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Champaign Glasses. Photo Credit: VisionPics (Pixabay)

By Jeremy Bursey

Jeremy Bursey is the author of many short stories, essays, and poems, along with a modest number of novels and screenplays. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Central Florida and currently works at a local college as a writing tutor. He appreciates feedback for anything he offers to the public. He also takes too many pictures of cats and the ocean.

March 23, 2022

Well, We’re Finally Done with That One

Note: The content of this article was originally written for my newsletter subscribers on December 31, 2020. If you want to read these articles while they’re still fresh, please subscribe to my newsletter today. You can find the signup link in the side panel (desktop) or at the bottom of this page (mobile).

Hi Friends,

What a crazy year we just had. Did you make it?

It’s inevitable that by this time tomorrow we’ll end up talking about what’s happened nationally and globally in 2020.

But we also have personal stories to tell, and I’m no different, and neither are you. Perhaps world events have affected us personally. But it’s just as likely that 2020 punched us all in the gut with troubles unrelated to the world’s spasm attack. For me, in very incomplete and undetailed terms:

  • My favorite cat died. (January)
  • My dreams died. (February, March)
  • My freedoms died. (March, April)
  • My job ended (temporarily). (June)
  • I shrugged because now things had gone from bad to stupid. (June)
  • The summer began. (also June)
  • The government bought me a second life. (also June)
  • I bought a taco. (June)
  • I bought a lot of author resources. (June, July, August)
  • My seven-year-dream officially dissolved, but still I shrugged because 2020. (July)
  • The government stopped pumping money into my bank account. (August)
  • My job restarted at less than one-half my usual weekly hours. (September)
  • The flow of my summer financial boost began to ebb. (September)
  • I bought a pizza anyway. (September)
  • Money had gotten tight again, but I bought an online course that would help me course-correct because what more could go wrong? (October)
  • I bought a website and email list to enact this course correction (see above). (October, November)
  • My hot water heater broke, along with my hot showers (the villain always has to get in one more punch before it dies). (November, December, today)
  • I shrugged and took that cold winter shower each day because 2021 is coming, and screw you, 2020. (now)

That’s just a short list of my personal stake in the year 2020. Some highs, plenty of lows, and a drastic shift in direction.

But is that a bad thing?

If we pray for change over a period of years, isn’t that change likely to come at some point? Maybe nobody wanted 2020 to play out the way it had, but now that it has, can’t we turn the hard times into something good?

I don’t know how any of you have spent this year, for better or for worse, because nobody’s throwing parties anymore, and the isolation has gotten so thick that even the phone seems to have given up on reaching out. But isn’t that enough to say the barrel’s depths have been plumbed and it’s time to climb to the surface again, perhaps dressed a little differently than when we’d fallen in?

That’s why I finally invested in my author career. I’ve been talking about it for years, but the money was never there. Debts were always hanging over my head, and my job had a hard limit on how much I could work per week, which I’d reached, but it was still not enough to get me to where I wanted to go.

Then everything shut down, and the whole world turned (not just physically). Next thing I knew, I’m using a stimulus and a brief series of unemployment checks on steroids (worth double my usual job income, go figure) to pay off several sources of debt and buy resources I’ve needed for years. But the catch here is that my income through this government intervention wasn’t actually better. It came in twice as fast, then half as fast, but the balance compared to my job in good times was about the same. The difference now was that I said, “Screw it,” and just had the faith that more would come when I needed it (as is often the case). So I invested what I could into the kind of work that wouldn’t depend on an hourly cap, buying not only graphics programs, designer tools, books, and courses, but also my own website with my own name, and the skyrocketing funds it requires just to get the parts I need to build it. And now, as 2020 reaches its final day, I think I’ve got just about all I need to move forward again (almost).

Truth is, I don’t know if any of this will pay off. I may have shot myself in the foot investing in all of these resources. But after a year like 2020, my attitude is, “So what?” If I continued to do things the usual way, I’d never break free, and I’d swim in debt indefinitely. By taking a risk, at least I stand a chance at changing my direction. Granted, risks don’t always pay off; in fact, in my case, they rarely pay off, which is why I don’t take them very often. But when the regular way is sure to fail, then taking a risk becomes no risk at all.

And that’s where I am today. Where are you?

Hope you have a great New Year. May your 2021 be reasonable.

If you’d like to check out my latest articles and YouTube videos about writing resources, my upcoming website, and The Writer’s Bookshelf series, here are the highlights from November and December. Enjoy.


Note: At this point, the original newsletter included snippets and links from recent posts I’d made on my Drinking Café Latte at 1pm blog and YouTube channel in November and December 2020. To spare you the clutter, I won’t repost those here.

Cover Image: VisionPics (Pixabay)

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