Saturday, May 26, 2012

Trying it the Nerdist Way

I've been away. Long time readers will know that I do that. I won't make any promises that I'm back to updating regularly. But, for now, here's a post.

So, my life has continued to crumble. Just when I think I can't mess things up any worse than they already are, I find another thing to ruin. I'm still married. I'm stunned that my wife puts up with me but she does. I am so not the person that I was when we met but, I can still make her laugh and I suppose that's something. Oh, and there's all that love and commitment stuff...

My book deal, the thing that defined and sustained me for quite a few months, fell through. It was mostly my fault; it was like I set myself up to fail in horrible slow motion just so I could watch the train wreck frame by frame. There were a few contributing factors that were beyond my control. I haven't really given the whole situation a good, hard study and I probably never will. Chances are I just used those factors as excuses. Anyway, I now owe the publisher my advance back so, yippee!, more debt.

Finances are a huge problem for me at the moment. When the book deal collapsed, I started looking for work in earnest. I had been casually dipping my toe in the job pool before then but, when it all came down in December, I cranked up my job hunting dial to eleven. Even so, it took me until the end of April to land a job. It's seasonal work and ends in June. Luckily, I found another job that I start in a week so that's something. Still things are eye-ball poppingly tight and everything feels like an upstairs stumble to the next payday. Plus, this is not where I was supposed to be at this point in life.

I'm still writing. Financial desperation makes it difficult to keep a positive voice. Magazines have stopped buying my work. No doubt the editors can smell my desperation in my pitches. I've still got my regular online gigs which pay pretty well. The jobs I took, both the seasonal and the new one, are part-time so I've been able to keep up. So, I'm hoping that in a month or two my finances will be back in shape and my writing won't stink quite as much.

Which brings me to the title of this post. I'm reading my first self-help book. It's called The Nerdist Way. I didn't set out to find a self-help book as most of them seem like hooey to me. I came to it simply because I'm a fan of the author, Chris Hardwick. As you may have guessed, he is a self proclaimed nerd and one of the guys out in front of the nerds-are-cool movement. I'm pretty nerdy myself - I know, shocker, right? - and am pretty tuned into most of what he talks and writes about. In many ways he's like me except successful. So, when I learned about his book I thought I'd give it a try.

It's pretty good. I'm only a few chapters in but I have to admit that I'm feeling a little inspired. The book isn't about depression; it's about embracing our nerdly qualities to succeed in life. And I could do with a little success just now as it seems like everything in my life is covered in an oily, black sludge of depression.

It's going to be a long and horrible road up out of this pit. I don't know if I can do it but, with the new job and a bit of nudging from Hardwick, maybe I can turn this train wreck around. (I realize the metaphor makes no sense whatsoever but just roll with it, okay?)


Anonymous said...

Best wishes, man.

I'm in a similar boat in that I too am trying to get self out of the pit. Again.

And for what it's worth, seeing this new post on your blog made me really happy, if only for a few seconds.

Melanie said...

Hoping for better things cumming your way!

You can pull it together. Just believe it can be done and it will.

Me said...

Do I smell a sense of...hope??? Your post didn't end negatively- it's very positive. I'm impressed. That speaks volumes. And if it makes you feel better, I'm poor as shit too and jobs have been slow coming. It sucks to have money rule our lives.

Shannon said...

I am with you on the pay day to pay! But your success seems to be based on more of how you "feel" than maybe what is "real"?? I just keep thinking of the annoying but true quote about success..."I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
~ Thomas Alva Edison

It will be the one that finally works for all of us that defines us won't it? I really don't know of any of Edison's failures, but I definitely know of his successes!

But I know I'm being annoyingly positive, so take it for what you will!

Weena said...

First, my apologies on the book deal collapse. That sucks.
But thanks for such an honest (and, honestly, funny) post. I’m just now being treated for depression myself, (and starting to blog about it at It's nice to know I'm not alone!

Wellness Professor said...

Ups and downs of life can be annoying sometimes. Unfortunately we do not have a choice. We have to persevere no matter what. The hardships we go through in this life make us understand why life is pain. I wish you the best in your current job. Good things are on their way to your life soon. Take heart. Thanks for a nice article.

michael platania said...

Sorry to see you haven't posted in a while, and that the last post was about how bad things have gotten. I am in a similar situation myself. I have committed to writing a blog post for 60 days as a way to keep active, and was looking for other blogs to read - which is how I stumbled upon yours. Hope things have improved, or do so soon. I feel your pain.

jack foley said...

A simple decision is the tonic.. Why complicate things - make a decision to be happy and nothing can stop you..

jack foley said...

A simple decision to be happy is the tonic. Make a decision today that this is who you are - A happy person and never let anything drag you down..

Ana Maria Saad said...

well, I´m a suicide survivor, and today I´m very well!
Take a look t my TED speech, my story is there!;TEDSao-Paulo

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Sunneva Arnars said...

Good luck to you.

Been there, am there every now and then.

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Susie said...

Sorry your book deal fell though. Best to try for someone else eventually it will get published. Or change it to Amazon Kindle and sell it that way.

Good luck with everything.

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