The Super "Become Independent" Daily Journal Thread
It's time I took massive action to get out of the massive pit of suck I find myself in. So that's why I'm making this thread: public accountability. You all shall be my witness-I am going to finish college, get a job, learn how to drive, and move out. I will become an independent man.
To this end, I've reformatted my commitments and dropped all the unneccessary crap. Tomorrow I do even more to utterly destroy my failure. And, every day, I will post in this thread to report my progress and my plans for the next day, until I've completed my goal.
But I'm concerned that I might falter. Sure, right now I'm making this thread with a bit of fiery emotion, but even though I know I can easily carry out what I need to do day by day, I'm concerned that I might lose hope and become discouraged. That's why I hope people read this, come to expect me to keep them updated. I hope to have that public accountability so I know that I've got people in my corner.
But either way, it doesn't matter. I'm going to win. This thread is one part of my strategy to do so. Wish me luck.
You remind me of who I was about 2-3 years ago. In terms of your goals, they're actually quite easy. Just relax and knock 'em out.
Will do. I just wanted to make this thread to give me the extra edge.
Always useful to have some form of accountability. Otherwise, it's too easy to just let things continue on as normal.
Good Luck. I'm sure you'll get it done.
And always look on the bright side of life (du du dudududududu). Stay positive whatever crosses your path.
I'm looking forward to reading your stories.
*wishes you luck*
You can do this. You are gong to win. :)
Thanks for all the well-wishing, everyone. I really appreciate it.
DAY ONE - JUNE 4, 2009
I've made a sweeping start today. Though I didn't find much in the way of online work today, I've made a dent in the "Hire Me" and "Portfolio" pages I plan to throw up on my blog. Writing out the rough stuff makes me jittery. Guess I'm not as confident about it yet. Ah, well. I'll do it anyway and put it up to build a part-time writer's platform. Even while I'm looking for a mainstream job, it'll be nice to have some part-time income coming in.
I looked into the colleges I know are nearby. What luck-Florida Community College offers an IT assosciate's degree with a track dedicated to programming! I'm considering shooting for the Computer Programming technical certificate first, though, so I can get into the workforce quicker. I would've talked it over with Mom earlier, but she was asleep. I'll probably do that later tonight.
I also found out from my aunt that she's going to sign up my cousin to driving classes at the high school I graduated at here in Jacksonville, so I called them up. Nobody was in, so I'll call a bit earlier tomorrow.
As for tomorrow, besides looking for work, I want to rangle together a writing resume so I can apply to more jobs. I also plan to finish up those "Hire Me" and "Portfolio" pages and get them onto my blog. So far, so good!
Good first day, Matt. Keep it up. :)
I'll definitely keep an eye on this thread. Good luck :)
i will definitely keep this thread on a close watch. I wrote down my goals and i put a deadline on them and i must say it is working.
DAY TWO - JUNE 5, 2009
Got some better work to apply to this time, and I've made big progress on my resume. I stumbled a bit at one point-this resume ebook I'm using recommended I define my accomplishments in terms of challenge/action/results. After I realize that a lot of my freelance assignments could fit that format, I was able to chug ahead. I'm seeing an "editor" type of position arise from what I've got so far on my resume, though I'm thinking of slipping in straight feature writing skills to cover that base.
Mom mentioned last night that she was heading over to FCCJ on Monday or Tuesday, since she has to go back to school soon anyway. So I'm going with her on that. Dunno if they're closed on Saturdays, but I plan to call tomorrow and ask if I can get a technical certificate in programming before kicking up to the main Assosciate's Degree in Information Technology. Would it be possible to score a job even while working on the assosciate's? I guess so, as long as I can prove it. We'll see.
Nobody was in again when I called the high school about those driving classes. Tomorrow I'm going to be a bit more forward and find out where the hell the person in charge of that is so I can sign up and get on with it.
Anyway, beyond that, tomorrow I work on my resume some more and add pages to my blog to show that I'm offering services as well. I know people may not be willing to buy from a site called Giant Robot Invasion, but I don't have the time or money to get another site now, so pffft, I'll try anyway.
DAY 3 - JUNE 6, 2009
I usually take Saturdays off, so I was wondering if I should do the same today. I figured I'd take a shower this morning and then go about my business. But then, well, my new action figure came in today, and I pretty much spent two hours going through all ten of his configurations :V
Tomorrow it's back to business as usual, though. I took another look at my to-do list to make sure it was still on task. My biggest concern is slipping out of my mindset. My goal's still in mind-learn how to drive, graduate college, get a decent job, and move out. Can't lose focus.
Keep going! We are watching you. =D
That's good to know. ;)
DAY 4 - JUNE 7, 2009
Got all the new pages set up on my website, so now it's doubling as a weird blog/business site hybrid. At least I'm going to use it to advertise my humor services. I checked out that one "30 Days To Becoming A Freelancer" article by Skelliewag for any more things I could do, and I've revised my plan accordingly. Though my freelancing for the moment is still intended to be part-time...I gotta remember that. Still, I think I'll keep searching for writing work every day so I can begin building up a fund at the new savings account I opened.
It's Sunday, so I imagine the high schools and colleges don't have any staff in. (Or maybe they do. Eh, I really should've checked.) Well, Monday's a grand time to make more of a push in those areas.
I'm getting excited about the resume, because I really think it can come together to be something decent based on my past work. It would be great to land a good editor position, at least for a while.
Anyway, tomorrow I'm calling FCCJ to inquire about some of their programs, and I'm also calling the high school to get some answers on their driving course. I'll also be devoting a large block of time to polishing off that resume, and then there's some side stuff I need to do for the blog.
Oh, and I also wanted to mention that I've begun keeping a notebook of topics to aid my comedy writing. I've only filled up a little bit so far, but apparently a good notebook habit can increase mental dexterity and really cut down on joke writing time. Hey, if it made Mel Brooks and Woody Allen a lot funnier, hell, I'll go for it. It really takes me WAY too long to make up jokes for each blog post, so speed is desired.
DAY 5 - JUNE 8, 2009
Got to head up to FCCJ today, which is why I didn't get all of my iteniary done today. But I found out that, apparently, to answer the questions I want to answer, I still have to fill out the application form, take some college placement test, go through orientation, and THEN I can ask questions. The guy there said it'd take two-three weeks. You know what? F*** that noise. I'm going to do this my way. It'll be particularly darkworker-ish, but I don't care about bureaucracy right now. I want ANSWERS before I commit, okay? Thanks.
I also got called this morning and found out about the driving classes. Good news-they take place before FCCJ's fall quarter. Bad news-costs 135 bucks. It's not like I can't pay it-I have the money from part-time freelancing work-but I'm irritated about giving it up when I wanted to save it. Eh. It's an investment. If I learn now, so many more opportunities open up. And who knows when I have the chance again? It's an investment, and I'll take it.
Couldn't find much freelance work today, so I decided to work on a guest post strategy to draw attention to me and my services. It's marketing, basically, so it should help my efforts. Though this is still part-time overall. I've got to remember that.
Tomorrow I'm going to make some proactive calls towards college and driving, and I'll do what I didn't get to do today, which is mostly setting up a contact form, an invoice template, and finding out about tax laws so my part-time efforts don't bite me in the ass.
(On the plus side, the trip to the college did get me some great material for my notebook, so it wasn't all bad.)
DAY 6 - JUNE 9, 2009
I don't know why I'm struggling so hard with this resume. I guess it's probably because I've never had an actual job, and it's difficult to me to get it all worked out. I think I'll eventually end up hiring someone to knock one out for me, if I can't finish this one.
Strangely enough, I did manage to win a proofreading job, and now I'm in talks to do consistent editing for a website! Talk about portfolio ammo. Also send off some replies to ads to do some press releases. I'm actually shooting to do these for free for portfolio ammo. Here's hoping it goes through!
Other than that, today didn't feel too productive to me. I was mostly struggling with that resume. FCCJ's call system is broken or something because the menus kept throwing me to some beeping dial tone. I'll try again tomorrow. I could've gone back today, but I was in the middle of finishing up that editing assignment. Well, next time I go, I'm marching right over to Guidance and getting some answers.
Tomorrow it's basically the same-work on the resume, make some more calls (I've decided to commit to the driving course) and do some fiddling on the blog. If you know anyone who'd be willing to help me work this out, and has experience with freelancing work, I'd REALLY appreciate it, because this resume is driving me up the wall.
Hey, sounds good. Guess I'll be shooting for the certificate first, then.
Seems like you're doing well! Good Luck ;)
Nice site as well. Liked the "How To Inspire Your Cat" article ;)
DAY 7 - JUNE 10, 2009
On the bright side, all the irritation I suffer in my current living space is a great motivator to keep me on track to succeeding in my goals.
Anyway, I managed to set up the exit interview appointment with ITT, and I got the email of a person who can answer some of my questions at FCCJ, so I already sent that off. Still having trouble contacting the person in charge of those driving classes, but I'll just call earlier tomorrow and see how it works out.
I also made a few last changes to the blog, and I'm going to stop messing with it now because it's fine enough for the time being. I also found some great jobs to apply to-the universe has answered my call and provided me with more revision jobs and even some comedic writing jobs to boot.
But I need some more credits, more places where I can say that I've done paid work. That's one of the reasons this resume writing isn't going so well. So, we're going to try a different tactic for a bit-I'm going to spend more time getting my name out there to drum up some work. I've already made a few ideas on how to do so.
Tomorrow I make even more phone calls, including one to find out about any tax laws I may need to watch out for while part-time freelancing, and I'm spending the rest of the time developing my writer's platform. My strategy? Guest posting. Here's hoping I get on some popular blogs.
DAY 8 - JUNE 11, 2009
Today felt pretty unorganized to me, but now that I've made some progress in some areas, I can work towards getting some more results.
I lost a bit of morning time because I had to spend it talking with my phone service to fix my weird phone setup, but now I know a good trick for a quick fix, so that should cut down on any problems in the future. I also found a few exclusive comedy writing jobs to apply for, but I think I'll have greater amounts of success if I approach normal article writing tasks with a humor bent.
My biggest success today involved finishing up the phone calls I needed to make. I'll be signed up for the driving course as soon as I pay the high school, and I'm scheduled for an exit interview with my old college to figure out the loan situation.
I sent out a pitch for a guest post today. It got shot down (with what I suspect is a form letter), but what's important is that I made the commitment to send it to a big blog, and that took some courage. I will be doing that more often.
Today I splurged a bit and bought an ebook about writing for the web from an authority I trust, so a lot of tomorrow will involve using it to develop new tools and strategies. I'll also be posting part two of The Berenstain Bears and the Sinister Smoke Ring on my blog, so if you're been keeping track, stay tuned!
I just wanted to say I'm still watching! Keep it up! :)
Thanks for keeping an eye on me! Which is good, because...
DAY 9 - JUNE 12, 2009
...I feel burned out.
I guess that's what happens when you do the same things relentless every day-calling people, looking for work. I'm not a rigid kind of guy. I like to mix up my work. And now that I feel a big crash coming, it's time to back off and spend a few days doing more creative things to aid my goals.
I did manage to get a few things done today, though, like make a breakthrough in my joke-writing method. It's just like when writing other articles-use the techniques I know to slap down a joke fast, then come back later and fiddle with it. And if it's not perfect, move on. The New Comedy Writing Step by Step recommends a daily quota-I think I should start considering it.
I also managed to make a prospect list for blogs and websites to query, but other than that, not much. So let's work smarter, not harder. Saturday and Sunday will be used to recover, and I'm going to plan Mon-Fri differently.
For Saturday, I'm going to take it a bit easy and work on personal projects. (These will have the added benefit of marketing my services, though.) I also plan to mosey over to the library and look for some new comedy material to read/watch. Hopefully it should be more refreshing than the heavy workload I've had this week. If not, I'll back up even more for Sunday.
DAY 10 - JUNE 12, 2009
Well, today didn't work out so well. I got, like, one thing done, but I mostly messed around and did whatever. Tomorrow I plan to approach things with a bit more structure like usual.
DAY 11 - JUNE 13, 2009
Today was definitely a lot better than yesterday, and a bit more relaxed due to the smaller workload. I want to plan my days accordingly from now on, and focus on a smaller amount of high-impact work.
My big accomplishments for the day were setting up places to do some networking, as well as meeting a quota of jokes. I want to place more emphasis on reaching that quota and studying jokes, so I plan to do so in the coming weeks. My attempt at writing a weekly plan didn't go so well, though. Mostly because I already have a giant plan devoted to my goals. I guess the thing to do here is to keep maintaining the Goal Kill Plan and use it for the week like I've been doing.
Speaking of the goals, the driving goal is all but set. Hopefully this week I can get up to the bank and pull my cash out so I can pay the high school. Next week is my exit interview with ITT, so I don't know what to do about college until then. I guess I could try to get back to FCCJ and start filling out forms and stuff. I've pretty much decided to transfer, so speeding it up wouldn't be so bad.
Tomorrow I plan to get some more funny stuff to watch, read, and pick apart, as well as writing some queries to send off.
DAY 12 - JUNE 14, 2009
I don't think I should worry so much about being completely productive every day. I have to admit, when I first started this journal, I was super fiery and nothing could take me down, but now the effect's gone and I'm back to my normal levels of productivity-fairly good save for the distractions I find myself in, especially the ones I haven't been able to eliminate yet. I'm not gonna worry too much about being super-productive-as long as I get a good amount of stuff done, I'll be happy.
Anyway, my biggest challenge today primarily revolved around my attempt to write a query. I just found I couldn't do it. I don't know why. Somehow it makes me nervous. But eventually I decided "screw this" and did what worked for me. I'm gonna hammer out some work first and then shop it around. This way, I can apply to on-spec submissions as well as queried submissions.
My other major challenge involved my need to expand my writing horizons. Suffice it to say, there isn't a lot of comedy writing jobs out there on ad and job boards. Until I can get some referrals coming in (which I hope my queries and forum networking will eventually lead to), I'm gonna stick with the wide guns and offer business writing services as well as my typical fare. Just expanding my capabilities so I can take on some more work and get some more cash coming in.
Also, my library sucks and didn't have any DVDs of standup comics. Boo.
Tomorrow I promised my sister that I'd go do something with her, so I'll just be working mostly on my on-spec articles and guest posts.
DAY 13 - JUNE 14, 2009
Most of today was spent doing enjoyable things, like going to the mall and finally taking a dip in the pool at the apartment complex we live in. Man, why didn't I do it sooner?
I did manage to toss out five decent jokes today, though, so bravo for me!
Tomorrow it's back to affairs, working on my on-spec article and guest post, and looking for more communities to get involved in and pitch my skills to.
I just want you to know I'm still watching. :)
Glad you're still on board! Sometimes it feels like I'm just talking to myself here. But meh! Whatever gets the job done.
DAY 14 - JUNE 15, 2009
The lack of a resume is still holding me back from finding decent freelance jobs. I should see if there's anyone I know willing to help me write one out, considering my unique situation. I could probably do it by myself, but I think I'm letting personal issues block me from finishing it.
I also don't know how contributing on forums is going to help me get clients. I hope I'm doing it right. In any case, I guess the best I can do is to keep searching for work and building relationships, and hopefully things will follow through from there.
Also found out a bunch of new things I need to do to apply for FCCJ. I'll need to see when I can head out this week or the next to get the paperwork I need to fill out.
Tomorrow I'm going to revise those articles and try to fix that resume problem, mainly.
DAY 15 - JUNE 16, 2009
I seem not to be getting a lot done lately. I think I could stand to decrease my workload and make sure the really important things get finished instead.
I learned some vital information about selling my humor today-it's usually traditional to send the work in place of an actual query to a magazine. So I want to focus on that-I've already got an article I'm working on, like I said, and tomorrow I want to make a big dent in it.
Nothing on the driving front still, but I did send an email out to someone at FCCJ for info about that technical certificate. Hope it goes through. As for the job, I've been asking around here and elsewhere for help in developing a resume. My sister told me to throw together a halfassed draft and she'd help me fix it. It'll be halfassed, all right, but I'll do it so I can get it fixed.
Tomorrow I'll work on my articles and that halfassed resume draft. Smaller workload this time, so we'll see how it rolls.
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