The Case of the Wandering Mojo

I lost my mojo a while back.

It slipped away as my Katie grew up. I was so focused on her that I didn’t even notice at first.

When I hit that wall, I certainly noticed. It was a huge wall, and I slammed into it painfully hard.

That was when every single word I wrote turned to trash.

I desperately sifted through the garbage pile of my creations. I waded through the sludge of my brain. It was a total loss.

Without my mojo, the words had died.

“I don’t need no stinkin’ mojo!” I growled. If I just kept writing I would flush out the gunk and produce something that is worthy of you…

…or so I thought. Eventually, the stench from my rotten ideas grew too horrible even for me to stand.

There was no other option; I had to step away from the keyboard.

I did other things instead.

I worked at a job. I painted my house. I indulged myself with items long denied. After a lifetime of living with less, this act felt like a rebellious, decadent luxury.

The thing about mojos is that they don’t like to be ignored. They especially don’t like it if they realize that you are happy without them.

I was at work when my mojo returned. He creeped into my head and left an offering.

I pulled out my phone, jotted it down, and went back to work.

I didn’t want him to know that I was excited.

Day by day my wayward mojo tried to make amends with me. He’d slip in, deposit the gift of an idea, and disappear once more.

I’d jot them down and let them go.

He started waking me up at night then. Mojos are not happy when they see their gifts being spurned.

By the time my vacation arrived, my mojo had had enough.

“Why aren’t you using my ideas?” he demanded.

“Not much point if you’re going to wander off again,” I shrugged as I mowed the lawn. “If my writing won’t help anyone, I’d rather not write at all.”

Mojo kicked at a rock, abashed. “I promise I’ll stay this time…if you want.”

We struck a bargain that day, my mojo and I.

And then we got to work.

The rest of my vacation sped by at a furious pace. By the time I returned to work, we had created the white-hot draft of my next book.

As the words cool down enough for me to begin editing, we’ve launched into another one. We’ve decided to have fun with this.

Have You Lost Your Mojo?

Is there something you want to do or have been doing that has turned to shit?

You try and you try but the harder you work the worse it stinks?

That’s the classic sign of a wandering mojo.

Unfortunately, the harder you chase, the faster he runs. But if you step back and turn your mind to other pursuits, your mojo will return.

He just can’t help himself.


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I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

Millionaire Women Next Door

Every night before I go to sleep I snuggle into my bed and read on a book for inspiration and research. Some evenings I may only manage to read a small section but on other nights I can manage a couple of chapters. My progress seems incredibly slow but that’s okay.

At least I’m making progress.

You see, I have one serious disadvantage, and I know it. I find it hard to even conceive of owning $60,000 (the ballpark amount I would like to invest), much less understand a lot of the terms that they use in finance. I’ve no idea how in the world I’m going to pull this off or anything else. By reading as much as I can, I will be able to immerse myself in the terms of money. I’ll learn about people who have managed to make their fortunes starting with very little for inspiration, and eventually I’ll use the knowledge to figure out a practical way to achieve my goal.

Millionaire Women Next Door, I decided, was a good place to start. I already had the book and I loved the first book in the series when I read it several years ago.

It was a good decision. This book was filled with stories of women from broken and abusive relationships who had managed to rise above their challenges and build a net worth of well over a million dollars. I discovered that these women weren’t penny pinchers, either; wealthy women end up being significantly more generous to family, friends, and strangers than men are. They also managed to live beneath their means by dressing simply, living in homes far simpler than we expect the wealthy to live in, and primarily presenting themselves as middle class to the world at large.

That tells me that I’m already making progress. I live beneath my means, I’m actively saving money, and I’m not discussing my goal with anyone aside from my beloved Auntie, who has become my cheering section. Since I would love to become successful enough in this project quickly enough that she’s still alive to spoil a bit, just hearing her voice on the phone inspires me to keep working.

The most inspirational part of this book concerned Brian. He wrote a letter to the author on loose-leaf paper. His story was so motivational that the author decided to include it in a book that focuses on females to demonstrate that anyone can truly become wealthy.

Brian was considered a “dummy” in school. Being dyslexic (doubtless before we coined a term for the disability), he was a failure in school. He started washing cars for a local business, graduated to running his own car-detailing business by focusing on the high-end cars that he loved.

He made quite a bit of money doing that and had the toys to show from it but he wasn’t happy. That was when he decided to take the advice of a frugal friend, who encouraged him to sell all of the toys and invest in a four-plex “so he could live for free.”

Despite being uneducated and having a learning disability, this man has real estate holdings worth over $5 million and has a personal net worth of $1.6 million dollars. Wow.

So what can this guy teach me? He showed me that if he can become successful despite his challenges, I can too. He reminded me of the stories my father used to tell me about the days when he owned apartment buildings. My father spent the majority of my childhood filled with regret because he sold his buildings after he hurt his leg when I was six. He told me numerous times throughout my childhood that he had never been s well off as he had been when he had owned those buildings. He had been able to live rent-free in one of the units; despite the fact that it had cost a lot of money in maintenance and repairs, he confessed that he had made a small fortune when he had them.

I’ve read many books over the years that encouraged people to invest in real estate. People will always need a place to stay; in this economy many cannot afford to save up the money needed for a down payment, especially with the high-consumption lifestyle that is prevalent. When you toss in the fact that many people prefer to move multiple times instead of staying in a single place, it points to the fact that real estate rentals can be a profitable business.

I’ll have to think about that.

Notes to your Future Self

Katie and I started a little tradition when we defrosted our refrigerator for the first time several years ago. We didn’t know how long it had been since we had defrosted it so sensing an opportunity we each wrote little notes to our future selves (Katie even left herself a gift) and stuck them in the back of the freezer for the next round.

My last note was dated April 16, 2016. In laborious chicken scratch, I told myself that “life sucks but it will get better.”

It definitely has!

So now the time as come to write myself another note. I think I’ll write more in this next one. In the meantime I have a nice, clean, defrosted refrigerator to enjoy.


Have you ever written a note for your future self to discover later? Please share your stories in the comments below.