China sucks. I have tried so hard to like this place and I can say China & I just do not get along. I’ve been living in North East China, in a dump of city called Changchun. Its a shithole. Like seriously this place is just shitty all over. For 6 months of the year its winter with -15 celsius temperatures. It can drop down as low as -30c, which thankfully I haven’t had to endure this winter yet. Last week it got down as low as -28c. Now that is bitterly cold. In my local shop downstairs they remove the refrigerators, because, heck its minus 20 outside, who needs a fridge when the natural cold will do. Which is great for icy cold beers. But sucks for the people working in the shop.

The worst thing about winter here is hiding indoors. Granted I’m not the most out going or social person in the world, but I do like to have my fair share of fun! Its virtually impossible to go outdoors, cause there is nothing to do in this place. Its too cold for a walk. Its too cold to get a taxi 40 minutes into the city to walk around the dirty disgusting spit laden streets. There is nothing to do in the city except either shop at local markets, or go to the malls and spend your RMB there. That gets old pretty quickly.

So weekends are very boring, a lot of binge watching happens, catching up on all the series that have managed to slip under my radar. Hanging out with friends in their apartments in the compound that we live in is the normal now. Its a very tough place to live and I could not imagine spending my life as a foreigner in this place. Every holiday is planned to escape it here. W currently is living in Ho Chi Minh City, so whenever I get the time off I go visit him there for normality. Vietnam is awesome, the people, the food, the culture, the climate is all just the bees knees.

Its almost February, so just a few more months of winter time and when summer comes {Spring doesn’t happen here} its actually not so bad and you can move from outdoors to the outside which is a huge improvement.

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So I posted this on Facebook, but kinda felt it belonged here too on WordPress. Just a miniature rant on how I feel like an old fart…

Last night I attended a talk given by John Green on his latest book The Fault in Our Stars. I like to think I’m pretty hip. Down with the kids and all that. I try to follow memes. I peruse Tumblr & Reddit. I even worship at the alter of Buzzfeed.

Well, I have never felt like such a middle aged biddy in my entire life.

The 900+ teenagers in attendance screamed and shouted their way through the entire talk. It was as if the Beatles themselves had taken to the stage. I was completely flabbergasted. There was even ‘in’ jokes between John Green and the 900 so-called ‘nerd fighters’. WHATS A NERD FIGHTER? Can I be one?

And who the hell was Hank? And why was he singing songs about molecules and what not? Was I even in the right place?

So needless to say for an hour I was completely lost. How has it come to this? When did I become THAT person? And how come I had more in common with the 50+ year old man who left at the same time as me? We both turned to each other, wild eyed and scarred and muttered something about ‘the youth of today’.

Oy vey.

I’ve been earnestly job searching for over a year now. Everyone says the best way to get a job, is to be IN a job. It pays my bills, but that’s about it. There are things I would love to have extra money to spend on, like, for example, a visit to the doctors.

I can’t afford to go to the doctor. Instead I just google my ailments and pray they cure themselves. I just don’t have the extra 50 euros to go for a visit. Plus the medication on top of that.

Then there’s my foot, which I think has a verucca? Not sure, but its sore as fuck. That needs to be treated asap, again I just don’t have the money to cover the bills.

Then there’s the credit card, which hasn’t been used since last April, for a trip that I couldn’t go, cause my grandmother got sick. Still attempting to pay off that, with 50 euros a month.

And my poor car. My poor poor car needs new tyres like you wouldn’t believe. It also desperately needs a service. The car barely sputters to life.

And now I have rent to pay on my new house. 500 smackers a month.

I can’t survive on my current wage, which is next to nothing. Yes I’m moaning, but its my blog and I’m allowed to.

I’m just trying to highlight how important it is for me to gain full-time employment. And yes I’ve given up on the library dream, but I want to work in areas where I can later bring relevant skills back to the library workplace when jobs do eventually reappear. So, me working as a telemarketer just isn’t a possibility. There are no skills which I can bring back to my hopefully future employment, and I personally would see it as extremely detrimental to my career.

Depressing doesn’t even begin to describe what you feel when you spend a couple of hours working on your CV and cover letter and don’t even get a PFO {please fuck off} letter from the employer.

You check your emails every few minutes, in case someone, anyone, wants to offer you a job interview. Sometimes you get lucky and you get an interview, but most times than not, you don’t even get a response.

So you keep on searching, day after day. Losing a bit more of yourself in the process. You get jaded. You then realise that maybe its just not mean’t to be. You were never supposed to have the career of your dreams. That maybe you just say ‘fuck it’ and go work in a dreary office doing the most horrendously boring job on the planet, purely because it pays the bills.

And thats what depresses me the most. Being stuck in a job I hate but knowing I can’t leave because I squandered years and time doing a job that pays my rent and gaining nothing but misery and heartache.

And as a woman I feel this huge amount of pressure. Its like a pressure cooker. You leave college, you get a job, work steadily and gain a few pay rises. Meet a man, marry, have a baby and the career is suddenly put on temporary hold. But you’re also expected to own your own home. Have 2 nice holidays a year. Have a good car.

So many bloody expectations. And I hate it. But I also desire it too. I want to have the family and the house and the holidays. But I want to be successful too. But maybe herein lies my problem, I want it all.

But currently I have none of those things. And I feel like I’m disappointing myself. Whereas my late 20s should be about exploration and growing up, jetting off for mini weekend breaks here and there and having a savings account – Instead I have nothing.

So this is my plea.

Please universe, conspire and help me. I’m selfishly asking you to find some employer to hire me. To choose me. I want you to help me find a reason to start living again. A reason to enjoy my life and to give me opportunities to do so much more. Please choose someone/anyone to give me a full-time job. Please!

As I outlined in my previous post, I’m desperate to get a new job. I’ve got bills to pay. I’ve learnt all that I can in my current position, it is time to high tail it out of there.

And whilst I’ve been looking aimlessly at library jobs, I have to be realistic that there are a handle of jobs out there and hundreds of people applying for them. So new avenues will have to be approached.

I stumbled across a job called a Community Manager and for the first time in a long time my heart began to race. Being a Community Manager is everything that i’ve wanted to do. It combines the worlds of social media and journalism with dashes of business thrown into it for good measure. It involves promoting brands through social media by engaging customers around said brand. It’s fascinating. And I want in.

I really believe I have the skills to fulfil the roles that are currently being advertised out there. It’s just a matter of someone taking a chance on me.

And so I’m completely reconstructing my CV. My current one is aimed for library jobs and is very detailed. I now have to somehow condense my jobs and make them somewhat more interesting to prospective employers. Hopefully it will be worth it in the long run!

2013 for me is my ‘year of change’. The past two years have been hard, I lost both my Grandparents who were effectively like my parents. Their deaths came as a surprise and I miss them dreadfully. Also the job front has been at a standstill. I’ve working for over 2 years as a part time library assistant. And funnily enough I’m tired on living on half wages.

So resolutions abound, I pledge for 2013 to:

1. Become a skinny ass mo’fo. I’ve said these for probably the last 15 years, but this year is shall happen for me. Goodbye unhealthy lifestyle. Hello fruit and veggies galore.

2. Get a full time job. This may require me to leave my area of librarianship. Which does sadden me as I’ve only just entered the field and had assumed it was a career path for life. But ultimately I will be employed full time by the end of the year. I have to be. I got bills to be paying, bitch. {Watching too much Breaking Bad will affect your vocab…}

3. Self publish my novel. If I could just edit the blasting thing I’d be flying. I’ve never been one to go over my work, it bores me. Or I just gawp at the thing for hours. But hopefully by the summer it’ll be gone and I can check this off the list.

4. Give up smoking. I only social smoke at the moment, having giving up smoking in September and doing remarkably well. Now the only time I’ll smoke is on a night out and would never have more than 5. But if I could just kick this habit, that would be brilliant. Its a shame the smoking area is the best area in the bar to meet awesome people.

5. Be open to new experiences/chances. This boils down to laziness. I do a lot of stuff by myself, so this shouldn’t bother me, I just need to man up and get over being a lazy ass bitch. Too many times I have feigned disinterest cause it would involve me having to leave the warm and comfortableness of my home to venture into the city to experience something fun. When I do go out of my comfort zones I always tend to have a brilliant night too! So man up!

Hopefully this will prove to be a fantastic new year and I hope that I can look back at the end of 2013 and be extremely happy with what I’ve accomplished.

Well, fingers crossed at least.

It’s not like life suddenly got exciting or anything, far from it. I’m just a complete lazy bones and temporarily forgot that I wrote.

This week I reread Solace in its entirety and didn’t hate all of it! Hey that’s an improvement! The key areas that I need to focus and rewrite is the beginning {pretty mediocre} and the ending {absolute drivel}. The middle section, which I thought was perhaps a bit shaky, turned out to be quite fine and I’ll only have to write a scene in order to make it flow cohesively.

My dreams of having it ready for Christmas will not come to fruition unfortunately. I don’t have the funds to pay for someone to proofread and edit the novel. It’ll be a while away. Which is a shame as I really wanted to have it ready for the Christmas markets, seeing as everyone and their grandmother is getting an e-reader this year.

In other story related news, I’ve written a very short piece on my pirate queen and I absolutely love it. I don’t know if I have it truly in me to write a full length novel of some 100,000 words, but I definitely have a few short stories in me. Always little ideas that are just a scene at a time.

Right, I need to look at my novel seriously by the end of November and do some goddamn editing. Get a move on Missy.

Finally! I started editing Solace today. I think I needed a mental break from it. And also I’ve been volunteering my butt off in a school library, really trying to make an impression. And whilst I have made an impression, it unfortunately hasn’t had the affect where I thought I might be offered a sort of part time job. I’m in dire need of money. My finances havent been this low in a long long time. Ouch.

So I’m going to really try to concentrate now on getting Solace out in time for Christmas. Its been my plan since September, and having finished the novel, I’m looking forward to tweaking it and making it perfect.

Sometimes I think a well needed break from your work is necessary. I just kept staring at the opening lines of my novel, and hating every single word written. Ultimately this was stopping me from moving past the first line and seeing the rest of the novel. But now, its slow progress, but I’m getting there.

I’ve also been working at something else. A pirate novel. But I think I may leave that for NaNoWriMo, which starts on the 1st of November and encourages those ambitious enough to write a novel of 50,000 words in one month. I’ve tried multiple times before to do it, but have never had enough time to complete it. Last year was my best, with some 20,000 words written. Then it all went to hell and back. 

But I’d like to attempt to do it again this year. 

Anyone successfully completed NaNoWriMo before? Or anyone going to do it this year?

 

I haven’t even looked at Solace since I finished it last week. Well I’ve looked at the first chapter a number of times and groaned. The thoughts of editing it make me want to pull my hair out. It would be lovely to just put it out into the world as it is, but I fear that would just cause me too much shame. I should be proud of what I have written, but I’m just disheartened by it. And I can’t figure out why. Maybe its a matter of putting it in a drawer for a few months, forgetting it exists and then coming back to it after a while. Maybe inspiration will come then? Maybe I’ll be able to see its worth and love it again.

But at the moment I’m very tired of it. And I want to start something fresh to forget about it. 

So last night I wrote my 50,000 word of  Solace. It also happened to be the very last few words of the novel too. And frankly I was disappointed. I thought having completed a novel, fireworks would suddenly erupt, maybe I’d even do a little dance, but nope, nothing. Truthfully I didn’t even register that I had written the final words of it.
I think those sort of celebrations will come at a later date, when the novel has been edited and the final version has been published, then I’ll allow myself some sort of gratuitous celebration.
The hard part now comes, with editing. I haven’t gone over any of the work so far, so I’m sure its a goddamn mess. Joy oh joy. I also want to slot in an additional 10,000 words at some point {crazy talk I know}.

The next few weeks, sure are going to be interesting.
How did you feel when you wrote the final words of your masterpiece?

I’m having a little bit of difficulty at the moment. And of course it’s coming right as I write the last few thousand words of my novel. Typical.

I’ve pictured the ending of my novel for so bloody long now, that as I write it, I cannot for some reason or another write coherently, it’s all coming out as word vomit, and not the good kind either. I don’t know if it’s a case of my brain, saying, “Missy, just put all your ideas out here, then we’ll come back to it later” or if I’ve suddenly just become a goddamn awful writer. Some of the last few sections have been really good, and this vomit at the moment has just been, well, vomit.

It could also be a case of rushing. Although I don’t feel like I’m in a hurry. I’ve given myself a deadline of October 31st to finish writing Solace. This is not taking into account, time for edits, cover work etc. So I’ve still got a number of days ahead of me that will allow me plenty of time to work on the material at hand.

I think I’m just excited to be writing the final closing stages of the book. Because after this, well book 2 has been written for almost years. The majority of it, that is. And i’m itching to get started on that.

Obviously at times like this, it would be amazing to have an editor, to bounce ideas off. This is one of the harder parts of self publishing, the loneliness that accompanies your project. I haven’t established an online presence in relation to my writing, I’ve been so busy with the other side of things, that I thought leaving it until the novel was written would be a better decision. Now I’m slightly regretting it.

It also doesn’t help that the book you’re currently reading, the prose seems to be so effortless. Simple descriptions look like Joycean written passages. Goddamn.

What do you do to combat self doubts and bad writing?