April 16

Welcome to My Home!

Good evening. Or morning. Or afternoon, whatever it may be when you get this.

Welcome to my online home. It means the world to me that you’ve even taken the time to open the door and peek inside. I hope I can bring you whatever value you come here seeking.

If you don’t see it, please let me know.

I have created this space as little more than a journal for myself, as I start my journey into writing as more than a passing muse. To date, I’ve written a few dozen articles, all published on Medium. It was early this evening that I sat down and realized that I had been making about $14 an hour to write thus far.

That’s coming from nothing. With no formal training (outside of a Finance degree and the cirriculum it takes to get there). And, perhaps most ecouragingly, not a single follower.

See I didn’t start with an email list, nor a massive Twitter following (I think I’m at 5 there, to date). I just started writing one day.

One of my first articles, on alcoholism, did okay – I made $100 off of it. It would appear that was just enough to start to move the mountain of self doubt, and start my adventure to realize my dream of becoming a writer.

I am a writer. It’s a weird thing to say, and if I’m being honest, I still don’t completely buy into it. I am a sever, a bartender, a mortgage broker, a boyfriend, a father… but a writer? Who am I to claim that title? Just because I’ve pushed a few words out and they have netted me a tiny sum of money, does that make me a writer?

No, I don’t think it does.

What I do think makes me a writer is the boldness to assert that I am. While I remain a bartender (as soon as this plague is through with us), boyfriend, father, I am also a writer.

Because I deem it so.

So hopefully this is the … scratch that… this IS the first post of a long journal that I will always be able to look back on, and see how I’ve changed and learned.

A place to drop half baked ideas, some which I will revisit, others left behind.

A place to connect with those in the craft, or those thinking about getting into the craft.

But really, this is just a place for me. And while I now commit to making writing more than a muse, I set aside this space to do just that – muse about this adventure.

And it really does mean the world to me that you care enough to be here.

Have a seat by the fire, pick a book, and let’s let words become worlds.

Warmest Regards,

April 21

Branding Humble Brag, and Advice to New Writers

Hello friends!

At this point I’m 100% still talking to myself. I’m not even sure if anyone knows this website exists, outside of my girlfriend, who hears me talk enough already that I can’t imagine she’s indulging me here as well.

But that’s another point that I want to make to someone that may be discovering this months or years from now (maybe when I’m a renowned author, dare I dream!). When you’re starting out, write for yourself. In fact, you should always be writing for yourself!

But I get it, that sounds hard. Boring. Mundane. Crazy! Why would I write if no one is reading it?

So was the struggle with the first few blogs I started. If I got 10 page views, it was a lot. It was hard to stay at it, so I didn’t. (RIP ‘The Daily Merge’.)

I only really found motivation to take writing seriously when I ‘made it’ on Medium. And by ‘made it’, I mean I have had 10K views, and made around $300. Which is a double edged sword in itself. Because, holy shit I’ve had tens of thousands of views, hundreds of hours spent reading, and made real money from writing.

On the other hand, meh.

Meh?!?

Yeah, meh. I can’t explain it, aside from my working knowledge of philosophy and psychology – the human mind adapts quickly, and finds suffering wherever it can. No different here.

One of my first articles popped off for 1K views and $100. Felt amazing! And when it happened again? Well, it felt like that last time it happened. It was already normal.

How incredibly frustrating!

Which is why I’m here to tell you that all the times I read it and it didn’t make sense, I now understand the “write for yourself” nonsense.

Because if you’re writing for anything else – money, views, exposure, acceptance, shares – it’s going to happen, and then you’re going to lose that metric. I promise.

But if you write for yourself – then it’s not you chasing something. It’s honest expression. It’s just you spilling your reality on to pages. It’s therapy. It’s learning. It’s progress. It’s yours!

Humble Brag

So I didn’t come here to tell you about writing for yourself. That was just an aside that I wanted to share in the moment. (And I could, because why? Writing for my damn self!)

What I came here to share is my branding. I’m really proud of it! Not just the logo and this little website. But I finally found a system to create high quality graphics for my posts to share to Facebook and Instagram that are engaging, pretty, and MINE!

Take a look!

Has everything that I want! A quote, all my info, links, logo, everything! Best part? Takes me less than 10 minutes to create the graphic, AND share it to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

It took me a LONG time to polish that process down. Very excited to have done it! I’m sure I will share that in time with anyone who wishes to see it.

I think writing is great. But I think that, now more than ever, we are all marketers more than anything else. If you aren’t innovating or creating something entirely new, then you’re trying to find traction doing something old. That’s marketing!

So while I strive to improve my writing day in and day out, I also work to create a beautiful brand that is an extension of who I am.

And one that I can maintain with minimal effort.

So far, so good!

#BeKind

April 17

The Agony of Medium Curation

Screaming. (Image Credit: Alessandro Bellone/Unsplash)

It’s 5 AM. I just spend the better part of the morning writing a piece I really liked, a thought experiment on the decline of humanity. You can read it here.

It wasn’t just canned political commentary that, while I think has value, exists in an over saturated market.

I crafted it, and promptly, it was rejected by Medium curators, now doomed to reach less than 100 readers. Pending some crazy viral incident, which I doubt – it’s not the kind of piece.

Big sigh!

But this comes off the heels of realizing, even new, I’m making about $14 an hour writing. Even if it’s half that – that’s a part time job. And I am still just beginning.

The key is persistence. Knowing that each article is one more article. Trusting in the law of averages, and the certainty of growth that comes with commitment.

But some nights, its deflating.

#BeKind