social

365 Challenge: Day 175 – Current Job

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Current Job: job I currently hold, better known as, soon-to-be-author

writer

OK, so I’m not famous right now, but a boy can dream!

Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) that provides more in depth knowledge about me.

  • Weeks 1 – 5: Primary ethnicity groups and nationalities
  • Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
  • Weeks 11 – 15: Colors with an important meaning
  • Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived

The current set of 5 Sundays covers the major groups of roles / jobs / positions I’ve held over my career. Though I have had about fifteen titles over the years, when I broke it down into smaller groups, week five is all about the job I currently hold: AUTHOR.

When I first organized this series of Sunday posts, I thought I’d end with the last one (technology), but I decided “a look to the future” was more important than a “summary of the past.” I had a post months ago with the word ‘writer‘ and don’t want to repeat myself. In that one, I talked about the steps a writer goes through. Today, I want to discuss the type of author I plan to be, as well as what I believe the role of an author should be among the crowd of a very saturated field full of brilliance.

writer

Every job has a purpose and a client. Nobody works without a reason or without someone to serve. It’s easy when you have a boss who guides your goals and work ethic. It’s not so easy when you are on your own trying to figure it out, or worse yet, have hundreds of people to satisfy. As an author, you are tasked with delivering a little bit of everything to a variety of personalities with a limitless set of perspectives and opinions. It can be quite scary or it can be very fulfilling. When I think about why I want to be an author, it’s fairly simple. I enjoy making people happy. And people includes myself.

As I go about my business each day, from cooking to mailing a letter, my mind is always active. I see characters, hear conversations, conjure up conflict. All because I am highly creative when it comes to building a world for other people. It’s almost like auto-pilot in some respects. When you have a physical or tangible job, you often don’t focus on each step, whether it’s lift the bucket, mix in the cement, pour the water, spread the paste… whatever it is you are doing as part of your job. It’s the same for me as an author. My fingers hit the keys. The pen releases ink. The words get saved. And somehow, a few hours later, there’s a finished chapter full of fantastic and not-so-fantastic content. It’s not as if I’m consciously typing away, thinking about every little word. Sometimes a character shows up with green eyes, and when I read it later, I wonder how did I decide on that? I didn’t stop while I was writing to say, “should they be blue or green?” When I edit, I might stumble upon a theme where I consciously change descriptions to present a more holistic image. But during that initial draft, it sometimes happens without me even knowing it.

In reality, I do know it. I know it because when I put the garbage out last night, I might have seen a green box in the recycle bin and stored it away for later use. It happens all the time. I heard a word someone says on the street and it shows up in dialogue the next morning. I feel a pain in my leg while working out and somehow incorporate that into a scene the following week. Things just happen for authors. At least for this author. It’s a beautiful thing, but no more beautiful than all the efforts everyone else puts in to complete their jobs day-in and day-out. What’s different for an author is figuring out how to make your readers happy. And that’s the important part for me. As much as I want to get some praise, build an amazing piece of literature or earn money, those are never the first things that come to mind when I think about why I want to be an author.

People need a break from life. They need to be entertained. They need to find knowledge. They need alternative opinions. They need to be inspired. They need to feel loved. They need to cry. They need to know things might not be okay at first but there’s always a tomorrow to look forward to. When I started the 365 Daily Challenge, and it was about my own thoughts and future, I was a little bit nervous to share so much about who I am. While I’m basically a good person, I have made mistakes, hurt others and failed to do the right thing. But so has everyone else. And so have the characters jumping from my head and on to the pages you read. And that’s where it comes together for me. I want my writing to speak to people in a way they didn’t know they needed. I want someone to find hope in their own struggles by seeing what happens to another person. I want to find inspiring words to help people figure out how to move forward with every aspect of their day. It might seem odd, but it’s what runs through my mind as I develop plot, setting and character descriptions.

When I’m officially published in less than two months, I feel I have a responsibility to carry this effort forward not only as a writer but as an author. And there’s a difference in those two words, at least for me. A writer creates fiction and non-fiction. But an author is someone who gives his/her life to their readers in a way that establishes a relationship. I want to be able to interact with readers, hear ideas, understand what they like and dislike. I enjoy getting messages across all the social media platforms making connections with people through every medium possible. Life is too short to sit in a locked room for hours every day, writing and writing until you get to the point that you have a brilliant piece of work, but no one to read it, to feel it, to embrace it… to share it with.

My goal as an author is to publish 3 books per year. That’s a lot. But I’ve always been an over-achiever. It takes me about 2 months to write and 2 months to outline and edit. At that rate, I could be successful in reaching the 3-book goal. Maybe it’ll be 5 every two years just to play it safe. In between, there is so much more. From networking to building a bridge with readers, not just online but in person. And for me, it can’t ever be about sitting in a bookstore signing a copy and saying “next.” That’s not who I am. I’d rather sell less books and meet people more frequently. I’d rather make enough money to survive and be happy before earning millions simply because people flock to it. What good is it to me if someone reads the book and I don’t know how they felt about it? I know I can’t connect with every reader, but I’ll certainly go as far as I possibly can with trying to.

And I hope some day to expand beyond fiction. Sure, I can write a mystery or romance or fantasy novel if I set my mind to it. But what if I can cross platforms through something that both helps people navigate their day and tells them a remarkable story. I woke up the other morning thinking about a book I feel the need to write. It’s basically “The Adventures & Lessons of X.” We are all “X” in this novel. Like the 365 Daily Challenge, it would be a frequent and regular story full of characters just like us, but with an opportunity to show people the brighter side of life. And I feel like that’s what could set me apart from being just “another writer” versus “an author who make a difference.” And I mean no offense to writers in the former description. They are brilliant and valuable for everything they deliver. But that’s not who I am. My mind is already plotting out the next iteration of the 365 Daily Challenge. I think it needs to be an electronic-only installment series based on fictional characters who go through life, facing the challenges we all face. Maybe meant to start with someone in teenage years, learning all about how to live the best life possible. Not a self-help book. Not a list of things to do. A shared connection between me and readers that helps us all find someone to relate to on many levels.

Perhaps I make no sense. Perhaps this resonates. In the end, the only truth I want to get across here is that my greatest hope in this new and hopefully final role of my career, which will extend for a very long time, as an author, is to truly deliver what readers want to receive. With that, I’ll sign off, as I’ve gotten more philosophical than I planned. Thank you for listening and being so incredibly supportive. I am blessed.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 131 – Friendly

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Friendlyfavorably disposed; inclined to approve, help, or support 

friend

Have you ever wondered how you choose a friend, or how many different types of friends might be part of your life? I’ve touched on this topic on a small scale in a few posts about being neighborly, social and grateful; however, I thought it might be time to devote an entire post to the concept of friendship. As I become more familiar and connected in the blogging world, you start to think about how you choose the people you want closest to you in your life. There is only so much time in any given day, shouldn’t you maximize your hours by filling them with only the best?

For many years, our closest friends were the people in our family, especially hundreds of years ago when you spent all of your time working with them simply to attain food, water, shelter and warmth. As the world grew, people began connecting more with the neighbors and extended families, determining whomever was closest to them in proximity as their friends. And when the wheel was invented, traveling to neighboring villages occurred, then cars enabled short-trips, trains fostered mid-length journeys, and planes or boats delivered long-distance travel. But it’s technology which has truly enabled us to choose our friends by any means possible. And the definition of friendship has completely changed as a result of such advances with mobile applications, wireless and social integration.

Let’s play a little game, as you know I’m quite fond of them. What if you could start from scratch and choose your friends all over again? Would you do anything differently? Where would you start? How would you make these decisions? For me, I’d probably begin by dividing this task into two focus points: (1) Selecting people I think have similar interests, personalities and goals, and (2) Leaving room for a few you just happen to click with, perhaps for unknown reasons initially, but recognize the potential for a long-term friend. When I think about the concept of friendship, it has a few different meanings:

  • I have friends who I am social with, but wouldn’t see myself confiding in or asking for guidance.
  • I have friends who I could text with all day long on both important and frivolous topics purely as we enjoy the banter and connection.
  • I have friends whom I would take great leaps and bounds for to ensure they were protected or assisted.
  • I have friends who in another universe could actually be even more.

Friendships are unique and distinct, which are not often the same thing. Unique implies there is nothing else the same. Distinct simply means noticeably different than something else. What you get from one person is often not the same as what you’ll get from another person in a friendship. And at times, as we change, our friendships must also change in order to build the best possible support structure in our lives. Sometimes you have friends for life, other people come in and out of your world during different periods. My world of friends grows every day, especially as I’ve become more prolific on social media and blogging. I’m finding that I have so much more in common with people than I had previously experienced. And none of this would have been possible without the great expansion of technology.

{Aside: Technology certain brings many problems, too, but that’s another day’s post!}

In a previous post, I recall mentioning that the word friend is an important word to me. A friend is not someone you occasionally chat with, see from time to time for a drink or know very little about. When I call someone a friend, it is because we have truly taken the time to get to know many details about one another, and I want that person in my life as someone I feel I can truly turn to when I need support. The rest are more acquaintances, which is not a bad word. I sometimes say electronic friends or online buddies. It’s not meant as a negative comment; quite the opposite. If I’m commenting or chatting with someone, I obviously find that communication important enough to continue. I wouldn’t spend time with someone if I felt it was tedious, painful or useless. I’m simply saying there are different levels of contact between people, ranging from strangers to soul mates (if that exists, but again, that’s another post).

Friendships are important to me, as they are to everyone else. When I see the words best friend or bestie, I feel the need to over-analyze. Can you have more than one bestie? I’m playing with semantics, but just like the definition of semantics, I feel the same about the definition of friendship. It’s a privilege. It’s special. And I mean the words I say. I often struggle with choosing what to say in a conversation, partially why I am shy, because I don’t just say something for the sake of saying it. Semantics are important to me for those reasons. My best friend (while growing up) and I hardly ever get to chat anymore; however, when we do, it’s right back to where we were as kids. It never changes. I miss her and all that we had, but I know we are still connected.

So back to my little game: how do we choose our friends in this day and age when an entire world’s multi-billion population is nearly at our fingertips? And can you afford to have multiple intense connections without giving away so much of your energy, love, and time? Today’s post is mostly just a stream-of-conscious list of thoughts and questions, but not something we often find ourselves truly thinking about. And in the grand scheme of things, perhaps it’s not all that important to discover or decide. If you’re having fun with the people in your life, isn’t that all that matters? But it’s still a great question when you think about it… your friendships can be so different and varied, distinct and unique, yet did you choose them, or did they fall into your lap due to proximity and timing?

That’s enough philosophy for me today. My brain can handle only so much, especially when it’s time for me to be working on my novel’s outline. I’m looking forward to everyone’s thoughts and inputs on the varying levels of friendship in our lives.

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Kate @ MeltingPotsAndOtherCalamities. Kate and I met about 3 months ago via someone else’s website where we were both nominated for tags. And since then, we have been tagging each other all the time, learning more and more each day. We both love Harry Potter, The Book Thief and Sherlock. Kate’s giving me ideas on anime and sci-fi, not normal genres for me. And who couldn’t love the name of her site. Bet you want to know what that’s all about???  But truthfully, she has a very fun website with great color schemes, cartoons and branding. And she’s a published author! I won’t reveal anymore as you need to click the link above and go check it out for yourself. A few things she tells us about herself in the About Me section:
    • “Some things about me include that my favorite books tend to be in the mystery, thriller, or sic-fi genres. That typically goes with my T.V shows and movies too, but I do enjoy some things that are different. I’m more of a cat person than a dog person, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like dogs; actually, I like them a lot! Typically I just like animals. I have two cats, and there may be an occasional post about them too.”

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 99 – Social

Posted on

Social: (a) relating to society or its organization, as in being friendly and engaging with others, or (b) using technology to stay connected with others

social.jpg

As I awoke this morning, I reached for my phone and looked to see if I’d missed anything overnight. Apart from the normal news, nothing too big happened, except I had over 200 notifications waiting for my review. I thought to myself… so many red dots in the corner of each app on my phone… how will I ever keep up when I am working more frequently and have more people I connect with. Yikes!

Stepping up to the podium, my eyes look down… my expression a bit sullen. “My name is Jay, and I have an issue with the little red dots in the upper right corner on my phone. It calls to me. It mocks me. It makes me think I am slow and unable to keep up. I think I’m growing obsessed with staying on top of social media and I need help.”

Anyone else get a tad bit of anxiety when they have notifications or messages to read or follow up on?

The solution is probably to condense the number of apps I use. To set specific times when I let myself read, review and comment. To relax if it takes a day to respond to someone. So… my post today is going to list all the social media accounts I use and see what others are doing. I’m curious how you all handle it:

  • Which social media apps do you use?
  • Do you interface from one to another or post separately?
  • Do you read every post from every follower or just randomly go thru when you have time?
  • Do you comment on everything?
  • Do you respond when someone writes to you?
  • Do you have “no social media time” rules in place?

 

OK… where is Jay… and why?

 

  • Goodreads: My favorite site… where I list all the books I’ve read, want to read and am currently reading. I’ve created ~500 reviews for books I’ve previously read (99% caught up finally!) and write new ones the day I finish the book. I look for new books, groups and great people to connect with. I am always on here.

 

  • Facebook: It was the first site I joined nearly 8 years ago, but I was one of the last of my friends to finally give it a chance. I’ve added all my former high school and college friends, then removed anyone I didn’t speak with regularly, then added some people back. I can’t decide what I want to do with this site. It’s now a way to see what’s going on in friend’s and family’s lives when we don’t get to connect that often. But sometimes I post book reviews in groups I’ve joined. I’ve created a basic author page, but I rarely post because I haven’t yet published my first book.

 

  • Instagram: I post 1 or 2 pictures a week, generally of food I’ve cooked or baked, the apartment, the terrace or Ryder. I’m not a good photographer and don’t have any editing software, so I’m fairly basic here. I’d like to try to do more with it, but it doesn’t occur to me to take a photo of a book and post it. I’m not creative in that way.

 

  • Pinterest: I’m all over the place on here… I snapshot all my book reviews and setup a collection to highlight them all. I also have clothing, foods, desserts, houses, places, people, books… so many collections of things I love. But my usage is random. I’ll go weeks without looking for anything new, then spend days on it. But if you look through all my collections, you will clearly see who I am and the things I love.

 

  • Twitter: I rarely use Twitter other than to share my book reviews, which I do from the WordPress site. I only go on to check when someone has messaged me. It’s not that easy of a tool to use, plus so many people follow for follows, I don’t have a clean list of people’s accounts I’d actually want to read and follow!

 

  • Google+: I interface book reviews and the 365 Daily Challenge. But I never just go on to search it. Anyone else use it? Find anything new or good?

 

  • Tumblr:  I interface book reviews and the 365 Daily Challenge. But I never just go on to search it. Anyone else use it? Find anything new or good?

 

  • LinkedIn: I created a huge account on here a few years ago for my professional life as a technology executive. I have nearly 3K connections and go on almost every day to see people’s job changes, anniversaries or birthdays. I send a message anytime something changes to keep up our connections. But I don’t look for articles that often anymore since I haven’t been working this year. I need to get back to it, but there’s nothing on here about my writing or reading life.

 

  • Professional Site: I have 2 other websites besides ThisIsMyTruthNow. This is my professional one as a technology executive. I need to keep it up more updated once I get back to work.

 

  • Book Site: I have 2 other websites besides ThisIsMyTruthNow. This one is dedicated to my book, “Watching a Glass Shatter,” as I search for a literary agent or decide to self-publish. I’d love to get feedback on here from everyone.

 

Above and beyond, I have an account on WhatsApp, SnapChat, FourSquare, Ancestry, LINE, OpenTable, Seamless, NetGalley… and it goes on and on! My intention by creating all of these accounts was to be able to connect with and be available across all platforms as: (1) book reviewer, (2) writer and (3) thinker / musings / 365 Challenge dialogue… perhaps find a voice that leads me into my future role and career. Have I over-extended or is everything in the right place…  lots to think about! OK… hit me with it… what do you think is wrong or right, good or bad, useful or silly?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.