still feel like a moron. I could say that I wish I didn’t, but I do, and it’s probably best that way. I guess I can equate this to a shock collar. (Which I personally would never use for my dog, so if anyone is shouting, “INHUMANE!” . . . please don’t.) But yeah, where shock collars are relevant to this . . . I guess I won’t be stepping past whichever point in the grass again as long as I keep remembering how unpleasant this is, right?

So yeah. The PJ can’t stop me from getting close to 100. It can’t. It can’t make me feel better when I get close to that. But I do have to believe it’s helping, when two days after the fact, I’m trying to focus on the lessons learned (positive) rather than the event (negative). I have to believe it’s helping when the rational part of myself is able to break through at any point. ‘It’s not like you can’t prove the work is yours.’ That’s true. That’s completely true.

I’m just glad I had however many days of the PJ before the piracy, and before this. Those two things, especially happening that close together? I can imagine they would’ve caused a breakdown of epic proportions that could’ve potentially lasted for some ungodly length of time. I feel like I’m retraining my mind, to some degree, and I don’t think I could’ve/would’ve if I hadn’t started this. So, if there’s anyone else out there like me? Finding your equivalent of my PJ? It couldn’t be a bad idea.

I really don’t mind taking the time out of my days for this, knowing all it’s done for me already.

(Also, I just wanted to say that I’m going to be trying VERY hard today to get caught up with responding to comments on here, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to manage it. I have to do some stuff for the cover art and send a few emails along with that. I’ll be trying. Apologies for the length of time. I’m working on it.)

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Video Q&A

Yes, you read the subject correctly.

I had an idea several weeks ago about doing just that (a video Q&A). Knowing my anxiety (it’s like a real person to me, watching over my shoulder), my first thought after the idea struck was, ‘Yeah, that’s a good idea.’ (Please imagine that being thought in a sarcastic inner voice.)

I mulled it over (cue Harry Potter thought path . . . moving on . . .) for a while. After doing as much (and talking to Husband about it and hearing his opinion), I tossed the idea out there to a couple friends. Most said, “DO IT!”

(All but one really said as much, and admittedly that friend is freakily similar to me in a lot of ways so I can definitely understand her saying she didn’t know.)

I have my obvious issues with it:

1) That I will make an ass out of myself.

2) That words worse than ass might slip out of my mouth on accident. (I frequently use ‘bad’ language, but only when I feel it’s ‘appropriate’ to do so. I try not to use those words on here because I consider this something along the lines of being ‘out in public,’ where my ‘bad language’ is all used in my head. (That’s the way I was raised.) Hence me starring things out (for the most part) when I either feel like I can’t or don’t want to get around using a particular word.)

3) I write much better than I speak. (Hence me being a writer and not a public speaker. Or public ANYTHING.) Do I really want everyone to hear this stammering I occasionally post about on here? Not particularly. Do I want anyone to hear ummm come out of my mouth about fifty times? No, but it most assuredly would happen. (Not to mention that I make absolutely HORRENDOUS faces while I talk. I really do.)

4) Do I really want to send myself into all the anxiety attacks this would surely induce for absolutely nobody to even watch it? No.

There are the good sides to it:

1) As much as I prefer writing to speaking, obviously you can get more out faster with the latter.

2) I would really like to hear any questions people might potentially have for me, and then answer them.

3) As hesitant as I am about literally putting a face to the name, I don’t really think it would be a bad idea to essentially say, ‘Hey, here I am.’ (Then follow it up afterward with, ‘I bet you can see why I sit alone and write books now, huh?’ 😉 )

4) Even if it might stress me out, it might actually be fun.

I do video diaries for myself to keep up with things going on in my life (because I have a horrible memory), and I’m sure doing a video Q&A then sharing it with everyone would let people see that the way I go about writing on here is very much how I am in real-

SQUIRREL.

(All the parenthetical asides in posts/comments/messages is how my mind works when I’m not writing books. Really. I am a mess. ha)

Anyway, I didn’t want to make an ass out of myself with even asking if it wouldn’t be something people were actually interested in seeing. (Who would want to watch me ramble?) But better to ask than not because someone out there might have something they’d really like to ask me. Who knows?

 

SO! If anyone is interested in this (the rambling/stammering/etc./etc./etc.), please let me know. Feel free to start asking questions. I don’t really care what sort of questions they are, to be honest. They can be work-related. (About characters/writing/publishing/etc.) They can be ridiculous and have nothing to do with anything. (Why do I love Merlin so much? What’s my gamerscore on XBox? I’m kind of proud of that last one. Just saying.) I don’t mind.

I only have ONE stipulation with this though. Just one.

If any of the questions contain spoilers for either of the books I have out, please ask me those questions privately. I will try to find a way to answer them in the video regardless because I’m pretty used to being careful with how I word talk of these books. If I can’t do as much but feel I can answer your question privately, I will do as much.

Anyway, feel free to comment on here or Facebook. If you would rather ask the question privately (either for the reason mentioned above or because you don’t want me to use your [first] name in the video), you can do so by messaging me on either my Facebook page or GoodReads. (Also feel free to add me as a friend on there if you’d like while you’re at it.) Or you can shoot me an email at cmillauthor (at) gmail (dot) com.

If there aren’t enough questions asked to warrant doing this, I WILL answer the questions asked via whatever means you contacted me.

One more thing:

I will not give away any spoilers. Not for any of the books, whether released yet or not.

HAVE A GOOD DAY, ALL!

(Please excuse me while I mentally go hide under a rock.)