Life Experiment: 30 Posts in 30 Days in 30 Minutes or Less

In an effort to fight off creative boredom and get my writing chops chopping (chomping?) with more regularity, I'm embarking on a 30-day writing commitment here on BarryMorris.net.

I have no plan for this other than to just crank out a daily post for the next 30 days and see how it feels. I have no topic plan, length of post plan, nothing.

Oh, and I can spend no longer than 30 minutes on each post, from inception to publication. Yeah, baby...this is serious stuff.  :lol: 

I'm also going to include original photography in each post, starting with the photo above of my desk at work that I took a few minutes ago. (I'm still successfully avoiding the use of my employer-issued PC laptop).

Each photo will capture a piece of my daily experience. They may not all be gorgeous photos, but they will be all be in black and white in keeping with the motif.

I'm all about the motif. Motif...yeah, I like that word. It just begs to be italicized, don't you think?

I know, you're thrilled

But please, try to contain yourself. 

This is going to be like Julia Cameron's morning pages exercise except my whiny stream-of-consciousness type thoughts will be shared to the world or rather my 600+ readers...a number that I actually don't believe it accurate judging from the lack of comments on my past posts.

Of course, that could just mean I write crap that no one cares about. Whatever. I write for my own sense of gratification anyway. :roll:

This isn't the first time I've done this. When I first read Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, I embarked on a similar project, but those writings weren't published. But you have to love her guidelines for daily writing practice:

  1. Keep your hand moving (or typing my case)
  2. Loose control
  3. Be specific
  4. Don't think
  5. Don't worry about punctuation, grammar, or spelling (I'll ignore this one)
  6. You are free to write the worst junk in America
  7. Go for the jugular

Where did this idea originate?

No clue. Actually, I do know. I was thinking this morning about how Ev Bogue used to post each day to his minimalist blog, Far Beyond the Stars, in the days before he kind of went off into the wilderness to recreate the decentralized web on a used Chromebook. It's a long story.

This was at a time when minimalism was unique and living with less was intriguing. Now it feels like no one gives it much credence beyond the minimalist celebrities among us.

Perhaps the idea was in the ether and I inhaled...unlike Bill Clinton. OK, that's it...enough bad jokes.

See you tomorrow for my first post du jour

Are You Being Authentic or Just Faking it?

I can only answer for myself, of course, but I experience meaning when I'm totally honest and transparent. 

I'm honest and transparent with:

  • my son, Jay, about his future and mine
  • my girlfriend, Karen, about what I'm feeling and thinking
  • my boss, Kevin, about what I'm uncomfortable with and where I think we can improve
  • myself, about what's important in the very brief life I'm living

Authenticity

For me, honesty and transparency are the cues that signal whether or not a person is used to being authentic. Being authentic—that reflection of our truest self without any pretending—is a mode of behavior that we are hopefully encouraged to observe in our upbringing by responsible adults who are, in fact, themselves authentic. 

When I think of ways I can be authentic, in addition to examples of honesty and transparency above, I think of the following:

  • I can write posts to this blog that are a reflection of my experience rather than a preachy exhortation 
  • I can make smart choices regarding my nutrition, finances, and relationships
  • I can answer questions posed to me with honesty and transparency
  • I can speak only when I have something valid to communicate
  • I can hold a view that is open to that of others instead of blocking those opinions with which I disagree
  • I can hold an honest and transparent intention in all my communication
  • I can initiate actions that reflect such intentions
  • I can make my livelihood in a manner that doesn't bring harm to anyone
  • I can incorporate mindful mode of listening when interacting with others
  • I can undergird and support all that I do with a regular practice of meditation 

What can you do to become more authentic?

Perfection Is the Enemy

Perfection is the enemy of the creative

Perfection doesn't exist. Whether our quest is for the perfect motorcycle, the perfect wave, or the perfect smile... we waste our precious time in their pursuit. We fool ourselves into thinking that perfection is real and obtainable when it is, in fact, not.

Your first email subscription won't be perfect; neither will your first sales page. But just as your first kiss, your first attempt at cursive writing, or even your first attempts at walking were awkward, they were good enough.

Good enough is your best friend 

And while that first kiss might have been awkward and your first few steps were probably a bit wobbly, they were good enough. They got the job done. They led to further exploration, a refinement of skill, and most likely better results. 

Good enough is what we're really after as creatives. When we sacrifice perfection on the altar of creativity, we realize that we are, indeed, good enough. 

People buy good enough

My iPhone 7 Plus is good enough, but it's far from perfect. The camera isn't quite as good as the Samsung line of smartphone cameras but it's good enough for taking truly stellar photographs.

My BMW R1150 GS isn't perfect, but it's good enough. It was good enough to get me safely across the United States and back over a three week period without a single problem last summer. It's not the greatest touring bike in the world, but it's good enough.

You're good enough, too

You're not a perfect writer, a perfect marketer, or a perfect businessperson. But you're good enough. And good enough sells like gangbusters.

To Brick, or Not to Brick: It's No Longer Even a Question

What's Bricking?

Bricking is publishing a print book (a.k.a. a physical ego stroke) that's unchangeable and non-scalable. It's long been the dream of every writer to produce a brick and see their brick proudly displayed in a brickstore.

I dreamed of doing that. I even published a brick back before the Kindle and iBooks were things.

Bricking had it's time in the spotlight; If you're a writer who still thinks publishing a physical book is proof of being a writer, then you're still stuck in the 2oth century.

Physical books should only be published for children and the elderly. Yes, I know that sounds crazy, but in my opinion, so does chopping up trees to produce something that will likely be recycled anyway. I consider print books a waste of time, effort, and resources.

May the Force of Unbricking Be With You

Forsaking the brick is the answer; it's the answer for writers who truly want to get paid to write. It's the answer for writers that want to create a scalable writing business and not just loiter in the dark alleys of writerdom.

Forsaking the brick makes the following possible:

  • getting paid to write
  • publishing most every day
  • attracting readers who want to buy
  • build a true writing business

Let's look at each of these un-bricking rewards, shall we?

Un-bricking Reward #1: Getting Paid to Write

OK, let's face it; You want to get paid for writing. It's all you've ever wanted to do. I know this drive, this compulsion very well. I feel your pain, bro/sis. But getting paid to write isn't going to happen if you're married to the idea of the almighty brick in a brickstore.

The barriers are significant. There's the first hurdle of getting your book read by an agent who is willing to shop it around various publishers. This isn't a free service. It will come out of any advance you might receive should a publisher accept your book.

Then you have to study and pursue the marketing of your book all by your lonesome. No publisher will never invest a penny/pence/rupee on marketing a first-time author. It's just not going to happen. It's all you, baby. Then there's arranging for distribution to brick stores, not to mention trying to get primo visual space in each brickstore.

If you publish an un-brick, the world is suddenly your oyster. Marketing, distribution, and visual appeal worries vanish...well not vanish completely but they become immensely more manageable. The biggest benefit to unbricking is that you can get paid today for a book that you unbricked yesterday. 

Un-bricking Reward #2: Getting Published Every Day is Free Marketing

Unbricking empowers you to publish every day. If you're publishing to your own blog, Medium, a Facebook page, or somewhere else, you'll be attracting readers. Sure it hard to write something and publish every single day, but no one said being a writer was easy. Who cares about whether you're getting like or retweets, you're honing the skill of writing and publishing every day. That's doing the work; writing for social media candy isn't.

Un-bricking Reward #3: Attracting Readers Who Want to Buy

You're a writer who wants to get paid. You can't do that without attracting readers. If you publish a brick and it manages to land in a brickstore, how is the reader going to know anything about you or your book?

Back cover copy doesn't build trust. Relying on the cover and back cover copy isn't reliable and rarely builds the kind of trust and loyalty that's possible by publishing every day and attracting readers who will sign up to buy your un-brick when it's released. 

Un-bricking Reward #4: Building a True Writing Business

 A writer who authors a one-off biography, non-fiction book, or novel...does just that. That isn't a business and it isn't going to buy you even a moderately used car. It might let you buy a decent guitar but beyond that, a single brick does not a business make.

You need to create a scalable business that enables your un-brick to be purchased over and over, around the world. I used to dislike the phrase 'make money while you sleep.' That is until I did it. In fact, I still do it. You literally can make money while you sleep but only if you un-brick. 

If you want to get paid to write, bricking isn't the solution. Creating a scalable writing business is.

Note: To the 'I like the feel of a real book' crowd. That's cute...but it's what the average bookstore reader says. You're a writer, damn it. Start acting like one! For the writer who wants to get paid, embracing that dated idea is the path to artistic frustration and disappointment.

Why are your thoughts on bricking and un-bricking? 

If you feel so inclined, please tell me in the comments. Or just say hello and share this post using the social media button below -it’s really good karma-. Thanks!