Underneath my yellow skin

My life is one long Groundhog Day

The night before the new classes, I was hit with a migraine. I didn’t catch it in time, which I think is a shorter window these days. I’m also not sure my Excedrin Migraine (generic) pills are enough any longer. That would be a shame as it used to be I could pop two if I caught it in time, suffer through a low-level headache for an hour (and maybe some nausea), then I was fine. For the last three instances (in two weeks!), I didn’t catch two in time, and the one I did, it the pills didn’t have the same effect. It took longer to work, and the pain was more intense.

I’ve written before that I’m relatively lucky when it comes to migraines because I can still do work even though I’m not as productive as long as I take plenty of breaks. I think it’s because I have a very high pain tolerance, but whatever the reason, I’ll take it. On the other hand, it’s possible if I completely rested while I had the migraine, it might not last over twenty-four hours.

I just went to the grocery store, and I knew in an instant my migraine wasn’t over. It’s a gray and gloomy day, but there is sun. I winced as it hit my eyes*, and the bright lights in the grocery store made me nausea. I had to press my lips together several times even though I don’t throw up in general,** and I got out of there as quickly as possible. I hate nausea and dizziness. I would much rather have a backache or even a headache rather than nausea and dizziness–or my eyes hurting. It’s the weirdest feeling. It’s like the lenses of my eyes aren’t even there, and the sun rays are boring into my pupils.

Anyway, migraines suck. I don’t know why they’re popping more lately, but I need to figure it out. I hate having a whole day and a half (or two or more) wiped out because of them, and I haven’t had a full migraine in quite some time. I experience many of the triggers for migraines. Lack of sleep, stress, and depression are on the list. Also, certain smells, foods, and even sunlight can be triggers as well. That’s basically my whole life right there. The only one I am mostly clear of is the food trigger. I don’t consume caffeine any longer (which has been hellish, let me tell you); I don’t drink; and I don’t eat cheese any longer, either. Those are the biggest migraine triggers food-wise.

Veering wildly to another topic. The one YouTube series I watch consistently is the Prepare to Try lads. Well, it used to be. They were a group of three lads from IGN who started this as a lark. Apparently, Krupa (Daniel Krupa, who loves the Soulsborne series) floated the idea before the release of Dark Souls III of having a newbie (Rory Powers) play through the original Dark Souls with him, Krupa, as the guide/loremaster. Gav (Gavin Murphy) was along for the bants (banter. He drives the banter bus). I found it way after they did it, and I gobbled up the whole thing. I bingewatched the original series plus the Dark Souls III series.  They’ve done a bunch of one-offs as well as Bloodborne, and I was excited when they finally announced they were doing Dark Souls II (which Krupa hates. I think it’s a very good game, though not a great Souls game). This was in November of last year, then they said it was being put off until February of this year because reasons.

It was leaked at the end of last year that they were leaving IGN together in order to do Let’s Plays full time. The community freaked out over the leak and the actual final Prepare to Try video being released, but it was clear that they were not leaving the community high and dry, and I was pretty sure Dark Souls II was going to be their first Let’s Play on their new channel (which they’ve confirmed). I got a reply from Krupa on one of my comments on the announcement post on FB, so that made my ultra-sucky migraine-ridden day better yesterday.  I instantly signed up on the Patreon, and they made nearly $17,000 per month in one day. Which is terrific!

But, it also underlines what I already knew about Patreon–it only works if you already have a solid fan base. It’s really hard to drum up support if you don’t already have it. Which is a dichotomy, and it’s a reason that I would not use Patreon in the beginning of my marketing campaign.

This is my seamless segue into the most important thing to me this year. It’s not health-based exactly, but it does matter to my mental health. It’s my writing. I’ve been writing since I was seven, though it was poetry at the time (I had that thoroughly trounced out of me my last year in high school and when I went to college), and it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.

That’s a lie.

When I was little, all I ever wanted to be was an actress. I would jump off the coffee table and shout, “Peanut butter sandwiches!” I don’t know why that particular phrase, but so be it. Then, I learned that Asian people weren’t allowed to act,*** and I regretfully set aside that goal. I’ve done some performance in my time, and I would love to do it again, but I fear I’m far away from that at the moment. Kind of. I might want to incorporate it into my marketing scheme, which includes video, but I’m not there yet.

I was talking to my brother a few days ago about videos because he’s a pro at it. I know it’s the way of the future because nobody reads any longer. People’s attention spans are shortening, and the idea of reading a 2,000 word article is an anathema. That won’t stop me from writing them, but I know most people won’t read them. Videos seem to be ten to twenty minutes on the average with gaming videos being allowed to be longer. I can understand it for straight-up talking videos as I would not want to listen to anyone talk for a half hour straight. Unless it’s Alan Rickman, but that’s not ever going to happen now.

I need to market myself. Not just my books, but myself. My brother was talking about an audio book he was listening to about marketing a brand when the brand is yourself. The author said something about having to keep everything on brand, even when you weren’t working. He said he had to stop going to bars late at night because it was off-brand for him. I laughed and said that nothing was off-brand for me. My books are amplification of me, and there’s nothing in them that would embarrass me in real life or vice-versa.

My decision when it comes to video is whether I want to do videos focused on my writing or videos that have nothing to do with writing. In other words, do I want to go all-in on the writing or do I want to diversify? My brother thinks I should focus 100% on the writing and to set a deadline for making the first video because he knows me too well.

I need to jump in so it’ll click in my brain that I’m serious about this. One of the best things my last therapist said to me was that faith was doing while not believing (I’m paraphrasing). Her point was that if I waited until I was 100% certain as to what I wanted to do, I would never do anything. She was right. She also knew me very well. I need the movement to bolster the belief.




*I have stimuli sensitivities, which is different than pain. I mean, it’s a kind of pain, but it’s not the same as your garden variety pain. There’s no way to block it, unlike regular pain.

**I have to make myself throw up, which was a shame when I was a kid. My mom wouldn’t let me stay home from school unless I had a temperature or I was throwing up. I didn’t do the latter, and my base temperature is around 97.3 degrees. I didn’t get to stay home from school very often.

***I mean, technically they were, but practically, it was nothing but M*A*S*H extras.

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