Jason Weiland
Jason is an essayist and content creator who writes what he knows — himself and his experiences. Find him on social media @jasonjamesweiland

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, so let’s stop lying to ourselves

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Photo by Pablo Varela on Unsplash

If I could break my whole sad life down to one word that would allow me to show you the folly of not being grateful for what you have in life, that word would be longing.

No matter where I was currently in my life, one thing was always the same. No matter what I did or did not have, or how much better off I was than my neighbor, I not only wanted more, but I also wanted different.

20 years old. Child on the way. Married for three years. With not even a high school diploma, I worked my way into a shift manager position in a major hamburger chain. I was getting the bills paid, sometimes with a little help from my dad. I had a car. I made more money and lived better than the majority of the people I knew. Was I happy? Nope. I spent every waking hour thinking about what it would be like to be with a different woman, win the lottery, drive a fancy car, travel, on and on ad nauseam. …


File this post under “things I tried that bombed spectacularly.” At least I got a look into my mind with no filter

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Photo by Andrey Zvyagintsev on Unsplash

Trigger Warning — if you are dealing with your own heavy shit right now, you may want to read something a little happier than this jumble of angst and fear.

Twelve days into NaNoWriMo and my life is unraveling. It started OK, just as it always does, but it’s almost like my demons know I’m trying to accomplish something and increase the frequency and brutality of their attacks on my mind.

Nightmares riddle my sleep — childhood memories and snapshots of events in my life that are molested and rubbed with filth.

During the day, my anxiety level is off the charts, and I cannot seem to get past this depression and the feeling that I may never be good enough to do anything with my life and writing. …


It is possible to build a business or career despite hurdles and challenges like a mental or physical illness

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Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

I would blame my failure to stay focused this past week on the election, but the deeper I overthink the mystery, the more I see it’s the nature of who I have been in life that threw me for a loop.

I tend to jump from one thing to another, which has been a significant problem for me.

Take the last week, for instance.

Do you notice that I often write about my mental health? It is only because my illness’s severity keeps it top of mind. Here I am writing a book during NaNoWriMo about blogging by finishing an essay or article per day. …


Stressing yourself out to succeed when you live with mental illness can take a toll on your body and mind

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Twenty-four hours ago, I sat in this very spot at my little desk and wrote an essay called Tell Your Mood to F*ck Off, Push Your Mind Harder, and Create. I wrote it because I have been doing NaNoWriMo and having a battle with a mind that doesn’t want to cooperate.

My mind would rather procrastinate and watch boring election coverage. It wants to look at memes on Facebook rather than start typing the words I need to get to 50K by the end of the month. …


I found that if I have to wait to “be in the mood” to produce, I would never get anything done

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Image created by Author

I know a few of you will disagree with me. “But Jason. You can’t force the creative process!” or, “If you have to force it, you shouldn’t be blogging in the first place!” I can see the comments when I publish this sucker.

A lot of people write for the pure joy and ecstasy of it. They write to free their mind and stretch their artistic muscles. While I aspire to be that way, I can’t truthfully say it is how writing and blogging are for me.

I blog for three reasons:

  1. To earn money
  2. For therapy
  3. In the hopes that my stories can help another person get through difficult…


These things can either develop you into a money-making success or drive you to be a complete failure as a writer

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Image Licensed with Adobe Stock (Editing by author)

For more than two years, I have been trying to figure out why nobody reads my writing. Well, at least not enough people are reading for me to pay the bills. I knew it was because I generally sucked and wasn’t up to par with the successful writers, but I needed to be more specific if I wanted to fix the problem.

So I stopped feeling sorry for myself, put my big boy pants on, and started analyzing everything.

The following is what I found out.

Analyzing the Data

Since I have over 360 articles and essays published on Medium and have statistics to figure out which stories people read and which ones die on the vine, I used the information from them to begin my analysis. …


Blogging

You would be wrong if you guess too early

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Image licensed with Adobe Stock (Editing by author)

11.03.2020–11:58:28 AM EST

CNN is playing in the background, and as much as I want to focus on the news coming in, I have bigger fish to fry.

I gave myself two months to finally gain some traction with my blogging efforts, and at three days in, I’m feeling great. I set my goals, and I’m checking stuff off the list.

  1. Write at least one blog post or essay per day for November. Publish these on Medium and put them into a book at the end of the month. I am doing NaNoWriMo, so my goal is 30k to 50K words for the entire month. …


It’s time to announce the champion

Week Two Winner!

Again this week, the winner was Molly Cantrell-Kraig. Congrats!

The challenge was to use the image below and make a story using only 100 words:

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Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

This was Molly’s solution to the challenge:

The Virgin

Bhagya made the trek to the deepest part of the forest alone, seeking the portal to the next dimension. At thirteen, she had prepared for this threshold into womanhood. With stories of her mother and sister echoing in her head, she was equal parts nervous and excited. Jolted from her thoughts, she stifled a squeak when she saw the clown holding the red balloon.

This was the Gatekeeper? Upon second thought, it made sense to Bhagya. Clowns conjured feelings of delight, tinged with trepidation. With eyes downcast, hand trembling slightly, she took a deep breath and reached for the balloon. …


Essay

Lead magnets and sales funnels, I’m looking at you

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Licensed from Adobe Stock (Editing by Author)

If we don’t do something about the sleazy underbelly of the blogosphere, blogs will end up in the same level of hell that MySpace landed in after it died.

You may think I’m a little hysterical. But the way the world and the minds of the population are changing, nobody wants to deal with tricks, tracking cookies, and getting dragged through unending funnels in our search for their elusive credit card number.

People are getting tired of the marathon we are forcing them to endure because Google told them that your page had the information they were looking for. Landing on your post, there are so many garish ads — they can’t even read what they came for in the first place. …


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Thanks to all of you for another successful month in promoting an inspired community of Freethinkrs.

As we close out the year, we are reminded of the extraordinary voices that have come out of such turbulent times. The perspectives of the many out there have inspired us to forge ahead and continue speaking freely and without restraint, share our thoughts on the world around us, and provide unique takes on what we face every day.

Each day we are adding new writers who explore a myriad of subjects such as navigating relationships, college equality, and hypocrisy. …

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