Rev Up the Engines

Latest Forays with Positive Thinking and Prepping for the Future


As my thrown together post last week alluded to, some of my big work and site plans did not come to life as I had hoped. After several months of kids being home constantly and both of them playing the role of disruptive Gremlins to my work ambitions, I had decided that I needed to be the juggler on our trip to a cabin in Prince Edward Country where I'd enjoy some family time but also do some client and site work. In order to pull that off, I bought a whole bunch of data for my phone with the idea that I'd tether it to my laptop, so I could do all my necessary online work, since the place did not have any usable Wi-Fi.

Sometimes life says, 'nope.' And it kind of screamed it at me the first morning when my phone kept telling to me to call Rogers when I tried setting up a hotspot. Thus, I did one of my least favourite things, call customer service to try to figure out why my work plans weren't being executed flawlessly like I had imagined.

This was when I learned that the phone plan that I purchased in order to get the large amount of data - after a Roger representative's recommendation - actually doesn't allow tethering because it falls under the Pay As You Go banner, which for some reason doesn't offer tethering. So, I bought loads of data to continue client and site work on my laptop at a cabin, but instead the only device that would have access to the data was my iPhone. I wasn't going to be writing thousands of words from my phone. The little throwaway piece to explain why I wouldn't be posting anything on the site was about the limit of what I wanted to do from my phone, thus my plan hit an iceberg.

On the negative side, it was yet another week that I wasn't writing for this site and I'm now 19 posts down from my goal of at least 365 pieces on here this year. The even harder blow was losing what was at least a few thousand dollars worth of work and potentially losing long-term clients for my writing and marketing and consulting business. Simply put, it sucked.

I decided that the fates had spoken, and life made a decision for me, so instead of trying to balance work with family, I immersed myself with my family for the week for trips to the playground, going for a paddle, swimming at the beach and just enjoyed lots of bonding time with everyone. Since I wake up earlier than the rest of my family. I also finally started using a creative writing prompts activity book that Emily bought me ages ago, and it actually not only gave me several ideas for new books and stories, but it ended up being a nourishment for my soul to kick-off each day. I even did some work on a new fantasy novel, so there was a lot to be grateful about on the trip, even if it diverged drastically from my plans.

It is also a good time to mention that Rogers did reach out to me and apologize for me being misled and for the work that I lost. They ended up switching back to my old plan at no extra charge and gave me a $50.00 credit. They conceded that it does not make up for what was lost, but I deeply appreciated the gesture. They also promised to inform all their staff that it crucial to let Pat As You Go customers to know that tethering is not available. To me, that is the most important thing, because I would have done things very differently if I had known.

Out of this chaos, I have decided to be more grateful and positive than dwell on the unexpected negatives that slammed against me. I have cherished the memories created with my kids and I got some great moments that stoked the creative sparks. It was a win of a week.

It is enough of a charge to not get too discouraged at the state of the site. One of my goals for the year was to have at least 365 articles on here, because that meant that I'd essentially posted one thing a day even if I didn't literally pull off the daily feat. I am currently 19 posts away from that goal, because July hasn't been a particularly strong month for creating pieces on here due to not only being away but in places with really poor Wi-Fi. Often when I am behind on such a goal, I start to shrug my shoulders and concede a bit of defeat. 

I've also realized another factor that sometimes crushes me and snuffs my motivation. For the past decade, I've stuck around on social media when many of my friends have bailed on it for being rather toxic and at times, a den for rejection and unfair comparisons. I've often felt tempted to join them in abandoning ship but have always felt obligated to stick around for the purpose of promoting my site, podcast and career.

The real kick between the legs is that I am much worse at attracting an audience on social media compared to many that are just using it for strictly social and recreational reasons. The guy posting a photo of his ham sandwich can get ten times the likes compared to one of my posts about a new piece that I spent hours on or anything I am trying to stir discussion or provide some kind of insight.

It can be defeating. The negative voices jump on that wound and start tearing into it. I start to think that it is a sign that my dreams are an illusion and that I am just not cut out for this. If my writing was any good, then I'd have a larger audience and I'd be more popular on social media.

Bullshit.

It is complete garbage that I need to stop feeding myself. Sure, I am 20 posts behind my goal. Sure, I don't have a significant number of followers on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. I sure could use more regular readers for the site and more listeners to the podcast. But just because none of those things are where I want them, it doesn't make any sense to quit or confirm some negative lies. Especially since I've allowed those negative voices to stop me from being consistent in all these things on a daily basis for years now.

The truth is that I still want to hit over 365 articles on here this year. I want them to be of high quality and offer great value, insight and entertainment to my loyal readers. I want to grow my site's audience and I want more listeners to my podcast. I know that having more followers on the various social media outlets will help with that, so I want to continue to grow in all those areas too. 

I can do it.  I just need to keep knowing my dreams can come true, and the best way is being consistent in offering my best possible work and continue to strive to be better. Or find a genie.

The good news is that if you enjoy this site and want more stuff then you'll be down with me focusing on writing more often and creating some of my best stuff yet. In order to hit my 365 articles goal, I will need to post more than once some days. I definitely have more than enough ideas to achieve that. In order to grow all the other things, I need to craft things that engage and connect with readers with articles and reviews and pieces that have the potential to go viral and reach more readers or in the case of the podcast, listeners. The best way to control that is to really write things that I am passionate about and that showcase my very best, and bring actual insight and value for readers. Yes, I believe that exploring movies and the creative process is valuable and important.

One of the exciting things is that movie theatres in Ontario are open again, and so, I will be reviewing some 2021 theatrical releases. In the coming week, I can promise reviews for M Nigh Shyamalan's thriller Old, the latest MCU adventure Black Widow and I may even try see if I will finally like a Fast Family movie. The plan is to have a few reviews each week with some being 2021 release and others being some classic or not-so-classic pictures.

In the coming weeks, I will finally kick off my serialized fiction, and speaking of series, I still plan to review every Disney animated theatrical release and every MCU picture. 

On top of that, I still plan to have a tribute to both Richard Donner and Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff. There are some tributes to significant figures that are many years overdue that I plan to write as well. I also teased on Facebook a piece about my time at Medeba, so I will try to come up with something there as well. I just hope to get a lot better at writing some reactions to major movie news, while also trying some reviews on other pop culture like TV series, video games, books and wrestling.

As well, the focus may be on movies here, but I feel movies embody all parts of life, so I'll also have some pieces about the creative process, parenting, mental health and whatever else may move me.

I just want to thank everyone who has stuck with me through the years and have written so many encouraging comments and sent me uplifting emails. I love that I have connected and impacted readers and it means the world to me that my writing has meant something to people. I appreciate the years of support and I have every intention of continuing to write and entertain for many more decades.

Thank you so much and you ain't seen nothing yet.

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