I’ve personally been dealing with a lot here lately. I’m living in a motel room and paying for it 2-3 days at a time. The place I had been staying was no longer a safe or comfortable place for me to be, so I had to find an alternative on very short notice. This started the Sunday after our Governor issued the official Stay-At-Home Order on Friday. There was no home for me to stay at.
I had earned some money working from home as a freelance editor, so I had the money on hand to get a motel room for a week. I had no plan beyond that but I needed someplace I could be and work my ass off while I was there. I’ve had to improvise, and get creative, shuffle money around, and borrow to keep this going.
I’ve been posting about the situation for weeks. How bad it was becoming, how seriously dangerous things were for me there, and pleading with people to help me out with some income, be it purchasing products or sending work my way. I will do pretty much anything.
My posts seem to have gone ignored, except for a private message that stated, and I quote “girl, you better go get a 9-5 job”.
It’s not the first time, and I’m absolutely certain that it won’t be the last time. This is exactly the sentiment of most people who have stable and secure 9-5 jobs. This particular person has been with the same company for over 20 years. I don’t expect them to have any clue what my situation is like, and frankly, I’m too pissed right now to even try to explain it. I shouldn’t have to.
We are all facing tough times. I don’t think I’m someone special, and I’ve not been asking for hand-outs. I haven’t started a gofundme, or asked for donations. I’ve asked for paid work. I’ve listed my rates, I’ve shared deals and discounts on services. It all has been centered around “let me do some work for you in exchange for payment or purchase something I’ve already created.”
The response is always the same. Someone comes into my messenger and sends me a well meaning and heart felt suggestion. “Get a real job.”
It’s heartbreaking. The suggestions from every direction of government and health organization is recommending people just stay at home, especially if they are symptomatic, while other people, mostly those still working, suggest going out and getting a regular job.
They apparently missed the post where I’m High Risk because of underlying health problems and symptomatic right now, have been since last Tuesday. I don’t need to be around people. I’m still doing what I can, though. I don’t have new work lined up, because people aren’t spending money on what would be considered non-essential goods or services right now.
I don’t have face masks or protective gear to offer. I do have books to read, but people already have To Be Read Piles on their Kindles and Kobo’s a mile long, so purchasing new books has come to a standstill for so many authors right now. At this point, there are over 300 people that already own several of my books that haven’t read them yet. Maybe they will actually get around to reading them now?
So what am I supposed to do?
Start a movement.
I sat here all afternoon yesterday with my head in my hands trying to figure out what I was going to do. My room was paid up until 11am this morning. So, I borrowed enough money to get myself 2 more days. I’ll have to do it again tomorrow if something else doesn’t come through. It had me thinking though.
Besides money for a few more days here in the motel, what would help me out the most right now? Some promotion. New people sharing my posts on social media and expanding my reach out beyond the people closest to me. People that are probably not already aware of my existence and what I have to offer.
I’ve been working on making up some money so that I can run ads for months. I manage $10 here, $5 there, but none of it amounts to anything because it just keeps getting shown to the same people who have already seen it over and over again. Without $100/day every day to spend on advertising to more and more new people, it’s useless. No new sales come in and I’m just throwing money away that I really don’t have to spend in the first place.
So, how does one go about fixing that? Supporting others. I can’t do much, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do anything. So, for the foreseeable future, I’ll be taking some time everyday to scroll through my social media accounts and share other people’s posts. Not the political rants or the quizzes and silly memes, but the stuff that will really help other people out.
With all the people out of work and scrambling to figure out what they are going to do now, they need their stuff shared more than ever. They need as many people as possible to see it, and most of them cannot afford to pay to boost posts or for cost per click advertising. We have to do it for each other.
I will be spending an hour every single day actively looking for posts that promote or advertise people’s products and services, and sharing them with my people. Whether I think they need them or not. I don’t have a clue what people need and don’t need right now and it would be wrong of me to assume, not just for me, but for them too.
It’s tough times for everyone right now. What is needed most right now is for all of us to be willing to help each other out. We are spending more time on social media than ever. We need people outside of our own circles to be able to see things without spending what we don’t have right now. We can do that by actively looking for people with products and services on offer, and share them with other people.
Share your friend’s and family’s business pages, whether you utilize them or not. Share book promotion posts whether you have read the book or know the author or not. Share the posts that will help people out instead of political rants and more depressing news about this damn virus. Let’s make this sudden onset of boring time productive and help each other out in the process?