Baby Steps, Ma’am. Baby Steps.

Baby steps… so it’s okay if I fall on my ass a few hundred times, right?

So the Army has this thing where it likes to change uniforms from time to time. When I graduated from Basic Combat Training, I was issued a dress uniform to graduate in, called Class As. The “pickle suit.” It’s a lean, green uncomfortable thing, that’s for sure; but it’s also a thing of the past. about a month after I graduated Basic, I ran into some kids who had much more recently than I had, and they were issued—take a fuckin’ guess—our NEW dress uniforms, called ASU, the Army Service Uniform.

Now, these kids, they’re lucky, because the rest of us who were issued Class As have to go out and purchase our own ASUs (whereas, as denoted by their beingissued ASUs, it was at no expense to them). This also happened when the Army switched over from BDUs (Battle Dress Uniform) to ACUs (Army Combat Uniform) a few years ago. Newcomers were issued things that oldtimers had to purchase.

The other day, I took it upon myself to FINALLY buy my ASUs. This is after I (1) took out a $2,000 loan, (2) started up auto insurance with a downpayment of $260, (3) bought a car for $3,000 (the 2k loan paid for the rest) AND (4) paid my $240 cell phone bill (usually $350… dodged a bullet with that one)—AMONG MANY OTHER EXPENSES. The jacket and pants cost me $145.

BDUs vs ACUs

BDUs (left) vs ACUs (right)

When I went to the register to check out, the cashier lady asked me if I had the shirt, and I looked at her—sternly, a little frustrated—and said—equally as stern as the set of my face—”Baby steps, ma’am. Baby steps. I am quite broke enough.”

What is the point to my saying all this? Well, I’m makin’ baby steps in more than one aspect of my life. I have the majority of my dress uniform all together, yes, but that just took about an hour of my time. I’m also trying to get my outside-the-Army career together. It requires a little more than that. But Zachary has taken to asking me, “When are you gonna get your book published?” and it’s got me thinkin’, “Yeah… when?”

So I started. I got one of my books edited (though at this point, it brought to light some questions I think I can answer with another scene written near the end), and I’m planning on sending another to a small press I found online that I thought might show interest in the subject matter, and I’m having another read by a friend who I know is a fellow book-lover (WHOA WHICH REMINDS ME—I seem to have developed a problem with hording books AND e-books… but that’s for another blog post). Little by little, I’m forcing myself deeper into the world of writing, the way that I’ve always wanted to. I don’t know why it never really occurred to me to do this before,but hey, what can ya do? I see the light now, so I’m working towards that.

Click for full size.

I also want to do some editing on the side like I used to all throughout school. Not really trying to make money off it, just wanting to edit people’s stuff, but if I don’t price then no one will take me for real, so maybe I do have to present myself as some busy Editor-in-Chief in-the-making in order to pull an audience. I just… editing is (as I claim everything is) MY FIRST LOVE. To price something I enjoy (not like writing… editing someone else’s work for me and writing books like I do are different, somehow) seems—dare I say it?—tacky.

Maybe I’ll try offering free/minimum fee service and see how that works out, although, I’ve seen that underpricing editing services is a surefire way to advertise yourself as being unworthy of the craft. Guess I have more thinkin’ to do on this one….

S. R. Carrillo

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4 comments on “Baby Steps, Ma’am. Baby Steps.

  1. jumpingpolarbear says:

    A little by little is the only way to do it :).

    Like

  2. Tiffany Cole says:

    Yeah, the whole editing pricing thing can be a conundrum, like how when places won’t hire you until you get experience but no place will hire you to give you the experience. If you’re doing it for the love and not as like a personal business (I mean, I edit for the love. I love editing. I love everything about writing. But, for me, it’s also a business), it’s probably a good idea to find a healthy medium. Though I couldn’t give you a good price model, here is the official pricing courtesy of the Editorial Freelancers Association: http://the-efa.org/res/rates.php

    If you don’t want to deal with the whole paid by the hour schmeal, which you’ll need contracts and other legit shit for, you can just do what I used to do before I set the hour pricing – figure out a one price model for a certain number of words and go from there.

    Like

    • Sierra says:

      I think the last thing you mentioned–the set price for words thing–is a lot closer to what I’d relent to in the end, if need calls for pricing on the legit side of things. Which, you know, I don’t mind so much… kinda. :\ Hahah, I feel like a child, ’cause OBVIOUSLY there’s a lot to the saying “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” Like I said–I need some time to think about it good and hard, but I guess that’s what I’ll end up doin.

      Like

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