How to know you're not a writer?

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sierramcconnell
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by sierramcconnell » October 28th, 2010, 12:48 pm

dios4vida wrote:Hey Sierra, I know I'm coming in with this comment a bit late but it's funny you mentioned EDS because I have that, too. Praise God I don't have the vascular kind, just the hypermobility/super weak joints/freakin' buttloads of pain kind. This July I got fitted for bilateral carbon fiber braces on my knees and this December I'm (hopefully) getting some for my wrists. I have an entire drawer full of braces for my neck, ankles, etc. On top of that I also have migraines like yours and fibromyalgia, which is another "despite-what-people-say-it's-real-and-it-sucks" kind of disease. I finally broke down and applied for disability last year and getting my benefits has been one of the best blessings ever. I'd suggest you go for it. Don't waste your health, save it and savor it!

I wanna encourage you. Some of us, like me and commando, really do understand what it's like to have chronic pain conditions and still try to have a life. Heck, one of my WIPs I call my Vicodin Brain Child because I came up with the concept when I was half-asleep, half-high from Vicodin just trying to survive the drive home from vacation. It's life. It's not fair, sometimes it really sucks, and sometimes we all have to look around and say "how come my sister didn't get this stuff? She's out running 5Ks and hiking with a fabulous job and three kids and I'm here on the couch again because of stupid genetics!" (Notice that came out a bit practiced? I do this all the time.) But then we have to take a deep breath, chug some more meds, and get back on our feet. Struggling through pain and succeeding is much better than struggling through pain and letting it get the best of us.

You can do it, Sierra. Whether you decide you're a writer or not, you can do this thing called life. Take care and if you need a sympathy buddy PM me. :)
I've thought about going for disability but I've been really afraid that it's going to be denied or that I'd have to hide out in my house all the time, even if I have to go get prescriptions or I'm having a good day and might want to go pick up a few things. I've heard stories of insurance companies sending people out to watch you and having you cut off because they've seen you out and you look fine enough. How long and how hard was it for you to get it?
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polymath
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by polymath » October 28th, 2010, 1:45 pm

I've applied for SSI disability and was denied. I went over the income cap a few dollars. I'm self-employed, so the Social Security case worker went over my business records with a fine-toothed comb, worse than an IRS audit.

Most of the initial application process for SSI can be done online through the Social Security Administration Web site. And much information about the process and protocols there as well.

I manage my health financial issues mostly on my own. In the early days, a Vocational Rehabilitation case worker assisted me, but I timed out of that program. My caregiver a few years back was a nurse-practitioner with the public health department. They used to have a prescription assistance program, but budget cuts ended that. I moved to a free clinic nurse-practitioner. They have a prescription assistance program. The case worker there manages the paperwork, but I have to stay on top of it or they drop the ball, the manufacturer drops the ball, or handling snafus lose my lifesaving medical supplies.

I've been denied coverage for many public assistance programs because of their income caps. Doctors that I had to pay for have rated me as disabled and my chronic disabilities as impediments to gainful employment. No traditional employer would hire me, undereducated or physically incapable of doing the job or too old or too inexperienced or just plain not some arbitrary right for the workplace. I created a telecommuter job and found clients who rely on me. If I don't work, I'm in a world of financial hurt under a mountain of medical debt. Because I work, albeit underemployed, I'm ineligible for public assistance. Catch 22.

But I'm in the closing stages of starting phase III of my career improvement plan started ten years ago. Another three years and I'll have completed the training, education, and certification phase of the plan. Fingers and toes crossed. The future is as bright as I can possibly make it.
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by dios4vida » October 28th, 2010, 1:54 pm

sierramcconnell wrote:I've thought about going for disability but I've been really afraid that it's going to be denied or that I'd have to hide out in my house all the time, even if I have to go get prescriptions or I'm having a good day and might want to go pick up a few things. I've heard stories of insurance companies sending people out to watch you and having you cut off because they've seen you out and you look fine enough. How long and how hard was it for you to get it?
PM-ed you. :)
polymath wrote:I've applied for SSI disability and was denied. I went over the income cap a few dollars. I'm self-employed, so the Social Security case worker went over my business records with a fine-toothed comb, worse than an IRS audit...

...The future is as bright as I can possibly make it.
Polymath, have you tried applying for the regular Social Security benefits? They don't take income into account for those, just your physical condition. I couldn't get SSI because of my husband's salary but I got the other, and the payout isn't shabby at all.

Good for you, by the way, doing what you can to make the future bright. It's so great to hear people doing that. I think my respect-o-meter for you just jumped even more.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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polymath
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by polymath » October 28th, 2010, 2:15 pm

dios4vida,

I've tried it all. Social Security's several programs, welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, state option health insurance programs, Vocational Rehabilitation, food stamps, employment commission, social services agencies, private charities, public charities, other public assistance institutions, and, of course, family and friends. Tapped out or timed out or income ineligibility or deemed ineligible for some other reason. I figure they figure I'm treading water so I don't need a life preserver. Meanwhile, I'm going down hill health-wise as fast as uphill career potential-wise and my finances are on critical life support. It's a race against time and more high hurdles looming in my path.

The finish line is in sight. I can't adequately express how much these forums have helped my growth as a writer and as a person and prepared me for the next and hopefully last difficult phase of my journey. For that I'm grateful and hope to pay back and pay forward in kind.
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TigerGray
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by TigerGray » October 28th, 2010, 4:20 pm

sierramcconnell wrote:
dios4vida wrote:Hey Sierra, I know I'm coming in with this comment a bit late but it's funny you mentioned EDS because I have that, too. Praise God I don't have the vascular kind, just the hypermobility/super weak joints/freakin' buttloads of pain kind. This July I got fitted for bilateral carbon fiber braces on my knees and this December I'm (hopefully) getting some for my wrists. I have an entire drawer full of braces for my neck, ankles, etc. On top of that I also have migraines like yours and fibromyalgia, which is another "despite-what-people-say-it's-real-and-it-sucks" kind of disease. I finally broke down and applied for disability last year and getting my benefits has been one of the best blessings ever. I'd suggest you go for it. Don't waste your health, save it and savor it!

I wanna encourage you. Some of us, like me and commando, really do understand what it's like to have chronic pain conditions and still try to have a life. Heck, one of my WIPs I call my Vicodin Brain Child because I came up with the concept when I was half-asleep, half-high from Vicodin just trying to survive the drive home from vacation. It's life. It's not fair, sometimes it really sucks, and sometimes we all have to look around and say "how come my sister didn't get this stuff? She's out running 5Ks and hiking with a fabulous job and three kids and I'm here on the couch again because of stupid genetics!" (Notice that came out a bit practiced? I do this all the time.) But then we have to take a deep breath, chug some more meds, and get back on our feet. Struggling through pain and succeeding is much better than struggling through pain and letting it get the best of us.

You can do it, Sierra. Whether you decide you're a writer or not, you can do this thing called life. Take care and if you need a sympathy buddy PM me. :)
I've thought about going for disability but I've been really afraid that it's going to be denied or that I'd have to hide out in my house all the time, even if I have to go get prescriptions or I'm having a good day and might want to go pick up a few things. I've heard stories of insurance companies sending people out to watch you and having you cut off because they've seen you out and you look fine enough. How long and how hard was it for you to get it?
Where do you live, Sierra? I can tell you that while the disability program where I am will always deny you the first time, if you persist they will generally grant you benefits and no one checks up on you to make sure you're still disabled. I am blind though and the rules are a bit different for blind people here, but I can't imagine you being stalked and kept in your house etc.
"Who knows themselves better than the blind?' - for every thought becomes a tool." --Luis Borges

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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by TigerGray » October 28th, 2010, 4:22 pm

polymath wrote:dios4vida,

I've tried it all. Social Security's several programs, welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, state option health insurance programs, Vocational Rehabilitation, food stamps, employment commission, social services agencies, private charities, public charities, other public assistance institutions, and, of course, family and friends. Tapped out or timed out or income ineligibility or deemed ineligible for some other reason. I figure they figure I'm treading water so I don't need a life preserver. Meanwhile, I'm going down hill health-wise as fast as uphill career potential-wise and my finances are on critical life support. It's a race against time and more high hurdles looming in my path.

The finish line is in sight. I can't adequately express how much these forums have helped my growth as a writer and as a person and prepared me for the next and hopefully last difficult phase of my journey. For that I'm grateful and hope to pay back and pay forward in kind.

I hope things work out in your favor. I hear ya on the always being locked out of programs thing. I don't make ENOUGH money to be on low income housing here. I wish I was making that up. Good luck.
"Who knows themselves better than the blind?' - for every thought becomes a tool." --Luis Borges

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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by sierramcconnell » October 28th, 2010, 4:36 pm

TigerGray wrote:Where do you live, Sierra? I can tell you that while the disability program where I am will always deny you the first time, if you persist they will generally grant you benefits and no one checks up on you to make sure you're still disabled. I am blind though and the rules are a bit different for blind people here, but I can't imagine you being stalked and kept in your house etc.
Bowling Green, Kentucky. I don't look sick (well, mostly, I'm pale and purple with a fever rash so I look like I constantly have the flu) is the problem. One minute I could be laughing it up with the person next to me and the next I could be leaning on the wall, collapsing because my sugar\blood pressure is crashing or my heart is going nuts and I need to lay down with my feet up. Since dysautonomia is one of those crazy things where your brain suddenly decides it knows better than anything and you should have a 120 pulse rate as normal, and 80/50 bp. XD
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by polymath » October 28th, 2010, 4:49 pm

TigerGray wrote:I hope things work out in your favor. I hear ya on the always being locked out of programs thing. I don't make ENOUGH money to be on low income housing here. I wish I was making that up. Good luck.
Thanks. The Section 8 housing program hereabouts is a labyrinthe of red tape and hidden discriminatory preferences. I got close on that one anyway, before I came up against a wall of personal agendas and naysayers. "The progam only has enough funding for existing housing projects, there's a weighted waiting list and your points will keep you last on the list forever, private sector housing funding is available for your situation, but here's another whole mountain of paperwork, and landlords hereabouts don't want to meet regulatory agencies' home inspection standards and therefore won't participate in the program." At least I picked up fertile fodder for creative writing. I won't dare write it for nonfiction. I've got enough troubles without tilting at windmills. And the existing projects are bleak, crime-ridden, dog-eat-dog enclaves of mutually reinforcing misery.
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by sierramcconnell » October 28th, 2010, 4:58 pm

I used to work in government. I know all about the background of the red tape, but the number one thing to do is not make anyone mad.

Do that, and you're not going anywhere.

Also, make sure you kiss the right behind or you'll get blackballed and ran through the mud. Your name will end up in newspapers and people will think the worst of you no matter what you didn't do.

It happened to me.
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by TigerGray » October 28th, 2010, 7:13 pm

sierramcconnell wrote:
TigerGray wrote:Where do you live, Sierra? I can tell you that while the disability program where I am will always deny you the first time, if you persist they will generally grant you benefits and no one checks up on you to make sure you're still disabled. I am blind though and the rules are a bit different for blind people here, but I can't imagine you being stalked and kept in your house etc.
Bowling Green, Kentucky. I don't look sick (well, mostly, I'm pale and purple with a fever rash so I look like I constantly have the flu) is the problem. One minute I could be laughing it up with the person next to me and the next I could be leaning on the wall, collapsing because my sugar\blood pressure is crashing or my heart is going nuts and I need to lay down with my feet up. Since dysautonomia is one of those crazy things where your brain suddenly decides it knows better than anything and you should have a 120 pulse rate as normal, and 80/50 bp. XD

Looking sick shouldn't be the deciding factor. It sounds like you have a ton of doctor records, and that is what makes the difference with disability payments. They will also want to send you to their banned word, so really hammer home the downsides of your conditions when you're in those sessions. Have you looked in to the actual requirements? I ask because--and I say this with no chastisement--you sound like a lot of folk who make assumptions about how it works and imagine it as being even more draconic than it already is. It's a flawed system and they put you through a lot but they don't ask that you do a sick person song and dance routine every day of your life.
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by TigerGray » October 28th, 2010, 7:15 pm

polymath wrote:
TigerGray wrote:I hope things work out in your favor. I hear ya on the always being locked out of programs thing. I don't make ENOUGH money to be on low income housing here. I wish I was making that up. Good luck.
Thanks. The Section 8 housing program hereabouts is a labyrinthe of red tape and hidden discriminatory preferences. I got close on that one anyway, before I came up against a wall of personal agendas and naysayers. "The progam only has enough funding for existing housing projects, there's a weighted waiting list and your points will keep you last on the list forever, private sector housing funding is available for your situation, but here's another whole mountain of paperwork, and landlords hereabouts don't want to meet regulatory agencies' home inspection standards and therefore won't participate in the program." At least I picked up fertile fodder for creative writing. I won't dare write it for nonfiction. I've got enough troubles without tilting at windmills. And the existing projects are bleak, crime-ridden, dog-eat-dog enclaves of mutually reinforcing misery.

Ugh, I am so sorry. I am quite familiar with how awful it can be to try and get help. I find the best way to go is try and find a private renter and cut out all the middleman crap from the get go. I also have terrible credit, but if I can find a person in a neighborhood I like who will work with me there's often no need to even run my credit. I applaud you for mining the misery for creative pursuits. Sometimes that is all that keeps me going.
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by Jenemb » October 30th, 2010, 11:16 am

Sierra,

I hope you're feeling more positive since this thread started.

I've been there. We've all been there. Sometimes it sucks. Hell, most times it sucks. Trying to write professionally is taking the one thing you really love, and stomping on it repeatedly. And then sending it out to agents and publishers to ask them to do the same thing. But whenever I get frustrated, depressed, or feel like I just can't enjoy it anymore, I ask myself the question: Would not writing drive me crazy?

I am compelled to write. I think everyone here is. It doesn't matter how good it is, or how god-awful it is, it's something you need to do. I would also suggest that you never throw anything away, or shred it, or burn it. I have a filing cabinet full of crap writing, but even at it's worst there's always the spark of an idea somewhere there that's waiting to be resurrected. Or, if there's not, you can look back in a few years and laugh at how bad you were, before you got better.

Best of luck, and I hope you rediscover why you loved to write in the first place.
Jen

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