I've been unemployed for nearly six months now. Somewhat strangely that mark also shares a day with my twenty-fourth birthday. I am no closer to finding a new engineering job in spite of sending out somewhere between 30 and 50 resumes, and calling all of the companies back that didn't specifically send me a rejection letter to ask them why the hell they haven't hired me yet. So far I've had one interview for a potential job in a new office, that based on my last contact with the company, isn't even going to ever be opened or staffed.
In spite of all that effort, I'm not really sure I want to continue to be an engineer anyways. Perhaps I'm colored by what can only be described as an awful experience, working for and with some terrible people (and several good ones) at my previous job, but working for another engineering firm feels suspiciously like going back to hell.
Meanwhile, I've been driving hard on my writing, and it shows. I have three finished novels, two of which I am currently querying, and a third that I'm trying to self-publish through lulu.com by mid November. I've also been blogging like mad, hitting records last month for number of posts and number of viewers. Plus, my work for Phil's blog Black and Blue and Gold has generated more interest than I ever thought it would. The problem is that none of this makes me any money and keeps me from not being homeless with a kajillion dollar in loans. I feel I'm too smart and too fucking good of a writer to not being doing this for a living, (and so is Phil) but I'm at a loss at how to jump-start my career.
Querying novels is a long and painful process, and I could probably count the number of self-publishing success stories on two hands. Still, people like Allie Brosh of the humor blog Hyperbole and a Half, and Jeph Jacques of the webcomic Questionable Content make a living as artists and writers, and they started with as little as I have.
So I'm going to start trying to sell myself and my work. In a few ways, I already have, by crosslinking the work I do here and at Black and Blue and Gold (hopefully growing both mine and Phil's sites together), by being active on Twitter, and now by opening a merchendise store at Zazzle.com. I'm not sure what I'm going to include, but I am fairly certain I can come up with a bunch of stuff that looks awesome on a T-shirt. I have also been attempting to generate buzz for my novel Cube Wars, which is still tentatively scheduled to be self published in mid November.
Just know that while I want to make a living as a writer, I will never pepper you with pop-up adds or auto-play videos to do it because they make me want to strangle babies and punt their corpses off the Sears Tower. And they'll make you not want to come here. Kind of the opposite of what I'm going for.
I know I only pull in a hundred or so viewers a week, but hopefully I can keep writing a lot and deliver some quality writing and merchandise to those readers. And then I can never have a boss again and dye my hair pink because fuck you, that's what people without bosses do!
Or I'll go into porn.
P.S. if you are a regular reader, you should click follow, and then tell your friends!