Today, I celebrate my 200th blog post, and I celebrate it with an idea I concocted.
Over the years I’ve had to radically change my lifestyle to eventually mold it into something which provides me the best life I can have.
To quote one of my “tribe members,” who shall remain anonymous, “I want to live a life I don’t need a vacation from.”
Damn… couldn’t be more spot on.
I still can’t understand the need for taking “vacations.” I haven’t taken a vacation since before my divorce. 14, 15 years?
Only because I recall clearly, the stress and misery involved. I’ve had to ask myself, “is it really worth it?”
Spending thousands of dollars to leave everything behind for a week, crammed in an airplane, lengthy flight, with a potential to have luggage disappear. Probably forced to undergo a ton of stressful moments during check-in, transportation issues, scheduling complications, racing around, hotel problems, overlapping flight times, and to then distract oneself from all that mounting stress–taking pictures for all the friends and followers on social media in front of pretty scenery, “having the time of my life,” written somewhere on the virtual postcard…
… and the whole time thinking about the troubles back home.
I see no fun in that.
I don’t want to take vacations and try to escape my life. I enjoy my life and it only ages like a fine wine. It gets better with each day.
Don’t get me wrong. We’ll take the occasional road trip, or stay at our favorite bed & breakfast at the coast or up in the mountains for a night and day, but leaving for “somewhere else” far away, and spending all that money and expended energy just to come back to face the problems again… a vacation becomes nothing more to me than an expensive distraction.
Sure, the food was good, and the waterslides were fun for the thirty second adrenaline rush after waiting in line for 45 minutes to ride it… (sigh)
I’d rather dismantle the problems on my home turf, first, and then live the life I don’t need to escape from.
But… that’s just me.
I don’t blame people for taking vacations. I get it. Folks need distractions. We all need distractions, from… something.
My distractions just happen to take on the form of “side-gigs”.
I’ve come to the conclusion (my opinion only) that our day-to-day, workie-work, jobby-job, 40+ hour employment should not be that thing which defines who we are. I believe the powers that be, desire this to be so… just wanting us in our stagnant spots as a moving cog in the gigantic wheel of industry, but it’s our side-gigs, the activities we engage in outside the jobby-job which define who we are.
We can’t learn a musical instrument while working the assembly line floor.
We can’t write out a short story while driving a police cruiser.
We can’t be artistic while sitting in our cubicles with a camera watching our every move.
We can’t be ourselves while trapped in endless Zoom meetings.
We can only “think” about those things we enjoy, making mental notes, as long as it doesn’t “distract” us from our job, but we can’t utilize our creativity the way we want to.
The way we’re supposed to.
Those activities happen during “our personal time”.
Off the proverbial clock.
If my jobby-job defined who I was, I’d be nothing more than a data inputter, e-mail sender, number cruncher, quality assurance, file-putter-awayer.
No… I am not those things.
I’m a creator, designer, free-thinker, writer, helper, big kid at heart. I stay true to my passions, because I believe my passions help define who I am.
Every month or every three weeks or so, I have a small group gather in my recreation area in my basement for a lengthy board game. Typically “Risk” is the game of choice. Four, sometimes five of us. The game goes on for hours and hours. Last time we started at 8:45pm and my head didn’t hit the pillow until 3:30am the following morning. At least six hours of game play, with various snack breaks and chit-chat in between.
At my core, “gaming” is one of my favorite things to do. I’m an old school gamer. Video games. Card, dice, board… gaming in general.
At my age, I’m slipping in the video game arena unfortunately. I play a video game maybe once a week and since most games I like to play are online games, I have to deal with the online players.
I end up muting most lobbies and playing the game solo.
So, as a result of my ineptitudes in the gaming arena, and the fact we can only gather as a gaming group in the basement when the stars align perfectly, I stick with what I like to do most, other than gaming.
I write every day, and I’ve come to a decision that I may need a brief distraction, from my primary passion.
Because I desire to have my distractions and passions be positive, uplifting, organic distractions I’m reaching out into the community for a second opinion…
I have a YouTube channel.
It’ll be changed to Mister Jay before the week is over and I’ll be tweaking the art and profile picture.
I have seven subscribers, and the channel serves as a location to display a 60 second cinematic book trailer for the Surrender Game. It has a couple hundred views. I know there’s a place to advertise my merch store, but I don’t really think about that.
My desire is to transform my stagnant channel into a relaxed platform, where other artists can connect, and speak openly about their product(s). It’s been an idea of mine for quite some time now, and I want to find out if I can make this happen. I want to help others where I can, and within my abilities to provide.
Not necessarily a podcast, but a “lounge” where an artist/indie creator can hang out, who may want to get their message out into the world, now has a place to do this.
2020 and 2021 has changed a lot of good folks paradigms. 2022 might not be all that different, perhaps worse. Some may feel isolated, trapped, and chomping at the bit to have a conversation with someone who has the ability to listen.
If someone is struggling with a product they have spent years on, perhaps talking about it openly on a small platform, will help out in some way. The more artists, the more creators, the more who subscribe, sharing a collective idea in the ethical arena of helping, and sharing, could perhaps allow an opportunity to assist with an indie artist’s growth, and spreading their information out into the world. Additional exposure. Recorded initially in a Zoom call (or Skype or whatever), then uploaded for public view.
It’ll be small, at first, like any other platform starting out, but the more the merrier, and the talk/chat can be as long or as brief as the artist wants. Probably keep it to an hour at the high end.
I’ll have a series of random “interview questions.” Maybe seven, or eight depending on how it goes.
One of the things I’ve learned about the writing/creating “gig” if you don’t have the money, advertising is a bitch. And advertising/marketing is a necessary evil. If you don’t follow a pattern or routine, writing a book a month to ensure you’re writing to market, and being in all the right groups, having solid connections and perfect timing, getting the word out can be extremely difficult. Making money from “side-gigs” is almost impossible, if one doesn’t do it right. The reviews go stagnant. That project we’ve worked so very hard on is shuffled to the bottom of the reader’s pile and climbing out of that darkness is a tricky journey.
With the Mister Jay Channel, it’s free advertising. Perhaps, other subscribers/viewers who share the same helping sentiment I have can get the word out, connecting artists in need with decent outlets to assist in the promotion and information distribution. Sometimes, we have to rely on community, and community is built to help those inside it. Everyone wins from: the casual viewer, to the visitor, to the folks who are willing to put themselves out there for the betterment of others. Win, win, win.
I want to be real.
My reality, my “real” is trying to help others, within my capabilities.
No fancy graphics, no intricate backgrounds and funky intro music. Just two ordinary people, one is listening, and asking fun, reasonable and easy to answer questions, and the other is speaking openly about something they’re passionate about.
I don’t like talking about myself, so the platform will be designed and geared for the visitor having the chat, with the silent listener/observer asking questions when appropriate.
Let’s say the channel gets 200-400 subscribers… that’s 200-400 people, now, who didn’t have eyes on your product, beforehand (a loose example of course, but let’s say… 1000 subscribers).
All you would need to do is email me and we could work out a time and date to have a talk about whatever it is you want to discuss. Music, art, poetry, novels, future releases, indie ideas, a little side-of-the-road mom and pop shop you just opened for business, whatever… personal struggles, advice to other new indie authors or creators who are terrified of the process. Scared to death to take a leap into the unknown.
I’ll include all product information in the description area after the chat is over, links to your social media, your Amazon page, website(s) or wherever your passions are located within the online realm.
With express permission from the lounge visitor, I’ll put it on the largest viewing platform in existence on my own time and dime. I’m certain YouTube has other content creators doing something similar, but that’s OK. I just know it sucks to struggle. I know what it feels like to feel like you’re trapped on an island. “What am I doing wrong?”
“What could I be doing better?”
“Who can I reach out to?”
“Am I doing this right?”
“Why isn’t this working?”
Perhaps there’s multiple answers to those questions. And various individuals or groups will provide their best answers.
However, having a relaxed environment, where the creator can be themselves (within reason, of course, there’s probably a dress code) there’s a potential for additional product exposure where it might have not existed before.
If you think this idea is a sound idea, please like, share, and help me get the message out.
I have ample time in the evenings, and more on the weekends. I would love to have a chat with you, and delve into your passions and indie products.
I know creators love to talk about their creations, and I want to provide a place to do just that. I think it would be fun and my family has given me their approval.
Tell me your thoughts if you read this.
That’s all in the tank for tonight.
The science fiction novel, The Surrender Game, Vol I of the Guardian War Chronicles, is available for purchase on Kindle for only $3.99. Free, with Kindle Unlimited. Please like, share and subscribe below in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to like my Facebook page to receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles and sequels to come. The Surrender Game cinematic trailer can be found here.