One Step Forward

I’ll be honest with you, I’m not doing all that well with life right now. Just over three weeks ago I lost my primary source of income, and literally on the same day suffered a fractured elbow. I’m still in the limbo of waiting to find out if I’m eligible for benefits while I try to find another job, and it’s only thanks to the kindness of close friends that I’m able to keep the lights on, metaphorically speaking.

To be fair, I knew the day job was on the way out a few months ago, but I was hoping that it would somehow turn around and the problems would be resolved. The owner of the company I was working for had made arrangements to sell the company assets to a third party but when push came to shove the new owners decided they didn’t need my services. So here I am, fast approaching my forty-sixth birthday, out of work and trying oh so desperately to not let it all grind me down to nothing.

As part of the deal with the DWP I have to make an active effort to find work. This means I have to scour job websites daily, go looking for work in the city, apply on spec to places I’d like to work, sign up for various back-to-work schemes and keep a record of anything and everything I do in my day-to-day job search. I do all these things, and have applied for a few dozen jobs so far, but out of those few dozen I’ve only had one reply, and that was a ‘thanks but no thanks’. It makes me wonder, am I doing something wrong? Is it a problem with my CV, or my covering letters? Am I just unemployable, or is it simply a shortage of jobs and too many applicants?

Now, I know that I will almost certainly find a new job before too long, and the realistic part of my brain tells me to keep on trying, but there’s that brain assassin sitting there, latching on to all the negatives amplifying them out of all reasonable proportion. I really should stop listening to that fucker, but sometimes it’s so much easier just to vegetate in front of Netflix and tell the world to fuck off and leave me alone.

To say that my writing has suffered would be a bit of an understatement. In May and early June I was happily producing a thousand or more words most days. That output has dropped off to nothing in the last four weeks. I know that I need to get some writing done, even if it’s the worst pile of dross ever produced, but the brain assassin is happily sitting in my head telling me how pointless it all is and why should I bother? I need to keep reminding myself that there is a future out there for me, but sometimes it’s hard just to work up the effort to get out of bed, let alone do anything productive.

I need to sort out my life. I need to kick the brain assassin out and get on with finding the positives. I need to put pen to paper, or fingers to keys, and actually get some words written. I’ve written about half of a space opera novella that I was so fucking excited about a month ago and I need to get that passion back, rediscover that excitement. I need to keep telling myself that I just need to take one step forward every day to get out of this pit of ‘can’t be arsed anymore’ that I’ve found myself in.

To that end, I’ll be in Derby on Saturday for Edge-Lit. I had a great time there last year and I intend to have just as much fun this year. And that brain assassin bitch? She can stay the fuck away.

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