That Gritty Reality

Well, I obviously had to tell Phillip that we were going to be late paying rent. I wasn’t hiding it from him….I just thought that I’d be able to take care of everything before time ran out. And if you’ve read my previous posts, that just didn’t happen. So, I finally had to tell him at the last minute and he was obviously very disappointed in me. I don’t think he was mad, just….disappointed that I waited to tell him.

It’s my fault. Of course, it is. I should have tried harder, should have focused on necessity, rather than routine. Should have hallowed out a Plan-B.  Should have always been considering a contingency.

And then it quickly came down to a discussion about the last two months. What happened? Why aren’t you making money? Aren’t you selling books and bears? Come to think of it, when was the last time you actually wrote something?

Then our conversation really took a turn.

“You either need to play the game, or get out of the way and let someone else have a chance. You wanna know why your career is in trouble? Because everyone else has moved on! Everyone except you! You’re still living like you did ten years ago! Yeah! For the last 10 years you’ve been living hand to mouth off teddy bears and books and not doing too much better when WE all know that you are capable of so much more!

“You are insanely talented. You can go soooo much further that it would amaze people! But, you haven’t….which tells me that you’re afraid. Everyone else has moved on and you’re still right where you were 10 years ago! You may have gotten used to constantly struggling, but I don’t wanna do it anymore. THAT is why you’re depressed. You keep thinking about what you’ve missed out on by being this isolated, this stuck in a rut.

“You need to get on board with everyone else, Gregory. You wanna win? You wanna do better? Then you need to get on board, Gregory and start taking this seriously. Your lap top is almost 10 years old, you don’t have a phone….it’s like you’re dicking around with MySpace while everyone else is posting to Instagram! Now, get in there and prove what you’ve got! I, for one, like many of your readers are HUNGRY for you to finally get in there and WIN one for them!

“YOU are capable of ANYTHING! You’ve already proven that!”


It was one of those stone-cold talking to’s that set my soul to a blank stare. I just sat there looking at him while “eureka” and “embarrassment” wrestled each other for my attention.


He set off to work and I had the day to sit here and either over think what he had just said, or I could shelve all that and just get to work. I knit three bears yesterday. I haven’t done that in a long time. I completed one with stuffing and sewing. The other two, I’ll be tackling today. I did a little writing last night, nothing earth shattering, but as someone told me, “Your writing is like an instrument. Always fine tune and practice, even if it’s only three sentences a day.”

The whole time I was working, I was actually thinking how right he was. Desperate changes need to happen. Not soon. Now.

So, that’s the plan. Finish paying rent, then get a phone, fling myself into the 21st century, show up to everything, post everywhere, nauseate the crap out of naysayers, get a laptop, write more beautiful things, utilize whatever software I have for maximum media targeting, print and publish a bestseller, buy my little Honeychurch in the country and grow flowers. Easy, right? Piece of cake.

But, finish paying rent first.

That one bear I finished is in the shop. I’ll post the others as they are finished, so check back. And if it takes me knitting 20 bears non stop for as long as it takes, then I’d better get the coffee started and get to work.

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  1. I can’t wait to see what you do. He’s right, you are very talented. Instagram is so fun, I can’t wait to see your creations there! Knit on!

  2. After reading your last post I was going to suggest doing a podcast…sounds like similar thinking! Unfortunately if what you have been doing isn’t working, you may need to step out of your comfort zone and try something new while still being you?

  3. You CAN do it! Sometimes the hardest things to hear come from those who love us the most.

    Now, I’ll be bold and tell you what book I’d like to see you write. The 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall is next year. YOU have a unique perspective since you were there. You witnessed history. Your view is especially singular because you were in your teens. I don’t know if that’s something that interests you, but I’d like to read that book.

    Take care

  4. Dear Gregory, I read your last blog post with empathy. I own a yarn shop and have found myself in a funk, and business hasn’t been what I’d hoped. Your partner touched on something about rebranding yourself. Besides getting yourself into the 21st century, sometimes looking at what you offer would help like writing a book about your journey from homelessness to a successful knitter. You are an excellent writer, and perhaps there’s a market for the success stories of the once-homeless. I’m also trying to get out of my funk and asking myself why I’m holding back on the things I know I should be doing to improve business.

    My thoughts are with you, and you have a wonderful partner who is willing to hold the mirror up to you. I wish you the best. Beth

  5. I’m afraid Phillip is right. I have been thinking it for awhile. It is scary, embarrassing, humiliating, but reinvention of self could be exhilarating,

  6. You can hashtag the crap out of anything on Instagram and get more followers and pray more it’s easy and the rest will follow!! I know…

  7. It might be very hard to take what Phillip has said but he is right, dammit. There is the whole damn world out there just waiting to hear from you in some way or another. Instagram is one of those places that can be a life-changing tool. How? Content!! Content!! Content!! All that content can contain writing and visual material. Even if your scraggy face!! Photos of works in progress. Evidence of the relationship you have with Phillip…go ahead….do something that might even induce tears. Do it!! TODAY!! Write 250 words a day no matter if they are good or not. Edit can be saved for another day. Now, get to work!!

  8. I, for one, agree with Phillip….. get your butt moving!!! Also, I am waiting for the third book about Mr. Brown and Madam……. Just saw Tenants and Duplex on my bookshelf the other day, and thought when is Gregory going to finish up that series? I would really like to find out what happens with those two.

    1. You’re reading my mind. I actually have plans to work on it some tomorrow. It’s going to be 86 and sunny and nearly spring….it’s time to get back to the Madam and Mr. Brown.

  9. Maybe Phillip can smack me around a bit! I need a stern talking to!! I admire your tenacity, and pray I can have just a small bit of it!

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