Expansionism

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou might have noticed I did a few reblogs. That’s not going to stop, it just may not be quite so “back-to-back,” if you will. I’m trying to be somewhere between manifest destiny and Canadian, when it comes to expanding my audience. I know there is a huge gap between selfishness and selflessness, but I intend to do the normal human thing and try to be the best of both.

Today’s photo comes from epicantus.tumblr.com. You will find that I’m also going to play with the layout a bit. I may even begin some new content ideas. In particular I’ve got an idea to try to bridge the photo with the quote I use in a narrative of 500 words or less. Something short, sweet, and to the point. Practice for me, little nuggets of entertainment for you; costs you nothing but five minutes of your time.

“The best kind of writing, and the biggest thrill in writing, is to suddenly read a line from your typewriter that you didn’t know was in you.”
– Larry L. King

Today however I’m going to skip that since I’m mostly playing with the layout and letting everyone know my nefarious plans. I’m also looking for participation, I want criticism. What do you like, what do you not like, why? Do you want more content, less content, longer content, shorter content (much shorter and I can just use twitter)? The more I know the better I can make this blog. If I get no response, then I must be making the most amazing and beautiful blog yet to exist. If that’s the case, then anyone looking for a content writer, please email me a job offer with salary and available benefits, you can go to my about page or even my about.me page found on the side bar.

Joking aside, anything I reblog will almost definitely be writing related, be it narrative or informational. In addition to all this I’m trying to write a novel (working title: Dawn Vernalis) and a short story (The Return Of the Cult), while trying to keep interesting/entertaining content here, maintaining a full time job, and having a family life. So basically like every other person in the world who has everything going on and trying to move into their desired career from their day job.

All I can say is, anybody can do it, you just need the drive and desire. Oh and the skill to work while mentally and/or physically exhausted.

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Monday, Monday

public-domain-images-free-stock-photos-high-quality-resolution-downloads-around-the-house-7On Friday I posted the first part to a story I will be writing here when I’m not
writing anything else, however I posted it at 7:00 am and I don’t think it popped up for many people. I’m learning very quickly that timing is key for getting new readers and views.

For those of you that didn’t see the post you can check it out here http://tinyurl.com/mk4jdsc.

The day before I posted this I had a conversation with a colleague/friend who argued that self publishing doesn’t count as being published. I argued the opposite for the simple fact that being available to the public is published. It’s in the base of the word. That got me thinking about success, and how it’s measured.

We all define success in our own way, but in the end the final goal is that sense of accomplishment. By writing and publishing my first book for Amazon Kindle, I will feel a sense of accomplishment, but is that success? I think it is a form of success, a small piece of the success I’m trying to accomplish. If someone buys the book I will feel some more accomplishment, another small piece of success.

However, I don’t expect to be a successful writer from one book. I hope that my first book will be a success, that is not my expectation. I expect to use my first book as a learning experience, a way to better myself towards my goal of becoming a successful writer. I measure that success as being able to make a decent living writing. One of those learning experiences is this blog, which I hope to one day monetize.

Here’s the flip side to that though, does monetizing my writing make me a sellout? Well, honestly, no. I’m not coming to you saying I’m doing this solely for the art and experience, that’s only portion of my motivation. I also want to earn an income, but that’s a lengthy goal that will require plenty of effort on my part.

It’s important to know what you want to get out of the things you do in life, but success is measured in the eye of the beholder. If you feel you are successful just by getting your words out, then do that, and feel as though you’ve made it. Others may not agree with your assessment, but they don’t need to decide your success, they need to decide they’re own. Once you know what you want, go for it with everything you have. Don’t expect it to just happen, and don’t expect it to happen with your first efforts, as nice as that would be. Prime example, my post of the first part of my short story The Return of the Cult has only seen 4 views since I posted it; that doesn’t make me feel like a failure, it just means I need to put in more work. Part of this post is that work, if you didn’t notice.

I spent most of my life not knowing what I wanted, I went with the flow of things. It has worked out pretty well so far, but now with a beautiful wife, an adorable baby boy, a dog, and a full time job, I’m wondering how long this success can last without any additional effort. Instead of waiting for “the other shoe to drop,” I decided to make an effort. That’s why I’m here.

All Dressed Up, No Place To Go

20150218_062449I’m stuck at home again due to icy road conditions. Yesterday my place of employment closed due to the inclement weather; today, however, the decision makers decided to go back to business as usual. I, on the other hand, live over 30 minutes away and that makes a huge difference in road conditions. You can probably see from the picture.

I thought, “oh well, time to get comfy with some hot cocoa and read.” But then I thought better. This is the time I will be taking advantage of this blog or writing the book.

I’m sure many of you know how hard it is to separate the work you want to do from the fun, entertaining, lovable, glaring distractions that we surround ourselves with at home. After all, we spend so much time working that the first thing we want to do when we get home is talk about something else. “How was your day?” Followed by the common change of subject, “um, what’s for dinner?” You do it, probably subconsciously at this point, maybe different questions.

Then, once you’ve gone through the daily exchange of information you turn on the TV, open a book, get on the internet. Many of us even put it in our heads that we can multitask this with some work. But few of us can actually pull this off. I am not one of them.

So here I am, early in the morning. Already went for a walk in the cold, made some hot cocoa, staying off the roads. Everyone is asleep except me and the dog, everything is off except this browser and a lamp, the only distraction I have now is me (and Steam, so many games so little time).

This is when I say something motivational like, turn off the TV, close that book, stop playing that game, stop browsing Facebook or Wikipedia. Do something that you keep putting off, like write a book or start a blog; I said before anyone can do it these days. Go make some music, put paint on canvas, program that app you think will revolutionize the way we use phones. And don’t sell yourself short, make sure you value the work you do and get something out of it. If that means make some money for the time you put in, then so be it; there is nothing wrong with providing for yourself and your family. If you can already provide and your just looking for that feel good when you help people or make people feel something that they would not, had they not seen your work that’s good to. There is value in helping others.

The most important take away here is that you have something to show for your work. Tell me in the comments how you focus.