This makes me uncomfortable, but I'm trying a thing.

The best career advice to give to the young is, 'Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.' -Katharine Whitehorn

I have a really hard time asking for money, especially when it comes to things that I enjoy doing. For some reason, my gut instinct is to say "Sure, I'm working hard, but it's work I enjoy doing, so the work is its own reward! Why would I want to be paid for it?"

This is a stupid approach. It's really stupid considering how much I believe that you should find a job that you enjoy doing.

So... I'm accepting the fact that even though I enjoy writing funny stories and it's a lot of fun for me, it is work and it's a thing I work hard at doing, so maybe I should be able to make money doing it?

God, I'm so uncomfortable right now...

Here's the thing: This blog will always be free, and I've never been comfortable with the idea of ads or paid posts. Whenever I see advertisements anywhere, I'm annoyed. I don't want them before my videos, I don't want them in the middle of my tv shows, I don't want to see them when I'm driving on the freeway. None of it. So why would I want them on my blog?

I've thought about asking people to advertise their blogs here on my blog, but then I think to myself "Eh, I just want to list those for free because I love them, not because they paid me."

But I also think that writers should be paid. I think creative people should be paid. I am a writer and a creative person. And I work hard at what I do, but I also think that the only way I want to be rewarded for that is because people also like what I do. So... I found Patreon.

Patreon is basically a way for you to support the creative people whose work you enjoy. It's like Kickstarter, but continuous, and if you choose to support me as a writer, you'll get special perks outside of this blog - like a book recommendation from me, a cute picture of my dog thanking you personally, a live q&a session with me, or even a crocheted critter.

And if I reach my goal, I can create even more funny content for you guys. I can tell you even more funny stories, and the more funny stories I tell, the better I'll get at telling them, and together we will make this blog even better - all because of you and your support. I have big dreams to take this blog and this community further, but I can't accomplish them alone.

Now, you don't have to do this. You don't have to pay me a dime. Even if I never make any money, I'll keep writing this blog and I'll keep writing stories because it's something that I love to do, but if you think that creative types deserve to be paid for what they do, I urge you to at least consider it.

 

Are you a creative person on Patreon? Share your work and your Patreon link in the comments below because I'm not just looking to be supported, but I'm looking for more people to support!

Now go forth and do the thing!

Surround yourself with brilliance.

The other night my writing group held a reading at a local restaurant to honor the memory of a long-time member who recently passed away and to honor the work and life of one of the founding members who is moving away shortly. It was all very sad and very humbling, but also incredibly uplifting and joyous. This writing group, The No Name Writing Group, has been meeting for over thirty years and is more talented than most of its members care to admit or realize. I half-joke a lot about how I'm waiting for them to realize how much of a fraud I am and kick me out. It's not because I don't think I'm a good writer, I think I can put words together just fine, but when I hear their work every month it's hard not to think that I don't belong.

But then I realized something: I'm becoming a better writer every day and it's because of this group. I actually don't think of myself as a complete hack anymore and it's because of this group - and it's not because they are constantly telling me I'm brilliant (although they do try and remind me of it when I need it most), but it's because they are brilliant and I think that it's finally rubbing off on me to some extent.

So this is what I'm here to really say:

  1. Don't surround yourself with people you think you're just as good as, or better than. If you really want to get better at what you do, surround yourself with people who blow your freaking mind.
  2. When you find those people who manage to make you say "Crap, I've got some work to do," make sure that they're people who will love and support you as you work on your projects. There's nothing worse than a brilliant jerk, and they should be avoided as much as possible.

And finally, I want to share the work of some of these brilliant people with you. Please go and read their stuff and bookmark it and tell them how much you love them.

Davyne Verstandig: http://www.davyneverstandig.com/

Karen LaFleur: http://www.lafleurartworks.com/

Merima Trako: http://www.worldaccordingtoblam.com/

This amazing short story by Tom Lagasse: https://www.femininecollective.com/beyond-the-finish-line/

And Tom's website, too!: www.tomlagasse.com

(They don't all have websites, but if I'm missing any, I'll update this list as I go!)

Dreaming of Failure

Following dreams can be complicated. Especially when we're not sure what the exact end goal is. Sometimes we have to just sit down and start. I wake up every morning to write and there is never a moment when I sit down at my desk and say "I know exactly what I want to say." It never happens that way. Sure, sometimes I have a vague idea, but it rarely ends up turning out exactly the way I think it will. But isn't that life in a nutshell? Do we ever wake up and say "I know what is about it happen today. Every detail. Any detail?" No. But we wake up every morning and we start the day.

So why are we so reluctant to do that with our dreams? Fear? Fear of what? Failure? We should be embracing failure, shouldn't we? At least if we fail, we can say that we tried, and hopefully that we learned so that we can try again and eventually succeed - even if that success isn't what we pictured it to be at the start of the venture.

So I wake up every morning and I sit down at my computer and I write. I write without knowing what words are going to come out of me and sometimes they're good words and often they're not, but words happen and that's all I can ask for.

Except I'm going to ask one more thing, and I'm going to ask it of you: Will you fail with me? Will you wake up and do the thing you wish you could do and probably not do it well for a while so that you can eventually get to a point where you feel like you kick ass at that thing? Because I don't want to be alone here. We're all failures, right? So why don't we fail together?