It's Been A Long Time...

So, as you've likely noticed I haven't been around much since October. 

Those of you I'm friends with on Facebook will know why, but for the sake of recapping, here's what's been going on in the last few months... 

[more under the cut]

No More CQ and Work-Related

The end of November was where things started to suck. I lost my job at CQ - they're still open as a publisher, as far as I'm aware, but going through some issues. It's not something I want to get into, I'm over that part of my life, but if you want details, they can be found online as the issues have affected not just me, but other staff and authors. The long and short of it they couldn't pay me. I was patient, but after a month of no movement, and vague promises, I had to move on. It just really sucks that it came at the same time Hubby lost his regular video games journalism job.

Despite the sucky timing, it's honestly, it's a huge weight off my mind. Yes, being unemployed and having to look for work is it's own set of stresses and worries, but looking back, I can see how the negativity at CQ greatly affected my mental health last year. 

Each month I was worried if I was going to get paid, and I'd have to chase up payment. I got very little support from the management, and couldn't help authors in the way the deserved to be helped. 

I don't know what happened to CQ, I don't know what their future plans are, but I'm glad to be out of it. I'll always be grateful for the opportunity they gave me, the wonderful people I met and the knowledge and experience of the publishing word I gained, but it's time for me to move on. 

Onto what, I'm not quite sure... 

My biggest source of stress right now is not having enough money, and the only way to solve that is getting a new job. I'm lucky I have a number of options, I'm just trying to weight which is the right option for me.

A huge part of me wants to set up my own author PA business, and work from home assisting authors with various tasks, from proofreading, to admin, to marketing/ promotion. I've had a number of people tell me I'd be good at it, and I know I'd love it. But it's a huge gamble. Being self employed is tough, and I think with Hubby also looking for work, and the negative affect the situation at CQ had on me, a regular job with a set wage is better for everyone right now. It is something I might pursue on the side though, and perhaps revisit when our finances are more stable. 

 The other question I have is if I should solely focus on remote work, or if I should look for work outside of the home. Of course, that might be taken out of my hands by the people at the job centre eventually - I think they insist that you broaden your field if you get nothing within three months of searching. But even before then I don't know what the right option is. 

Working at home has many advantages, but working outside of home might offer more stability, and also opens up more opportunities. I think I will use the three months between March and May to exhaust all remote opportunities, and then start looking as to what's available outside of home. 

 The final thing I'm unsure of is if I should stay in the publishing/ marketing/ social media/ administrative field, or speak to the job centre about retraining. I'd love, love, love to work as a library assistant, but sadly library assistant jobs don't come up very often and when they do, they're very competitive. 

I also started thinking about my previous ambition to work with children, and wonder if that's something I should reconsider. I don't know. I guess the important thing right now is getting my health back on track, and taking it from there. 

 More than anything I want a job that offers me financial stability, but also either a creative outlet and/or a sense I'm contributing to society; ideally with enough time off that I can still be here for my family, and continue to peruse writing. 

NaNoWriMo and Writing

NaNoWriMo started off well off well. I decided to divide my time and attention between two projects. I made a good start on both of them, but around the second week, I started to lose motivation. 

In retrospect, I think it was the beginning of burn-out that had been building all year. 

I re-read both recently, and still love what I wrote. 

But the problem is, I no longer have motivation to write anything. I have SO many ideas bouncing around. 

There's my co-written project with Kyra, I want to re-write Choosing Sides again, I have random ideas for contemporary romance stories, and of course either of my NaNoWriMo projects, but I can't explain it ... I just don't care ... maybe it's the after affects of the CQ burnout, combined with depression etc. but I just don't wanna do anything. 

I can get my stuff together for short periods when I have something to do for someone else. I spent a lot of time helping a former CQ author get her cover in shape for republishing with SWP in January, and greatly enjoyed that. I've also proofread three novels for Immortal Works in the last couple of months, which has been fab. I love getting paid to read stories. I've also offered to act as a PA for SWP and their imprints, and that seems to be going well. 

Anything else though ... nope. As evidence by the fact I've been working on this blog-post on and off for the last 11 days (admittedly some of that time was spent proofreading). I just want to sleep, read or watch random crap on Youtube. Maybe it's all tied up in the burnout/ depression. 

Maybe I've just fallen into bad habits in the last year? I don't know, but it's starting to bother me. I don't feel like I'm achieving anything, so maybe that's a sign I need to challenge myself a bit more. So tonight I'm going to write an LGBT guest post I promised someone. 

Tomorrow I won't be doing anything writerly as I'm going out with my mom and sister to celebrate my birthday. But Wednesday, I'm going to try to be productive, even if just for a couple of hours. ​ 

That's All Folks 

 And that's everything of importance since I last updated. If you want more details on the personal aspects of me losing my job, and other related things that's been going on in the last few months, I have an expanded entry on my website. 

I will try to update again in about a month, but given how things have been, I'm not making any promises. I *want* to get back into the swing of things, but sometimes it's easier said than done. 

 Until then. TTFN


  1. Sorry about your job. I heard from another author about a lack of payment. Sad when a company gets that bad. Working from home definitely has its perks - you don't have to dress up!
    Go have a great birthday tomorrow!

  2. Big hugs to you. What a year you had! Hopefully 2019 evolves into something great for all of us. I have a few author friends who are with CQ, and I've heard their struggles. Reminds me a lot of what happened with EC. I ended up just taking my rights back for my books and never getting paid. I understand when smaller publishers are struggling, but they should be upfront and honest about it with all their employees and authors.

  3. Dear, wonderful Clare. First and foremost, thank you so much for all your help and support. Please do not lose sight of the fact that YOU ARE AMAZING. And secondly, I get it. I have been going through many of the same things. Health. Discouragement. NO ENERGY to get my writing consistently going. I think we should talk on Google Hangouts. I think we could be a big help to each other. Good luck with all your endeavors. And remember: life is what happens while you're making other plans. So keep your eyes open for those magical moments that are going to lead you to the best place you've ever been!
    With love and respect,
    One of your writers
    Gail Strickland


Thank you for taking the time to read this entry, and comment. I really appreciate it.