First, work has been horrible. While I enjoy what I do (most of the time), it has not been paying the bills lately. My page views have fallen over the last few months and private client jobs have been close to non-existent. I've given a ton of advice regarding my services but when I ask if they'd like to hire me, apparently my free advice makes them believe that they can now do the job just as well on their own. Second has been a plethora of personal problems ranging from my home being a full time construction zone to the fact that I'm not sure how to react to a family member who is sick and refuses to help herself get better. Let's throw step parenting a teen in there with a father who I constantly butt heads with, to the holidays coming up (did I mention that lack of work was seriously draining my bank account?), and other things that make me want to scream. Let's just say that I'm not going to be the cheerful holiday spirit that I usually am this time of year. In fact, I would be perfectly happy if the holidays would just go away completely.
A lot of this week's stress started last week when I had an article of mine stolen. After going through the steps of insisting they either pay me for the article or remove it, it still hasn't been removed. Upon further inspection, this website is based in China but set up to look American. Every article on their site, I've discovered, has been scraped from other sites, namely Examiner.com and Associated Content. I notified some of the other authors of the stolen material but there's really no way I can alert all of them. And the DVD's they are selling on their site are likely pirated.
It isn't like this is my first show. I've always been able to get people to either pay me or remove my stolen articles from their site. I've always been able to file the official copyright infringement reports with hosts, advertisers, etc. with the websites who've stolen my material. But this site has no listed hosting, is based completely in China, and has no advertisers. Their entire operation is selling pirated DVD's. And I have no recourse. I have no way to stop them. And here's the thing; they can continue to steal from me and there's nothing I can do about it. It's like sitting in your house and not being able to stop someone from coming in and taking first your television and then your kitchen appliances. I realize I'm rambling now and I apologize. All I can do now is sit back and hope that karma prevails.
Another thing that has contributed to stress this week has been a large number of assignments for Yahoo. I applied (along with a few hundred other contributors, I suspect) for a regular Yahoo! TV gig. I've been working on those assignments all week and have been a nervous wreck hoping they are good enough. One has already been rejected, I think. In addition to this, my fiction submissions are not doing well either. Most of the markets that I could submit to are closed to submissions right now. Grrrrrr.
Ya know, at what point am I going to decide that I'm wasting my time and move on with my life? I work very hard only to be shot down time and time again. At what point am I going to decide that enough is enough? Probably never, I suppose. :-/ And I feel like a fool sometimes for continuing to pursue a dream that is almost impossible to grasp.
I'm sure that I'll eventually I'll get out of this slump. And yes, I'm continuing to write, even though right now, I kinda hate it.