March has been difficult. All that momentum I built up has been lost to a combination of personal responsibilities (a couple concerts, some social outings, doing my taxes) and feeling generally unwell since the month began.
I’ve had sciatic nerve problems since I was 18, but it’s been rare. Maybe a flare-up once every 3 months. I’ve also had back issues for about two years, but only enough to make me creaky in the mornings and for my shoulder blades to sting if I look down at my phone for too long. But for the last month, I’ve noticed the sciatica becoming more frequent – once a week, then twice a week, and now some spike of it nearly every day. My lower back continually aches, and that pain echoes down my entire lower half. The joints in my arms and fingers and knees hurt too. I feel inflammation everywhere, and am left sore all over.
Autoimmune disease runs in my family. Rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, mostly, but also lupus and narcolepsy. It exists in my cousins and aunts, but also in my grandmother and mother. My 23andMe genetic profile even claims I’m at higher risk for the autoimmune disorders of MS, ankylosing spondylitis (which is basically RA of the spine), narcolepsy, and ulcerative colitis.
So, an autoimmune disease someday plaguing me is not a question of “if”, but “when.” And I’m starting to wonder if “when” is “at the age of 24, because seriously Michelle, you aren’t a teenager anymore.”
I’m planning to see my mother’s rheumatologist soon and get some tests done. It might require a referral, which could take some time. Either way, this has interfered with my life to the point where I’m less productive at my day job – even taking some PTO one day because I was too sore to really do anything – and absolutely unproductive in my home work.
That’s not to say I haven’t made some progress, though. For what it’s worth, here’s the status quo for most of my projects:
- Indie MoCap: Officially launched and growing. I’ve kept up with posting every weekday, I’m building my Twitter following, and my email list has a few subscribers. As long as I keep plugging away at it, the site should continue to grow and be impossible to ignore.
- Video Business: I obtained the keys to my PO Box. Honestly, this was so that I don’t have to use my home address on my Indie MoCap mailing list (or any other mailing list). But I may use it for business purposes as well. I also sent in for my tax returns this weekend, and will get my work bonus tomorrow, so I will have enough cash to purchase all my videography equipment this week. Huzzah! It’s all in my Amazon cart waiting to be purchased.
- Kindle Self Publishing: I’ll show my records in detail after a month has passed, but sales have been shockingly decent. Over 10 days, I have made about $11 in royalties with virtually no promotion and no backlist. I’m ranking #4 in one of my keywords too. That doesn’t seem like much, but I’ve heard so many horror stories about authors making one sale or no sales at all. It’s also worth noting that sales and KU rentals have been steady, with activity occurring almost every day. For this story to basically be selling itself has made me very happy. Someone even took the time to leave a review (which was well rounded and generally positive, but did said there was too much erotica in my erotica story. To which I’m like “…what?”) I’m halfway through my second story and have the cover finished, so that will go up under my other pen name soon.
- Dead Air Webseries: I missed my editing session last Wednesday, but this episode is an easy edit. I should still have it finished by April.
- Paradisa Edits: I finally rewrote what two of my betas dubbed The Worst Scene In The Entire Book, ha. I had been procrastinating on that one, so I’m glad it’s out of my hair. Still on track to be done by April.
- The Shadow of Saturn First Draft: Blerg. I have used up all of the text from my first attempt and now must write from scratch. I am about 10,000 words behind now. I might have to eat my loss on this one and work harder in April. After all, so long as it’s finished in its entirety by May, I’m still good.
- Side Hustles: Earned some in ShopKick, Ibotta, Receipt Hog, Swagbucks, and Inbox Dollars last week. I think I’m officially passing on iPoll and Qriket because they’re kinda useless. Honestly, once I get a few of those Kindle stories out there, I will probably drop these entirely. Publishing has made me loads more passive income.
- Short Story: This is a bit unplanned, but I am working on a submission for the “Strange California” anthology right now. It involves Cecil B Demille and the excavation of his Ten Commandments set. Right now I’m in the research stage, but I’d like to write this next weekend.
- Reading: I’m still on Ready Player One. I might be able to make it through The Call of Cthulhu and one other novel by the end of March. At this point, I’m almost certain I won’t make it to 4.
And then let’s not even talk about animation practice, short story submissions, freelance, or AusmAtari. I’m way behind on all of that.
All things considered, I can lick my wounds and move on. My most important projects are still chugging along. But I can’t really afford to have another dead week. I particularly need to make up ground on The Shadow of Saturn and I need to put more effort into my short works. I’d also like to launch my vid biz to the public in April, which means I need to finish the website and throw some demo pieces together.
Wish me luck and good health, friends. Mentally, I’m in a good place. It’s just frustrating when the body won’t cooperate with it!