You came upon this highway

issacplant

We’re not even halfway through the first month of this new year, and my life, skills and knowledge are taking me in strange directions. I am open to those directions. It’s hard to see the way forward. I am still mentally dealing with all I learned about myself on the Canadian road trip, and other trips are on the horizon already.

The light is strange this time of year, though we have a minute more of it every day, and that is becoming clear. I like its strangeness. The strength I see in things that live here when it’s hard. I feel strong when it’s like this. Hardy. It’s cold when I get home, but no longer pitch black. We’ve turned the corner on light and are slowly making the journey back to light and warmth. Slowly. It’s only temporarily cold.

Well, everything is temporary, isn’t it.

I helped a friend with a challenge they had a couple of weeks ago. I knew some things that could help, so I told them what to do and, as I understand it, my advice was helpful. Tomorrow, another friend and I are helping each other via a bartering system. I am increasingly interested in the bartering way of doing things, and believe our economy will shift more and more to this model. (See this excellent article for more on that, which really everyone in America should read). And, I have offered to help another friend with an opportunity I came upon today that seemed to fit them perfectly, which will rely on my writing skills, at least initially.

Financially-minded people would encourage me to “monetize” what I am doing. And yes, one of my new year’s resolutions was to try to find a way to earn more money from my writing and other skills. I haven’t found that way yet, but I believe following these initial zigs and zags will lead me there. But I do wonder where I am going.

In addition to writing and submitting more work for publication (no bites there), I’ve also been entering writing-related contests. One I was supposed to find out about this Saturday, but they notified entrants that there were so very many entries that they are delaying the announcement of the winners for another month and a half.

I sent in five pretty decent entries to a major food company soliciting specific ideas for a new food product, with semi-finalists receiving a small bit of money and the winner getting a nice chunk of change.

I’m also going to enter a contest to win free entry into a really big marketing conference that costs like a billion dollars to get into, which includes free hotel stay at a resort in Las Vegas. If I won an impressive package like that just from my writing talents, surely my company would want to pay to fly me there. Or not, which means I’d find my own way to get there – perhaps bring a girlfriend who would accept the free fancy resort hotel stay as my part of the “barter” agreement, skip the conference and party in Vegas for three days. There are worse things to do with writing skills. This much I know.

I wish I could see where I’m going, but at least I feel like I’m going somewhere. This is an improvement. This is movement.

Stay warm, friends.

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