Late nights during the apocalypse

This article was originally started in March; a time before I quit my job and a couple weeks into the Pandemic. A couple months later, I’m up, so let’s get it written. It is currently 2:32am. I meditated around 7pm, had a zoom call, practiced German, and did a little bit of coding basics. From 10pm till 11pm I played Earth Defense Force, some Super Tennis, and a couple others on the Nintendo Switch. 11pm to 11:45pm I watched The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. And then, nothing. I browsed the web and got in bed around 12:30am. Listened to ASMR for a couple hours, sleeping mask on and now I have my diffuser filling the room with lavender. It’s strange.

There is seemingly nothing on my mind and yet I can’t sleep. So here I am, sitting late into the night, writing, like I used to with my journal. Monster Cat is currently playing and I’m oddly at peace. I have a lot of projects I’m currently working on and perhaps that is what is keeping me up. I bought a blue yeti mic with the hope to get back into streaming as a means to relax and help with my video editing skills. I’ll also need the mic for video calls and I’m going to start working on podcasting. I’m also thinking of starting a youtube channel but truth be told these are just thoughts. There’s a reason I’ve been practicing habit discipline and staggering habit acquisition. My whole life I have started and stopped, not really knowing where I want to go. Now that I have some direction, I want to ease into it. If I’m not having fun, then what’s the point? Right now, my primary focus is to grow the blog, which has been my pillar for the last 5 years. It’s great to simply have a place to come back to time and time again and be myself. And thank God I did not try a specialty blog.

Getting back to 2018

You’ll hear 2018 referenced a lot in the coming year. 2018 was the year I branched out into poetry, short stories, and special series. While I’m proud of all the content I’ve written throughout the years, 2018 was something special; it carried the momentum from 2016 and 2017, the year I did study abroad. 2015, when I moved from IGN to WordPress, I had a total of 37 views. To put that in perspective, January of this year had 67 views. So remember to smash that like button! Jokes aside, I’m flattered that my blog has become so successful. My favorite aspect of this year is putting in tangible work and seeing tangible results. The blog, as of a couple days ago, has hit 150 followers, ever closer to having a full blown community. I appreciate ever like, comment, and follow. When I say “getting back to 2018” I mean surpassing 2018. 2020 is the start of a new decade and it’s the year I put a bow on everything. In College I lived my life by “firsts” and I want to create new moments by sharpening the saw so to speak.

Sharpening the Saw

I’ve begun intensive learning again. As the blog starts to generate revenue, I’ve slowly begun investing in opportunities to be better. One skill overlooked, if I’m to be honest, is my writing. My writing knowledge is acquired from reading, and well, writing. That’s it. A part of me has envisioned a future where I take workshops and attend seminars and as the blog grows, that is becoming a more apparent reality. Over the last few months, I’ve made the decision that I want to be defined by my creative talents and push past the boundaries of simply dabbling in everything. Writing once every two weeks gives me the time I need. That’s not to say I won’t write more (like this week) but the idea is to have habits form. I like being on the grid and knowing myself, I can always find something to talk about.

As far as late night rambles go…

I’d say this is pretty good. If I can’t sleep I might as well write. This next month will be a busy month and I have big plans for June. I’ll be doing update posts similar to the one you saw in May for the foreseeable future. These posts help me outline what I want to cover in a month and hold me accountable to do so.


And here we are once again! At the end of an article. This year promotion is key. I’ve been thrilled with the amount of support over the last couple months. Every like, comment, and follow has helped this blog gain exposure and grow. Hitting 150 followers was a huge treat for the 5 year anniversary and thanks to everyone who has stuck around. I’d love to see this blog grow to 500 and then eventually 1,000. 500 by the end of this year would be amazing. I have a lot of articles planned for this year and I can’t wait to write them. A reminder that supporting my Patreon is a huge help. This is the first year I’ve received support and it feels great. I have big plans for my Patreon but right now those ideas are just dreams. Remember as well, just reading this article puts a smile on my face, so however you choose to support me is appreciated. Below is the Link to my Ko-fi and Patreon if you’re interested.

Support this blog!

And finally, feel free to comment! I need to get better with the prompts, so let’s try this on for size: how have your nights been during the Pandemic? Are you sleeping like a baby or are you staying up late? What are some techniques you use to cope with the added stress?

May Update 2020

Hello Everyone! It has been a crazy last month! From quitting my job to being locked inside, a lot has happened. As of now, my main priority has been to publish my first book. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, this will be nothing new. It’s a compilation of the poetry I’ve written over the years and should total 22 poems in all. I’ve finally gotten all the poems transferred to a google doc and am currently figuring out whether or not I need to go ahead and purchase Microsoft word. Kindle Direct Publishing seems easiest for my first book and from there I will begin to look at other options. I do have plans for a second book and this will be a true to form title. Written not on the blog, but rather entirely new material. It’ll stem from my practice of writing short stories and will either be a compilation of short stories or a novel written from beginning to end. As such, once my first book is published, expect to see some more short stories on this site.

In addition to getting a book published, I have started expanding my social media strategies. I’ve built a good base for content on the site but marketing and promotion have always been a bit of a struggle. I’ve started employing some of my college of business knowledge to help push my content further. Part of that strategy has been to start publishing original content on LinkedIn. If you remember years ago, I used to publish business articles on this site. That eventually turned into self-help and then eventually the content you see today. It’s much more relaxed on this site and I like keeping it that way. That doesn’t mean I don’t cover more serious topics like mental health (I’ll try to get an article out soon for mental health awareness month) but as far as business articles go, I stopped posting them on this site for a reason! LinkedIn over the last couple weeks has been fruitful and has helped promote my writing talent on a professional platform. I’ve fiddled around with the idea of doing a third website such as medium and a long time ago I thought about a sub website (“Mike Cole Gaming” or whatever I was going to call it) but ultimately decided against those alternatives. WordPress has been my home for the last 5 years and it’s been great building this website for over half a decade.

After five years, I finally have an official facebook business page. This has allowed me to promote to my friends and family without me having to use my own personal timeline. If my friends like my content, then they can like the page. Eventually, it’ll house photography commissions and hopefully painting, but for now the Facebook page is just to promote my writing. Why I didn’t have one before, God only knows. My blog took the back burner a bit while the call center sucked out my soul. As of now, I’ll be treating writing as more of a full time job. That is why I’m pushing content on LinkedIn, writing a book, and promoting myself as a freelance writer. I enjoy writing and during a Pandemic is the perfect time to see what it’d be like if I only did this. If I can generate enough revenue, I think I would enjoy doing this every day more than any job I could apply for. Creative hobbies are fun and where my company has failed me, blogging never has.

Eventually, I might open up my Instagram to be public as opposed to private. I’m still mulling over the logistics but for now I’m going to see how it goes with Twitter. I’ll be on Twitter more often, figuring out how to tweet and gain traction. I’ll also be monitoring the audience I attract as the blog continues to expand but all in all I see no issue when we make the jump from one hundred and fifty followers (3 away!) to a couple hundred and then hit the one thousand mark. While I don’t think we’ll hit the one thousand mark by the end of the year, I am optimistic that the site will grow by at least a couple hundred. I check the stats consistently and we’re already on track to surpass last years numbers; for the entirety of 2019. The number of views for April jumped four fold from 2019 to 2020 to illustrate an idea how well the blog is doing. I am truly excited to see what May has in store. If there is any content you’ve been missing, feel free to reach out and let me know. I love writing and if there is content you want, I’d be happy to take it into consideration!


And that’s it! Just wanted to do a quick update on what I’ve been working on. It’s a crazy time but the blog has never been better. I am starting to see growth on the website and we’re set up for a strong year. Every like, follow, and share helps drive traffic to the site as well as bring in ad revenue so I can support myself. As we start to get more and more people joining my Patreon, I’d also like to emphasize that joining Patreon should come with an invitation to join my discord community page. If you don’t receive an invite, let me know. Below is the link to my Ko-Fi and Patreon, so if you feel like supporting me, you can do so!

Support this blog!!!

As always, thanks for reading and I look forward to this year!

A look back at the last Decade

The planning phases are nearly done for my blog. I have posts planned and ideas for branching my writing outside of WordPress. It took a Pandemic, but I’m slowly getting there. As the world ends, I’ve had time to reflect on my current predicament and take stock, something I recommend everyone do periodically throughout their lives. As we delve into the new decade, I wanted to take a look back at how far I’ve come and what’s next.

10 years ago today

Twenty-Ten. My God. A lifetime ago. I was a Sophomore in High School and a scrawny cross country runner. I went to class, played video games, and ran; that was my life. Fall was cross country and come Spring, track and field. Socially awkward, I tried to impress everyone, and really only had a few close friends. I had a High School crush, someone I had known since the first grade, and life was relatively well. It was the year after my Freshman year and if my faded memory serves, I was happy. I’d go as far as saying it was the peak of my High School years. Then came Twenty-Eleven, my Junior year. This was the year it all began to fall apart. I brushed off my childhood crush and a week before homecoming found out she was dating another runner. Had I had the courage then, I wonder how things might have turned out differently. My whole love life in High School was a complete mess to be honest and what could’ve been never ended up being. My 4.0 GPA began to waver and I simply stopped caring whether I succeeded or failed. This was the year I applied for a couple colleges and chose Oregon State for my studies; it was also the year I tried to get my family to go to counseling. Looking back now, it’s clear that I was depressed, so as you can imagine, I was not in the best shape going into my Senior year.

Twenty-Twelve. Twenty-Twelve in all reality, was my ticket year. I had one singular goal; to graduate and prep for College. I grew out my hair to the point it covered my eyes and stumbled my way into College. Years of Alcohol abuse by my Father had left it’s mark and I had the foresight then to know I had to remove myself from the environment I was born into. My great escape, if you will.

Twenty-Twelve

This was my transition year. My Father, in all likelihood, was too drunk to notice I was even in college. Regardless, looking back, this was a fantastic year for me. I had successfully done it; I had removed myself from my haunting household. This was a year filled with chaos but I have always had the drive to be better and I used that as my compass. From pre-engineering to undeclared to pre-business, I had successfully transitioned to where I needed to be. The College of Business saved my life and while in the end I was ultimately pulled back to Hell with chains only Hellfire can break, I am still eternally grateful for Oregon State and the opportunities it provided me. I would say I could never repay the debt, but I’ve currently been paying that down over the last year and it’s now a much more manageable amount than it was. While I’ve told this story before, I think my experience throughout college is worth sharing. The more I tell it, the more I can see my growth and finds ways to improve even further. My Freshman year ended with a choice; continue College or drop out. If I continued, I would essentially be on my own, with sporadic funds from my parents. Dropping out would’ve been easy and I knew I would essentially be signing a death sentence for myself, so I chose to stay.

Twenty-Seventeen

… Five years later. Haha, you didn’t think I’d go over the entirety of my college career, again? Did you? If you’re curious, check out my Journey’s End series where I reflected upon my Journey through College as a final project for my Leadership class. The Twenty-Sixteen, Twenty-Seventeen school year was hands down the best year of my life. Everything that had been set in motion had come to pass and I not only realized that my dreams were achievable, but that I had actually accomplished them. Every goal I had set for myself, I had accomplished and I had become the man I had always wanted to be. Come June, when I walked, I hugged our Dean before throwing my cap up and grabbing life by the horns. But I had made a mistake and hindsight is always 20-20… For now, I could revel in my success and know, that despite every challenge I had faced, I had rose above and made it. Not simply tell myself I had made it, but actually made it.

Present Day

Ok, so not quite present day. In a nutshell, I graduated into a strong economy, and found work relatively quick. I’ve been with the same company, in the same role for the last 2 years now. On paper, I look great. And to be honest, I still believe I am in a good spot. I am ready for my next big adventure and I finally know how I want to get there. I want to go abroad to study Business Analytics or at the very least, go to Portland State University. After a Masters in Analytics, I want to further my studies with a PHD in Sustainability. And I am gearing up for logistics driven, supply chain management roles. Shame it took a Pandemic and weeks left to my own thoughts to realize this. But ultimately, I think this is where I will be happiest. I won’t know until I get there, but it’s the best picture I have had since graduation. And that was my Grand Mistake. I spent so much time doing what I thought I should do to be better, by the time I graduated I had no idea what I actually wanted. Necessary? Perhaps. But a part of me will always wonder.

In the Meantime….

I am applying my logistical and analytical mindset to this blog. Call it the missing link if you will, but I’m excited. I have time to write and I’m going to use it. The Pandemic has actually given me the courage to speak up when typically I have kept my head down and simply done my job. LinkedIn is becoming home to business related articles written from the heart (I’ve written one article, but the ideas are there!). No new poetry for a bit as I compile all the poems I’ve written into a book and publish hopefully during World Poetry month! And I’ve reformatted how I ask for donations based on feedback as I want to make it as easy as possible to support me as well as fun. I am cutting into my emergency fund right now, so any help is much appreciated. As always, comment below; I love hearing from everyone!


Payments!

This is still in its experimental phase! I am happy with what I have set up but if you have suggestions, please, please, please, tell me! How it’ll work is below is one link. Click on the link and you’ll be directed to my Payment page. Three options: Patreon, which is set up monthly, Ko-fi as a one time payment of increments of $3 so you can pay per post or whenever, and a simple payment button that’ll send the funds directly to my Paypal. In addition to the donation page being cleaned up, I will also be making it a point that if you like my content, please, please, please, share with your friends! I love having a community and my philosophy has typically been, “build it and they shall come”. Since I’ve finished up my planning phases for content flow and structure, I realized this is silly. Yes, great content is important, but sharing is part of human nature! So remember, give this blog a shout out anytime you think a friend might enjoy an article, it truly does help! And without further ado, below is the link to support this blog!

Support this blog!

Also, let me know what you think of the new format!

Broken Clock: A Sonnet by Mike Cole

The hand turns, yet tells no time.

Minutes to hours, none can tell.

A desert of dust, a relic far from prime.

An empty silence where only darkness dwells.

 

A man stands, moving the hand back.

The dust flutters and he begins to cough.

The further he turns, the more the clock cracks.

He becomes frustrated, then begins to laugh.

 

He begins to turn the hand forward.

It moves and more cracks form.

He turns too far, and time becomes altered.

The hand falls, the clock left transformed.

 

And so is left the lonely hour,

With no minutes for time to devour.


My second attempt at a proper sonnet. Better than the first but still a little rough around the edges. If you like my content, consider supporting me! Don’t feel obligated to but the money helps for the transition into full independence. Like poetry, comment below or shoot me and email; I love hearing from you!

Funds to send Mike to Mars

I love producing content. As I grow as an individual, so does my content. What was once acceptable now isn’t. As such, more time is spent working on each post. I do all edits, research, and content creation. Whether it’s taking photos for a post one day to writing poetry the next, my blog is keeping me busy. Donations are appreciated and are used to invest in creative pursuits whether that be writing classes, art lessons, and anything in-between.

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