Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Technical Difficulties

I am finally figuring out what it takes to be a full-time writer and author, and it is causing some technical difficulties here at Just a Smidge. For starters, in order to write full-time, by definition you have to quit your day job. I took care of that on Monday. That, however, leads to other issues.

The main goal behind quitting your job is to access more free time, but the drawback is a distinct lack of money. With a substantial, or in this case, total lack of income, you naturally start looking for ways to cut expenses. Since electricity and hot water cost a lot of money, those are easy places to start. Those turn out to be a catch-22, though, because when you turn off the air conditioner to save on the electric bill, you sweat more. You would naturally take a shower to combat that problem, but since you are trying to save money on hot water as well, that’s not an option. I tried to take a cold shower, but it made me jump so much when I stepped in that I slipped and fell backwards into the bathroom, cracking my head on the sink. That led to some expensive medical bills, so the whole shower thing really turned out to be a net loser. No more showering, I guess.

Since I always used to shave in the shower, I am now forced to grow a beard. I am also thinking of taking up smoking in an attempt to mask my growing body odor problem caused by the lack of showering. This would explain the look of the standard male professional writer. Bearded men smoking pipes and wearing tweed jackets. At this point I can only assume that the tweed jacket is meant to cover up the pit stains caused by the lack of A/C. Tweed probably also holds the odor-masking pipe smoke smell better than other fabrics would. I need to go find a good tweed jacket at a thrift store.

On top of all those other issues, my computer died on me on Sunday night, and needed to go to the Geeks at Best Buy. They told me it needed a new falange valve installed on the McGruder pump. At least that’s what I think they said. So, I am typing on an old spare computer, on an unfamiliar, outdated version of Microsoft Word. It’s really disconcerting. The menu items are in the wrong place and the text seems smaller. I can’t live like this. I wish that valve would hurry here from Malaysia.

My computer dying the day before I was quitting my job to become a professional writer and author was a little disconcerting. What was God trying to tell me? That I shouldn’t go for it, or that I should, but I should only write with paper and pencil? Neither of those two possibilities seemed logical, so I chose to not see it as a sign, but simply an inconvenient coincidence.

Also, when I had a day job, I used to write this column really early in the morning, before the sun came up, or really late at night, after the sun went down. I am now writing smack in the middle of the day, which is odd for me. I was always at work during the day, so I have no idea if I’m funny during the daylight hours or not. I guess that remains to be seen. The upside is, I am saving a little more on electricity since I no longer need the light on in my office. Bonus!

As you can tell, I’m dealing with a lot of issues during the first phase of this transition, so I hope you will bear with me until I get all the kinks worked out. And at least in the near future, if you see me on the street wearing a tweed jacket and smoking a pipe, I would steer clear if I were you. I’m getting pretty ripe.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2013 Marc Schmatjen

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  1. Congratulations, Marc! It's one, big, scary step, but I know you'll be happier in the long run for it!

    ...And the family will, too, when their sense of smell finally quits functioning.

  2. Thanks, Jon! They're probably going to smell as bad as I do, but our plan is to book a lot more swim play dates, so the kids stay marginally clean.

  3. Best of Luck, Marc. And may all your conincidences be happy ones from here on out :)