Cyndy Aleo

Four Little Bees Writing & Editing

author, freelance writing, editing, and a little bit of web development, helping clients with content development, book editing, and blog set-up and customization

But what are you DOING about it?

What I'm about to say (or type) in this post is probably going to be controversial, and maybe I'm going to come off a bit condescending, but I'm pretty okay with that, because sometimes, you need a wake-up call. I know I did.

2014 has been a pretty shitty year for me in general on a personal level. And as the year started winding down, I realized it was partially things that were out of my control, and partially things that weren't.

And I needed to fix the things that weren't.

it's no secret I spend a lot of time on social media. When you work for yourself, out of your home, that's often the only social interaction you get. Think of it as the freelances' water cooler. But one thing I noticed was that, instead of feeling energized after talking to people, I was feeling more depressed. 

At first, I thought the answer was maybe I needed to get out more, but that didn't help either. And what I realized was that people in my circles seemed to be increasingly dissatisfied with the way things in life were going, but seemed to be getting wrapped up in what was wrong instead of trying to find a way to make things right.

I'm a single mom. I don't have a lot of money. I often feel limited in what I'm able to go out as a result of both of those things. 

So, no, I can't donate money to something like We Need Diverse Books, but I can certainly make sure I request diverse books for review. I can add authors I like to things like my library list and my eReaderIQ list, so when they go on sale I can buy them and increase their visibility for online buy lists.

And the same thing with fandom. I watch people still involved in fandom who do absolutely nothing but complain about the state of things without ever getting involved in making them better. So I got off my ass this year and volunteered, and now I'll be spending some of my time working with the OTW, which does a lot of things like support academic research about fandom and provide legal advocacy and give a home to archives that would otherwise be lost as sites close down.

Things may not be great, but I feel like even my tiny drop in the bucket makes me feel like I'm doing SOMETHING positive. It's not enough to change the world, but if everyone gave that drop instead of just complaining, imagine where we might end up.

It's understandable to be down and depressed about the state of the world these days. But as we're heading into 2015, ask yourself what you're doing to change it. 

P.S. Watch for a follow-up post from me that tells you about all the great things I read this year.