Life In The Amazon
For a long time, actually, since I built this website, I’ve wanted to come up with ways to help generate a passive income. Obviously, somebody just writing about their life isn’t exactly the most niche outlet… or is it?
I already use iTunes Affiliate links in my left sidebar. These list the songs and music I’m listening to these days (currently). If you click on them you can purchase music and such from iTunes and at the same time help support my beautiful life.
I’ve been dying to use the Amazon Affiliates program, but unfortunately several years ago they shut it down in the state I’m in. If you were from my state, you couldn’t get an affiliate account. This was bad news for me. I tried some other affiliate programs, but none were like what I had experienced previously with Amazon. The thing about the Amazon program is that you can link specific items in specific ways on your site. I found this difficult to do with other affiliate programs. Some of the programs just wanted to show banners and other hooey. I wanted a way I could present a product that somebody could click on and buy from my site. Not just a, hey, click this button and then buy something, anything!
In February Amazon announced that they’d be bringing back the Affiliates program to my good ol’ united state. This means I am now eligible and can enjoy an Amazon Affiliates/Associates account. This means I can make links and feature products from Amazon on my site for you!
Because I never really had the opportunity to fully realize the affiliate potential of this site, I didn’t really commit to it real well. Making money is not the main thrust of the site, but, for instance, I didn’t see much point in writing reviews of anything, or discussions or such, when I couldn’t put an affiliate link to what I was talking about in my post.
Part of my original vision for this site was to write about various topics and items, reviews, discussions, etc. and have them linked to an associates account on Amazon. The other part was of course, to write about my life and the beautiful things in it.
I got so excited about the Amazon deal that I may have actually forgotten what I was going to write about in this post.
Oh yes, that’s right.
I’ve been in such a funk these last couple weeks that I’ve let life slip and get a little ugly. Part of this because of some decisions I made about where I think my life should go. You see, I decided that I do best when I have a (self-assigned) job. When I don’t have a ‘job’ or particular goal/purpose, I start to meander around and not get things done. Well, that was the idea.
In the past I’ve given myself ‘jobs’ before, such as computer game publisher, or robot psychologist. I usually stay on these jobs for about two to three weeks and then they get replaced with something else. I know it’s a pain when your focus of attention keeps getting sidetracked to some other new awesome thing. This constant re-assignment of jobs is part of the Borderline thing as well. It’s a coping mechanism against boredom.
I decided that my new job would be ‘(comic book) artist’. This was a fine job, and I know I could do it. I have a lot to learn though, but it’s doable. This decision entailed the idea that all my creative pursuits would go towards writing and drawing comics. Somewhere in there it shifted to game designer as well, to make adventure games.
The problem is that I decided that that’s all I’d let myself focus on. If I felt like doing anything else, I just kind of pushed it away and refocused.
This was a bad idea. I created a plugged up bottleneck of a psyche that wasn’t so good. Within the set two or three weeks I started to have less and less creativity. I’d think about making something, or working on something, and I’d get anxiety. I’d get overwhelmed.
I’d think, “I can’t do this.” I can’t be an artist, I can’t be a writer, I can’t come up with anything.
The thing about me and anxiety is that, if there’s any anxiety present, I can’t be creative. Anxiety, in general, kills my creativity. I knew I was having a hard time when I was sitting cross-legged on the Barnes and Noble carpet with my head in my hands with short breath. I would’ve cried, but as has been written, I can’t cry, so, so much for that.
I thought, “I’m going to be a writer.” Then I’d write a small thing, and then complete and utter block. I couldn’t come up with any new ideas, I couldn’t think of any new anything. It was crippling, and the more it was that way, the more anxious I’d become until I was curled up into a ball taking gasping breaths on the couch or bed.
I thought, “I’m going to be an artist.” I was learning to draw 3/4 view furries from Maus. While he was teaching me how to draw 3/4 view furry heads I had so much anxiety I had to literally stop doing anything and just sit there breathing hard. I’d draw a little line, and then I’d just want to explode.
There was a time when I had zero anxiety. I believed I had ‘all the time in the world,’ and that I just would do whatever I wanted to do. This was made possible somewhat by medication (I was taking .5 mg of lorazepam three times a day). But it was also possible because of the things I’d tell myself. I was very grateful every day for everything I had, and I counted my blessings and approached things… well a little high… but peacefully.
Now, I don’t want to be high all the time, so no .5 mg lorazepam three times a day for me. That’s just as well, as benzodiazepines have been linked to the onset of alzheimers later in life.
I’ve realized that I just… dun-dun dun… have to be me.
I don’t tell myself, “I’m going to be a writer,” and then focus purely on writing to the exclusion of other talents. When the fountain runs dry, I just have little inspiration and absolute anxiety.
This same thing goes for all my talents. I’ve realized that, at the core, I’m a programmer. What I mean when I say ‘at the core’ is that I’ve trained my brain to approach everything in a certain way that is geared specifically to be good at programming. I’ve programmed and self-taught my whole life, from age 7. That’s what I’ve been experiencing with these other talents too recently: auto-didacticism.
About a month ago I was really on a high kick of positive thinking and spiritual calmness. Then, in the next four weeks I proceeded to destroy that in every way I could until I could barely talk to Maus when I pick him up from work because I’m so anxious.
These last couple weeks I’ve neglected life. I haven’t cooked, I’ve barely cleaned, I haven’t stayed awake, I haven’t done laundry, I haven’t taken care of myself consistently, and all at the same time I’ve been pushing myself into further alienation and anxiety.
My mother and I agree, I actually thought this before she said anything, that I need a schedule. It’s a broken record with me. It’s funny, because, I actually like schedules. I think the problem is that I don’t necessarily like a schedule on my creativity. But, I think I like schedules on my activity.
The idea is then for something a little like this: wake up, get coffee, clean apartment, work on stuff, eat, read, prepare dinner, pick up Maus, eat dinner, etc. Somedays, do laundry. Somedays, clean the bathroom.
When I was full of positive thinking and serenity I did something in particular. I let myself be myself, and I brought only beneficial things into my life. When I was reading, I’d read on one particular topic, then another, and then a different one, in short sessions. I was reading three books at the same time for instance, something I’d never done before.
When I was thinking, I’d think on lots of different topics all at once. I’d think about spiritualism, game design, programming, writing, drawing, etc.
Everything seemed to flow when I just let the natural rhythms of my interest dictate my activities. So sometimes I’d program, sometimes I’d do electronics, sometimes I’d write, sometimes I’d read, sometimes I’d do whatever. The point is, when I started blocking certain stuff out, I started to fill up and freak.
So from now on I’m not a ‘comic book artist’, or a ‘writer’, or a ‘game designer’, or anything. I’m all of those things. That’s me! I am a computer programmer, philosopher, musician, writer, artist, game designer, cook, gamer, and inventor.
It’s actually kind of a relief to just write that.
I’m not sure exactly what form it will take, but I think I’m going to embrace the whole me now.
photo credit: Why You’re Not Making Money From Your Affiliate Links via photopin (license)