Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Picks on Kindle Countdown! Addie for FREE!

Just in time for... nothing important, really...

If you're a Kindle user (or own just about any internet-ready electronic device (and I'd love to hear from those of you who don't (about this blog, I mean))), you can get your e-copy of Picks: Some Things I Dug Up at a discount now through next Monday. The best price (67% OFF!) is at a the beginning of the promotion (now) and gradually increments back to the normal price, so the best deal is always now.

If you need more of a nudge, "Addie," one of the stories from the collection, will be available for FREE during the promotion. Get it here. Read it before the Countdown, er, counts down. Then tell everybody you know to get the collection while the getting is good.

They probably won't thank you for it. But I will.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Identity Heft

Things are crackin' again. I did a long editing pass on the book (which is to say I read it over and fixed the most glaring errors and omissions), trimming about 5000 needless words. Then I tacked on a few new ones and we're at just a shade under 97,000. I've been hacking at it all weekend and am, for the time being, back in a pretty good flow.

Speaking of flow, my work life has always had a whiptastic (whiplashtic?) ebb-and-flow to it, something that ironed out nicely for a time when I started consulting. While it's still a good concept and my clients are still happy, I need more of them and I'm a bad promoter. I've always been a bad promoter. I was growing almost completely through referral, but referral seems to have played out for now. So now what?

I don't know.

Even worse? I don't really care that I don't know. 

I've been contemplating this lately as I swing and miss over and over. I'm definitely not happy about it and it's definitely a drag on my comfort level, but I get no heartburn. I'll tighten the belt and figure it out. I'm doing all I know to do but beyond that, I don't see the profit in freaking out. That's probably why I suck at it (and at making money in general) but there it is. 

Meantime, my website was sitting there offering services and information to exactly nobody (this blog has roughly 30x the lifetime hits the site does and it's only been up half the time without ever a single ad bought for it), so I rebuilt it with a focus on the passion projects. Audiobook test samples will be going up before long, and, if somebody buys me enough of the right kind of cocktail on a given night, I might even post a couple of very embarrassing music projects I did a couple years back. I might even move this blog there.

That leaves social media. The only space pertaining to consulting was my linkedin account, which primarily produced BS leads, shitty contacts and a blizzard of email spam. Oh, and endorsements for skills I don't have. I closed it, probably for good. Everywhere else, I know I've been slacking lately as I pursue more paying work, but I tend to ebb and flow there as well. I'll be doing a little book promotion in the next month and I think it's high time I learned what the hell I'm trying to do in that department. 

All of this boils down to a fundamental thing I've embraced and avoided my entire literate life. I talked a little about this dichotomy in my last post, the perennial knee-jerk aversion to the thing I want to do. It's been there a long time, mostly because I decided when I was very young I wanted to figure out money first, find a career that would pay well enough for me to explore my art (read with a shitty French accent). I explored a lot of avenues. I found a lot of dead ends. And obviously, I still don't have it covered, but, I mean fuck sake. How long do I keep putting off and putting aside the one thing I've always wanted to do?

Tactically, I know I shouldn't be writing this. I don't gain anything except a bit of a milestone on what could easily be another long run up to a dead end... that and maybe a few seconds of clear conscience. I have no idea what prospective employers / clients / business partners will make of it. I don't know what you'll make of it. It's just that the idea of trying to excuse my doing this and my wanting to do it is becoming untenable. 

It's hilarious and gross when you think about it; I've been trying to sell out for about 20 years. Nobody really bought, and the few that tried ended up just a wee bit short at the register. I'm not talking fault here, either. A lot of things just didn't work out and I certainly share in the blame, if only because I should have been on another track entirely the whole time. I've always tried to maintain a sense of integrity in my work, whatever it was. I do the best I can. I just wonder now how much that integrity counts for when I'm hiding behind it from the things for which I'm accountable only to myself.

That one's always buggered me too. I'm getting better at it but, like with my aloofness to all things personal finance, I don't have a firm sense of what I owe myself, let alone what I should negotiate with other people.

Maybe it'd help to own up to who and what I am.