Interspersed between the more topical blog posts that I have been writing, I also want to share more personal processes as much as anecdotal stories about myself and my struggles with finding a balance between being creative and holding down a daily hustle. I’ve always been a dabbler (someone who puts in a few hours, weeks, or months into this creative project depending on what I was making) so that I can create the capital necessary to have a team around me that I can work with to manifest the content you find on this website. In 2008, I sunk the entirety of my savings into creating the foundation of the universe that is Oho Ake Books. That money was going to springboard me to South America and allow me to travel all over that continent and then move north into Central America on the way to Montreal, Canada. That wasn’t to be. Reading the blog posts I hear you LOUD and clear (from early 2020) one can see that my decision to stay here was due to spirit asking me to forge ahead into writing. The synchronicities that came along with that decision were some of the most influential of my life experience thus far. I met Odelia, my editor/proofreader while looking for a flat, and Amber Coubrough my cover illustrator when I created an assignment for the third-year design students at the Whanganui Design School. That project to make the cover art for The Light Guides the Way / The Darkness Holds Sway.
In that same year, my clairaudience was off the Richter scale and as I followed the instruction to make all my book epubs (the cost of self-publishing wouldn’t have allowed me to market the work I had created, or make a book trailer for Entwined, or allow me to create a website), and consider making book trailers for all the books I would write. Working full-time as a self-employed interior/exterior decorator, and reading, researching, writing, editing, reformatting my work under Odelia’s instruction all took their toll on my mental health and my energy. I was shattered after a year since the conception of the Oho Ake Books. I had to find a balance where I was able to work, and save money to be able to pay everyone working for me, and also market my books so that I could create a revenue stream and be a full-time writer. Everything began to slow down due to my daily hustle’s workload. Being self-employed meant that I had to chase work, take on as much work as was coming my way, align to the weather conditions and often work weekends. It wasn’t sustainable to work that hard during the days, and then come home at night to work for another 4-5 hours on books, book trailer concepts, and to and fro with my Amber and Odelia over the machinations of their respective creative processes. On top of that maintain friendships, entertain lovers and partners, and attempt to have something akin to life. I take off my hat to those who live their lives that way and are successful in ways that defy the imagination. I could have done with the coaching!
In 2008 I embarked on what would be a lackluster marketing campaign for Oho Ake (all my own doing, I was inexperienced, I wasn’t about clear where my niche was) and it sunk me into the doldrums. I buried myself in my day job, working between forty and sixty hours a week, consumed by losing myself in saving so that I could keep writing when the urge came around again. My creativity was limited to the processes of what occupied my time between 7.30 am – 4.30 pm, and my work was exemplary, yet the cost on my body was taking its toll. It would be in 2010-2011 that I would be inspired to write again. In the years between I had fine-tuned the three books I had written, Entwined, The Light Guides the Way, The Darkness Holds Sway, and wrote the second draft of Sanctum with Odelia. Amber and I had devised a cover for the novel, and then I had published it and done a small run of paperbacks that I attempted to sell without any marketing. It was an abject failure, and I felt broken and dismayed, but decided to push on. In 2012 I confessed my love for someone I had had a crush on for almost ten years. She was the muse that inspired me to write my favourite collection of short stories, The Eyes of Love See All, just like Sanctum before it, I knew that my love would be unrequited. This made writing this beautiful book another bittersweet experience, one that matched the wondrous content of Sanctum in its diversity of content.