I still haven’t been able to write anything except for journal entries and Facebook posts. I still want to be a writer and an entertainment journalist. The problem is that I had been trying to do both of those things at once before. I was writing books as Michael Beaulieu and I was running my website Love is Pop, which mostly covered music and for which I did an average of two interviews per week for. It was not easy doing Love is Pop while writing books. And because I was trying to do both, I was never particularly successful at either. I was spreading myself too thin. And I suffered from severe burn out. I was so exhausted. As much as I hate this damn pandemic, when it started it almost became a relief on some level because I finally had an excuse to take a break from doing Love is Pop and writing books. I was spending over 40 hours a week on each of these things, which was mentally and emotionally exhausting. And both of these things brought me a lot of disappointment because I never achieved much success with either.
I’m sure part of the reason I wasn’t more successful with my books or Love is Pop is that I’m not the greatest writer. I know I’m really good at doing interviews so I can toot my own horn about that but I know I’m not the greatest novelist. I’m sure if I was a better writer my books would have done better. What do you think? Do you think I’m just a mediocre author or do you think my books didn’t take off because I couldn’t afford to advertise them much? Just curious. Please be honest. Even if you think my books suck, I’d love to hear from you. And I’d love to hear your advice. What could I do differently to make my books better?
I do still want to be an author and will probably start writing a new book soon. But I don’t think it will be a Book of Shadows novel. I miss writing those books sometimes but you can only write the same thing so many times. I do still want to write Book 5 and give the series a great ending but if I’m being entirely honest I was putting so much pressure on myself when I was writing that one that I had something of a nervous breakdown. I’m bipolar and I have PTSD and a panic disorder so I really struggle sometimes and the level of pressure I was putting on myself to make Book of Shadows 5 perfect was just too much. Again, I still want to write Book of Shadows 5. I might look at the manuscript I was working on and see if I can salvage any of it. I’ve just been reluctant to revisit what I’d already written because I’ve been afraid it would trigger another breakdown. But maybe it’s been long enough that I could revisit it now. I also want to turn a screenplay I wrote years ago called Gas Money into a novel so I might do that, too.
I still have one unpublished book, which is my memoir Fear & Self-Loathing in Los Angeles. It’s about the first year I lived in the Los Angeles area. Much of it is about my eating disorder as I was severely anorexic at the time. But it’s also very much a love story. I don’t know why I haven’t published it yet. I want to revisit it and make some improvements but it’s very triggering for me to read that. Right now I’m trying to lose weight the healthy way because I’ve gained 30 pounds since the pandemic started and it’s hard not to revert back to my anorexic ways and if I started reading that book again right now I would probably wind up anorexic again. I’m still eating disordered but not anorexic or bulimic. Many people with eating disorders don’t fit the textbook definitions of anorexia or bulimia. We’re what they call “ednos” or “ed nos,” which stands for “eating disorder not otherwise specified.” My problem right now is that I get up and eat during the night. It’s mostly because of medication I take for sleep. I guess it’s what they call “sleep eating.” You know you’re doing it and you don’t want to do it but it’s like you can’t control yourself. As someone with a history of anorexia who used to pride myself on my self-control, it’s very upsetting to be doing this. I don’t want to do it. Every night I go to bed vowing not to get up and eat during the night but most nights I still get up and do it. And I hate myself for doing it. It makes me feel weak and out of control and I hate it. I want to lose this weight I’ve gained. I guess I just need to stop eating during the day so that the calories I consume during the night won’t make me gain weight. I’ve definitely cut back on what I eat during the day and I’m not really gaining any more weight because of that but I guess I need to eat even less during the day if I am going to lose this weight. Oh, and I do exercise. I ride an exercise bike for at least 50 minutes every day, often as long as 80 minutes. And it’s an exercise bike that doesn’t have handles. It’s just the base; the seat and the peddles. So your arms are free to do other upper body exercises while you ride it instead of just holding onto handles. So I do aerobic type exercises with my arms while I ride the bike. And I sweat my ass off. Only my ass isn’t shrinking. Anyway, yeah, I’m struggling with all of this so revisiting my memoir right now probably wouldn’t be a good idea.
I might just publish my memoir the way it is right now without revisiting it. I suppose that’s a possibility. Just format it for publication and put it out as an e-book. I just don’t know if anyone would read it. I don’t know if I should market it as a love story or an eating disorder memoir. It’s definitely both of those things but since it’s about 50/50 it’s hard to know how to market it. Not that I have any money to advertise it with. To tell you the truth, I’m broke. My books don’t even earn me 50 dollars a month. In fact, this website will be disappearing in a couple of weeks because I can’t afford to have it hosted anywhere. If you want to help me with that and you haven’t bought all of my books yet, you could buy the ones you don’t own yet. That’s really the only help I’d feel comfortable with. A couple of people have offered to send me money on Paypal but I’d feel to weird about that. Especially where I feel like I’ve failed my readers by not being able to finish Book of Shadows 5.
I think that the reason I haven’t been writing a book right now is because I feel like I’m obligated to write Book of Shadows 5 before I can allow myself to write something else. But at the same time I’m afraid to revisit Book of Shadows 5 and give myself another nervous breakdown. I guess I’d like to write something different for a change but I’m afraid I’d anger what few readers I have if I publish something other than Book of Shadows 5 next. I hate that I’ve let people down by not being able to finish writing that book. I really do feel like a failure. And not even being able to make enough money from my books to afford this website anymore is very depressing. But I’ll still have Love is Pop since a friend hosts that for me. Love is Pop is mostly a music blog with the focus on interviews. I just interviewed a friend named Justin Masters recently but I’ll probably start doing more interviews soon. And if I have anything to say about my books I can guess I can just post it there. I’ve interviewed some other authors for the site and would like to pick the brains of more authors but I’ve rarely posted on there about my own books. Because I’ve never wanted Love is Pop to be about me. I want it to be about the people I interview, not me personally. But since this site will be going away I guess I’ll have to use it as a platform for talking about my books, too. So, if you want to keep up with me, bookmark Love is Pop.
As I said above, I’m sorry that I was unable to finish writing Book of Shadows 5. I still hope to finish it someday but I guess I’m still burned on out on that. And I worry that revisiting it right now would be bad for my mental health. The other thing is that I’ve been pretty traumatized by this pandemic. I am so afraid of this virus. Especially the delta variant. And there are other variants that are even worse but so far they haven’t really taken off here in the United States. In any case, I am fully vaccinated but I don’t want to put too much faith in the vaccines. Over 6000 people who probably thought they were immune because they were fully vaccinated have died from this virus. So, vaccinated people do still get Covid and over 6000 of them have died. So I’m not going to go out and do things that I think are high risk. Part of me is very angry with the unvaccinated, to be honest. We could have really brought this pandemic to its knees and nearly ended this pandemic in this country if everyone would have done the right thing and gotten vaccinated. You don’t just get vaccinated to protect yourself. You get vaccinated to protect those around you. It’s not just about keeping yourself safe. It’s about keeping EVERYONE safe. You get vaccinated to protect people like your parents and your children and your friends and neighbors. Anyway, you can do what you want but I would highly recommend that you get vaccinated. I’m just frustrated because I barely leave the house since the delta variant is so widespread here in Massachusetts even though we have most people vaccinated here. I mean, I haven’t eaten at a restaurant once since early March of 2020. I haven’t eaten at a restaurant since this pandemic started. The only times I leave the house are to go shopping for essentials and to go to medical appointments. That’s it. I only leave the house maybe three times a month and just to do those things.
I bought a ticket to go see St. Vincent on October 14th but I’m way too scared to go. I’ve seen footage of recent concerts and they’re packed with people who aren’t even wearing masks. Not even at indoor concerts. That many people packed in like sardines screaming and singing their asses off is definitely high risk. If masks were required at concerts I might go but I just can’t go and be surrounded by thousands of unmasked people. My nerves just can’t handle it. The other thing is that I live with my parents. And they’re in their 70s and have some health problems. So, I can’t do risky things because if I caught this virus I would definitely end up giving it to my parents and there’s a very good chance that it would kill them. So, everything I think about doing, I have to think about my parents, too. I wish I didn’t live with them so I could go out and eat a restaurant or go to a concert. I’d probably take more risks if I didn’t live with them. But I can’t afford my own place so I’m stuck living with them and have to think about them whenever I think about going anywhere. But if everyone would have gotten vaccinated and we’d nearly eliminated this virus from this country then I would’ve felt comfortable going to restaurants and such by now. Honestly, I don’t know when I’ll ever feel safe eating at a restaurant again. It’s because you obviously can’t wear a mask while you’re eating. So, the idea of being in a crowded restaurant without a mask on is just too terrifying for me. If I said I’d go out to eat with someone right now I know I’d wind up having a panic attack in the car before we even arrived there. And I wouldn’t be able to get out of the car when we got there. I just couldn’t do it. I’m too scared of this virus. I have health problems and I think I would definitely die if I caught this virus. Yes, I’m fully vaccinated and I had the Moderna, which I believe is the best one, but as I said before over 6000 fully vaccinated people have still died from this virus.
When I first was vaccinated, I felt a bit less anxious about Covid but then the delta variant emerged and started spreading like wildfire in this country and my anxiety skyrocketed again and it’s been high ever since. And now they’re talking about people needing boosters because your immunity wanes as the months go on but they probably won’t make Moderna boosters available to people my age (48) because they only made them available to certain people with the Pfizer vaccine. So, I just feel like my level of protection from the vaccine is probably pretty low at this point so I just don’t feel like I’m protected anymore.
Well, this has turned into quite a rant. Thank you for reading it. And, again, if you haven’t bought all of my books yet and you could buy the ones that you don’t have I would really appreciate it. If my sales went up and I even made 200 dollars then I would be able to keep this site. My host wants 177 dollars for another year and I understand that’s a pretty average rate.
If anyone has their own server and would be willing to host this website for free, that would be awesome and I would dedicate my next book to you. But I would rather that people actually buy my books and I be able to raise the money that way.