Operation Achieve Anything: Day Three-Hundred-Forty-Nine, Dateline 12-15-2018

Nobody stands taller than those willing to stand corrected.
— William Satire

Good afternoon crickets. Welcome to day number three-hundred-forty-nine of Operation Achieve Anything. Wow, this has turned into a pretty interesting morning. Over the past couple of days, I’ve been feeling a bit down over the fact that I feel like I’m on the cusp of bringing in enough of an income through this site to not have to find a replacement for the part-time job that I just lost. Though this aspect is actually a good thing, the fact that my safety net funds are about to dry up has me feeling extremely anxious over how I will handle the next couple of months since I really don’t want to do another job hunt. This feeling of being on the cusp has been my life’s curse, so I tend to get a little down when I start to feel optimism beginning to swell.

Then, this morning, and 6:45 in the AM, I woke to my phone buzzing out of control, or at least it seemed so in the dream state I was in. It turned out that I ended up in a group Twitter message being sent out by Ellen Cleghorne of Saturday Night Live. She’s one of the handful of cast members who follow me due to my My Saturday Night Life challenge. There’s been no interaction other than a like here or there, and this group DM was to promote an article she was featured in but seeing a notification that you have a message from the cast member of a show that you’ve been watching and reviewing seven-hundred-thirteen days in a row can be a surreal way to start the day.

Plus, I typically get up around 7:00 in the AM so it actually wasn’t all that big of a deal, and I usually have my phone set to silent all day, so it was my fault for somehow turning the ringer back on. Being that it’s Saturday, I farted around for a bit before opting to stand to start my day. I’ve also been feeling extremely burnt out from the end of the year/holiday blues where I just want to get past all of the festive nonsense while anxiously awaiting next year’s projects, worrying if I picked the right ones since I’ll be stuck with them for an entire year. Other than the novel start to my day I was really dragging ass.

I stayed in bed for an hour, while Game Grumps played out on my TV, which is my weird white noise because the rambling/giggling gamers take me back to my roommate days. This leads to mixed results in the morning because I miss the days when I used to have a tight-knit group of friends. That wasn’t the case this morning, but I was still a little feeling worn down. After finally bracing myself to face the day, I just to my feet and opened the door to get some fresh air in my windowless room. I was instantly greeted by my nephew who was screaming like a typical kid as he rushed into my room waving a gigantic stick around.

I wasn’t ready for this high energy the exact second that I opened my door and it was hard not to yell at him to calm the heck down and come back later. Keep in mind, the kid lives in the main how so I see him on a daily basis. During the week he has school, and usually, he’s not allowed to bother me until later in the day. The family knows that I’m grumpy in the morning, especially around people since I lived a decade all on my own where I got used to the luxury of settling into my day before my midlife meltdown brought me back home. Other than that, the kid is pretty much my best friend and the only person who seems genuinely excited to see me every time we interact.

Now that my mom is retired, there seems to be different rules since she’s home on the weekends and not up in LA visiting her husband who will be retiring himself and moving in at the end of the month. She likes to work in the yard, allowing my nephew to play outside much early than my sister/his mom who wouldn’t let him out until she was fully awake which can be late since she’s definitely not a morning person. This early morning bedroom storming also happened last week, when I was a bit hung over and less willing and/or able to handle the unexpected energy so soon after waking up and didn’t use my kid gloves when telling him to come back later. I was clear in explaining my grumpy response, but he was still bummed and didn’t come back until the next afternoon.

I was so close to having the same response but, instead, I took the time to breathe and let him do his thing as he settled in and started to watch YouTube videos. He just turned five and is a terrific kid, but can enter a room like Kramer from Seinfeld, which can be rough when you’re a forty-two-year-old with no kids or any plans to have them and recently moved into my mother’s garage after failing to make it out in the real world. Instead of sending him away, I just let him take control of the TV while I attempted to start my day.

He was watching a Bear Simulator video game play-through while I was working thing an issue with Google Ads. They have this dumb setup to where you can set your spending cap for the day, but by default, there is a safety net setting where they double your budget for each day so that your ads will still run once you meet said max if you’re having a good day. This drove me nuts because I wanted my daily maximum to be the daily maximum that I set without this potential double charge and kept ending up in Catch 22 arguments as to how to resolve the issue.

Having my nephew in the room kept me calm while I had to deal with this nonsense. Otherwise, I probably would have thrown my computer across the room as I was stuck in this endless loop of marketing jargon-filled bullshit. The help desk never ended up being any help at all, as it never seems to be anymore, and I eventually had to do a search to figure out how to adjust the setting to get the results that I want, or at least enough to test Google Ads as a marketing service. Now I just have to wait for the end of the day for the ad to be turned back on. Whether or not my settings are correct, I’m going to be testing these ads until the end of the month. This is an issue I’ve been dealing with all week, so I’m pleased as punch that it’s done.

Next, I went to GoDaddy.com to renew my thewickerbreaker.com domain. There was no issue here, but when I renewed, I saw a suggested add-on item when I went to my cart for a Search Engine Visibility package that was on discount for a buck ninety-nine a month. I signed up for a quarter of a year special just to test it out. Within, an hour, I had more visitors than I usually get in one day. I’m sure some of this comes from the Search Engine setup process since this spike didn’t persist, but at the same time, I do see more of a steady stream of traffic. I’m now interested in seeing what will happen once my Google Ad is active again.

No matter what, all of this feels like progress. To top things off, I also have a new reader who’s very active in the comment section throughout my SNL reviews. I love this person’s input because he adds to the information and shares his own thoughts in a way that adds to the page without attempting to challenge my interpretation of the world or point of view. I have a couple people who like my Twitter links pretty regularly and have had this type of interaction back in the Southland Tales days, but it’s been a while since the comment section’s been active on this page, making this another promising sign that I’m heading in the right direction.

All of this sort of plays into the assignment from yesterday where I was supposed to explore the quote of the day about how it’s more impressive to have your qualities discovered by others minus the aid of your own input. The entire reason that I’ve held off on marketing so long is, as I said up above, I’ve never thought that my technical writing skills have lived up to the content that sits in my head. I always felt that if I were discovered without selling myself, I’d have more control over the final product if I were ever able to bamboozle a mentor or editor into offering help, considering that when I was focused on screenwriting, the producer, director, or cinematographer would always be the one with the power/final say.

Since I wasn’t the one yelling how people need to read what I’m trying to say and am just putting it out there to the world, it gives me more room for experimentation since I personally am not a fan of putting too much focus on traditional structure in my work. It’s this experimentation that’s the most important thing to me so I’ll give up push to draw in a mainstream audience, which is a hard stance to take in this world that cares about nothing but profit. This also allows me to be prolific while I attempt to hone my craft, creating a pretty impressive backlog for those who do like what they’ve found.

At least that how it’s always played out in my head. Yesterday’s quote also plays into why I had to leave the film industry. I just started to feel so pathetic in the way that I was selling myself as a writer while I was hired to handle the lights. Not that I was always pitching my work, but I did want to make it clear that lighting wasn’t the area where I was trained because I didn’t want to get lock into the G&E world where I was often treated like an idiot but got hired because I could lift things that were really big. At least after I joined the union and stopped working as much with the close friend who used to hire me as his assistant for most of his jobs and also knew I would work hard despite it not being my ideal job.

Though I do plan to include marketing and ads to my effort to make this website my job, I also plan to use thoughts on discovery in mind while developing my marketing plan and not use snake oil selling techniques. I think this should fulfill the task from yesterday. Either way, I’m going to consider it good before I go on and ramble for three more pages. Sorry, the seeming big burst in progress triggered a lot of thoughts.

Now that I’ve covered yesterday’s task, it’s time to move on and introduce the assignment for today where I’m now supposed to explore how willing I am to accept that I’m wrong as the book continues its humility theme. Since I’m on the fence as to whether or not reality even exists at all, I’m incredibly open to the idea that nothing we know is what it seems. It’s the whole reason I love to write fiction outside of this blog. Of course, I’ll dig into this deeper tomorrow, when I check in with my next update. Until then, it’s time for me to wrap this one up by saying, good day and good luck to you and all of your projects.

Talk to you soon.


The Wicker Breaker


P.S. Below are links to my novel, which I plan to promote as part of Operation Achieve Anything, as well as a link to where you can buy the book that is providing the structure to this project in case you would like to purchase it in order to play along.

Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.