Be Brave Friday About Why I Throw Up Every Single Night

So, usually on Be Brave Friday, I share art that I’m working on because I am catastrophically shy about sharing art due to…um…family issues and negative scripts in my head that tell me I couldn’t ever possibly be (gasp) artistic.

But this Be Brave Friday isn’t about that actually.

What’s It About, Carrie?

This Be Brave Friday is about me and balance. Not the physical balance that keeps you from falling off a bicycle, but emotional balance that keeps you from stressing out every night.

As you may know if you know me at all, I grew up pretty poor even in comparison to my older siblings. My mom got me a credit card so she could use it and then not pay it was our kind of poor. My nana would stand in line and get us big blocks of government cheese kind of poor. Don’t answer the phone kind of poor. But we had a house and a car so we were super lucky that way. There was just a lot of stress.

And I went to college (thanks to financial aid and scholarships) and even graduate school, and I have my own house and no creditors calling and I can buy fancy cheese.

But I’m Still A Mess

Still, I freak out sometimes about making money because writers don’t get paid on a regular basis. And traditionally published writers get money once or twice a year if their advances sell out.

And that? That’s not so good for my psyche.

Be Brave Friday About Why I Throw Up Every Single Night
Be Brave Friday About Why I Throw Up Every Single Night – This is me, the mess. 🙂

Things Get Worse

Then Covid came and one of my family’s main sources of income is renting our two houses. The house we live in and the house we used to live in.

We couldn’t do that much this summer because of Covid. And I went into disaster panic mode, trying desperately to think of ways to use my skills and add income streams.

And I’ve done that.

But what’s happened is that I get sick every night. Physically sick. I vomit. And vomiting is pretty gross and no fun. I tried to fix it and figured it might be some sort of food I’m ingesting.

Red meat? I want to be a vegan anyways. It’s gone. Pickles? I have a weird intolerance according to my DNA. Gone. Fatty foods? Gone. Wine? Gone. Soda? Gone. Tomatoes? Those are acidic. Maybe that’s it? Gone.

Nothing helped.

And then my daughter Em came home for a month and I only worked in the mornings, cutting back, hyper focusing so that I could spend time with her. I started biking again, running a tiny bit, getting outside.

I didn’t vomit for a month, which is fantastic because Em is a bit vomit-phobic since an incident at Friendly’s in fourth grade.

And then she left for school and I started getting sick again. Every night. I became afraid to have dinner and believe me, I love dinner. Maybe I have an ulcer, I thought.

I took medicine for that.

It helped for two days.

Epiphany Happened

And then I had the epiphany that I didn’t get sick when Em was here, but it wasn’t because Em was here. It was because I wasn’t working from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. with only a break for dinner and fifteen minutes for lunch.

I was doing the method where you work 25 minutes and take 5 minutes off. I was doing it all day long until I made dinner.

I know! I know! I’m American. I am supposed to be all about being too busy and work ethic and blah, blah, blah. I’m also from poor and I’m terrified that I’ll be poor again so there’s that?

“Could this be actually making me sick?” I thought.

And I did what everyone too cheap to go to the actual doctor does. I googled it.

What I Learned

It turns out that for some of us humans, if we work all day and never take a break, our stress levels rise and rise and rise. And at night when we finally stop working, that stress can manifest as muscle pain, vertigo, headaches and… vomiting.

Gross! Gross! I know.

So there you go, my Be Brave Friday admission is that I’m so stressed out about making money that I get sick every single night. I’m so stressed out that I get anxious about taking more than a five-minute break.

So What To Do?

But people need money, right? Which is why I’m trying to start a class on Teachable where it’s not quite so much one-on-one couching. And I’m going to try to take bigger breaks in the afternoon.

I talk about balance to other writers all the time and it’s about time that I get back to it myself. To stop living in fear of losing everything. To start remembering what it is to breathe and step outside and feel actual wind.

Last week, someone told me that I produced more content than anyone else they knew. I don’t make money at most of that content, not really, and that content they were talking about doesn’t even include editorial and coaching letters. And I have to find a way to find that balance and this step? The admitting-I’m-so-not-perfect-that-I-actually-throw-up-daily step? I hope it sets me in the right direction.

Advice

Please feel free to tell me how you handle money stress, balance, and whatever you feel like asking about.

Continue reading “Be Brave Friday About Why I Throw Up Every Single Night”

There is a Hole in My Mouth and It’s Not My Esophagus.

All week long, I share posts of my dogs and now cats on Twitter and Facebook and occasionally Instagram.

Those thoughts are about being positive, being vulnerable, being strong, making it through the week and trying to make your story the best it can be.

Here’s today’s.

Your spirit can stir the world.

Your love can create so many chapters in so many people’s (& dogs’) stories.

Let’s fill this world with stories, disperse them like treats, reward the good behaviors.

Let’s train.

You deserve goodness & love. We’ve got this.

xo Gabby Dog

I do this because it’s important to me to share love and to be kind in big and little ways. And it’s important for me to be vulnerable and remind myself about strength and motivation.

So I’m about to share something I TOTALLY DO NOT WANT TO SHARE.

I’m about to have super costly medical expenses this year thanks to a tooth that was once hurt by someone doing evil.

Yep.

I just went there. There is the place I swore I would never go. But being a writer doesn’t provide dental insurance and I’m freaking out about this because I’m pretty sure that this afternoon I’m going to learn that I need to spend about $4,000 to get the hole that has reappeared in my face fixed.

Yep.

I have a hole in my face! AGHK! I thought I’d never go there either. 🙂 Because that hole is not the one that’s supposed to be there. And it makes me feel like I’m the most repulsive human on the earth.

But more than that? It’s like this reminder of bad things, bad times that I thought I was done being reminded of. It’s like those ripples and memories are some evil monster in a 1980s horror movie that keeps coming back to life to stab the hero again. The undead just won’t stay dead.

And I’m a bit tired of that.

So, I’m psyched to hopefully get this new hole fixed, but none too happy about having to spend the money to do it. 🙂

And here’s to the bad times and bad memories staying dead.

WRITING NEWS

The Netherlands is AwesomE

Steve Wedel and I wrote a super creepy book a few years back called After Obsession and it’s making a big freaking splash in the amazing Netherlands thanks to Dutch Venture Publishing and its leader Jen Minkman.

Check out this spread in a Dutch magazine. I met a whole bunch of Dutch readers last Friday and let me tell you? They are the best.

IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, ORDER NOW!

My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!

Gasp! 

It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed! 

You can order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?

In the Woods
In the Woods


ART NEWS

You can buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site. 

PATREON OF AWESOME

You can get exclusive content, early podcasts, videos, art and listen (or read) never-to-be-officially published writings of Carrie on her Patreon. Levels go from $1 to $100 (That one includes writing coaching and editing for you wealthy peeps). 

Check it out here. 

WHAT IS PATREON? 

A lot of you might be new to Patreon and not get how it works. That’s totally cool. New things can be scary, but there’s a cool primer HERE that explains how it works. The short of it is this: You give Patreon your paypal or credit card # and they charge you whatever you level you choose at the end of each month. That money supports me sharing my writing and art and podcasts and weirdness with you. 

Writers Make No Money and That Sucks But YOU Don’t Suck So Carry On

Writers Make No Money and That Sucks But YOU Don’t Suck So Carry On

 
 
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A recent study by the Authors Guild basically says that if you want to be a writer, prepare to be poor.

In 2017, full-time writers made a median salary of around $20k. That’s full-time writers. In the last ten years, writers’ earnings have decreased by 42 percent.

The article talks about causes and how this impacts authors’ writings and our society. But it doesn’t talk a lot about mental health, about how a lack of pay impacts creativity.

The study’s press release quotes T.J. Stiles as saying, “Poverty is a form of censorship. That’s because creation costs. Writing requires resources, and it imposes opportunity costs. Limiting writing to the financially independent and the sinecured punishes authors based on their lack of wealth and income.”

So all that basically sucks, but still we write. And there are a ton of YOU CAN MAKE A MILLION DOLLARS ON YOUR FIRST BOOK people out there. Those people? They are people who are trying to make their own million dollars – off of you with their vague ‘info-videos’ and ‘seminars’ and downloadable assets that basically tell you to write, read, write more, submit, make a blog site. There we gave the same advice for you right now for free.

This week the Golden Globes were on and there were a bunch of winners, but way more losers. And while we were reading about it, the same lesson kept ringing out at us.

You and the work you do contributes to a bigger purpose.

Your actions make a difference to people.

Your presence, your existence, is important.

You don’t have to be Hollywood to be important. You don’t need a million followers. You don’t need to win a golden globe.You just need to be. Do you. Realize that your work matters and you matter more than the outside metrics of awards and money. You don’t need other people to tell you that you’re a success. You are one by being here.

Writing Tip of the Pod

Be okay with not making a ton of money and having to do some side hustles – of the legal kind. Write the best stories you can, focus on craft, read a ton and you’ll stand out from the rest.

Dog Tip for Life

Joy is more important than money but money buys bacon.


BE A PART OF THE PODCAST!

Hey! If you download the Anchor application, you can call into the podcast, record a question, or just say ‘hi,’ and we’ll answer. You can be heard on our podcast! Sa-sweet!

No question is too wild. But just like Shaun does, try not to swear, okay?

Here is the link to the mobile app.

SHOUT OUT

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.

WRITING AND OTHER NEWS

ART.

I do art stuff. You can find it and buy a print here. 

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TIME STOPPERS!

You can order my middle grade fantasy novel Time Stoppers Escape From the Badlands here or anywhere.

People call it a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson but it’s set in Maine. It’s full of adventure, quirkiness and heart.

Time Stoppers Carrie Jones Middle grade fantasy

MOE BERG 

The Spy Who Played Baseball is a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out now about Moe Berg, a major league baseball player who became a spy. How cool is that?

It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

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FLYING AND ENHANCED

Men in Black meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer? You know it. You can buy them hereor anywhere.

31702754 copy

OUR PODCAST – DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

dogs are smarter than people carrie after dark being relentless to get published

WRITING COACH

I offer solo writing coach services. For more about my individual coaching, click here.

WRITING BARN

I am super psyched to be teaching the six-month long Write. Submit. Support. class at the Writing Barn!

Are you looking for a group to support you in your writing process and help set achievable goals? Are you looking for the feedback and connections that could potentially lead you to that book deal you’ve been working towards?

Our Write. Submit. Support. (WSS) six-month ONLINE course offers structure and support not only to your writing lives and the manuscripts at hand, but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors.

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Past Write. Submit. Support. students have gone on to receive representation from literary agents across the country. View one of our most recent success stories here

APPLY NOW!