Well, you can say what you want about me, but you can’t say I always do the smartest things. You want proof? I quit my job. Yep, in the face of growing unemployment rates and an ugly economy, I turned in my notice. It’s a great job, too, and the company is great, and the people I work with are great. I had benefits… the whole ball of wax. So, why did I quit?
Because as great as it was, it was preventing me from doing what I really love to do, write. I know, right? That even makes it worse. I left a well-paying corporate gig to pursue a passion that traditionally pays… almost nothing. Sure I have books on the market, but I’ve posted my royalties and total books sales on this blog before, and frankly, I couldn’t afford a nice vacation with that money. No sensible person would ever quit and try to live off that kind of money. I’m not even sure if I can legally call it money it’s such a small number.
And that, my friends, is the beauty and curse of having a passion. It can lead you to do both brave and stupid things, often at the same time, in one incredibly enigmatic move. Writing has led me down this path before, but I was younger and didn’t feel the pressure of succeeding (I’ll explain more in future posts). I think I knew I would have options if I crashed and burned. Now I’m older and realize that failure is not an option. I’ve got to find a way to make this work because career options are dwindling for an old fart like me.
I am employed until the end of March. After that, I will be on this blog more frequently, documenting my journey. If you’ve ever felt like leaving your corporate gig to pursue a dream, feel free to live vicariously through me. I plan to once and for all answer the question “Can a guy in his mid 40s leave the corporate world behind and make it as a full-time author?”
BTW – How do I go about nominating my wife for sainthood?
It's cute until he pulls the trigger!
First, Travis the chimp turns psycho and nearly mauls a woman to death in Connecticut. Then Tilikum the killer whale goes berserk and kills a trainer at Sea World. I don’t mind telling you, I’m a little scared. The entire animal kingdom seems to be out to get us. I swear my cat gave me a look this morning. I think I’m safe because so far it’s just the smart animals that are attacking, and my cat ain’t that bright, but I will be locking the bedroom door tonight.
Seriously, it’s tragic what happened at Sea World, but the media is acting like it’s a trend. It’s as if there’s been a string of killer whale related deaths this week. I half expect to die at the flipper of a killer whale the next time I get too close to my pond in my backyard.
If I hear “What people need to understand is that these are wild animals” one more time, I’m going to vomit. I get it. It seems that the only people who don’t fully grasp the “wild” concept are the people who put these wild animals in captivity and force them to perform tricks in an unnatural environment. If they’re wild, maybe we should… you know, but them back in the wild.
I’ve gotta’ go. A squirrel outside my window just flipped me off.
Curling? Are you kidding me?
Ok, I can’t hold it in anymore. I can’t stand the winter Olympics. I don’t get the sports. I don’t understand events where it’s left up entirely to a group of judges. The red noses, the snot shots, the unitards, the frilly, sparkly outfits, it all drives me crazy. BTW – the word “outfit” shouldn’t come anywhere near a sporting event. And am I wrong or have these winter games been going on for about 3 and half years now?
I feel better now!
"I'm sorry," and "Mind your own damn business."
It’s been five days since his press conference, and I still can’t figure out why Tiger Woods apologized to me. I don’t care. I don’t even know the guy. I feel kind of creeped-out that he felt the need to include me (I assume I’m part of the “everyone” he was referring to) in the list of people to which he had to apologize. Dude, apologize to your wife, kids and the rest of your immediate family. Leave me out of it. It hasn’t affected my life at all. In fact, I played Tiger Woods ’09 on the Wii this weekend, and your extramarital affairs had very little effect on my enjoyment of the game.
My advice, take a page out of Woody Allen’s playbook. The guy left his longtime love interest for her daughter, a daughter he practically raised. Did he feel the need to apologize to me? No, and I appreciate the fact that he didn’t drag me into the middle of that whole disgusting mess. Did it affect his career by not issuing a contrived public apology? No, he didn’t skip a beat. He didn’t miss work. He kept on being Woody Allen. You know what? I respect him for it. His behavior that led to the scandal was sickening. His behavior after the scandal was admirable.
I understand that you have endorsement deals, and you’re probably getting pressure from the PGA, and there are possibly hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, but here’s one thing I know, your apology won’t make a difference on your future earnings. Right or wrong, you will be forgiven once you start winning again. If they slip that green jacket on you again, the spectacle of your string of affairs, the crash, the stories of your wife beating the ever-livin crap out of you, all of it will begin to fade. Win a bunch of tournaments, and the endorsement deals will be back bigger than before.
That’s America, Tiger. Love it or leave it.
Type on, chimp! You're writerie brain is no match for my writerie brain!
Ok, I’ve suspected for years now that I am a better writer than your average chimpanzee, but I’ve never really had any proof. Well, I was reading one of my brain books – I am fascinated by the brain, in particular, the fiction writer’s brain. I’ve always wanted to know where those visual images are developed in the brain, but I digress – and it touched on the subject of the biological differences between man and chimp. I knew we shared 98% of the same DNA with chimps, but what I didn’t know was that one of the genes that differs between man and chimp is the gene that determines how many neurons we will make. The simple definition for neuron is that they are the cells that make up the nervous system (including the brain), and they transfer information via electrical impulses. Neurons in most animals (including humans) are basically the same in structure. They are developed when we are embryos and they divide and divide and divide and divide… until the regulatory gene tells them to stop. Our regulatory gene lets the neurons divide until there about 100 billion of those suckers. The chimp’s stop a few rounds earlier and the result is a brain that is 1/3 the size of a human brain. Bam! Proof positive that I could write any chimp under the table.
The really awesome part is that our neurons connect with all the cells in our body to make a virtually infinite number of synaptic connections – 10 followed by a million zeros, to be exact. How big is that? There are 10 followed by 79 zeros particles in the entire universe. In short, our brains are cool. Suck on that, chimps!
BTW – the book I got this information from is The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science (James H. Silberman Books) by Norman Doidge, M.D.
Branding is an Extreme Act!
You cannot build a brand subtly. Be bold. Take risks. Stand out.
I stumbled across this video yesterday, and I have to say its message has had a profound effect on me. While I don’t consider myself a leader, I am trying to start a movement. Most authors are. Granted, it’s a commercial movement. One in which I can sell books, but it’s a movement just the same. I am that lone nut… kind of. I am in a weird nebulous space where I have some very dedicated followers (and I only use that term as it applies to the message of the video. I don’t consider them followers. In a very virtual Web 2.0 way, I consider them friends). At any rate, I am the shirtless dancing guy. My problem is that I don’t think I’m committed as he is. What’ve I learned is that I need to be much bolder. I have been playing it safe to a certain degree, and that hasn’t created enough of a spark. I need to get shirtless and dance like an idiot in blue jean shorts… you realize I mean that figuratively, right?
How will that manifest itself exactly? I’ll have news on that in the coming weeks, but I’m gearing up for a bit of a lifestyle change. Stay tuned.
*** This video presentation was put together by Derek Sivers.
Holy Cupid, Batman! It snowed in Charleston, South Carolina last night. We lost electricity for about 12 hours and our cable is still out – which is my own personal Vietnam, but I’ll survive – otherwise we’ve discovered that snow isn’t nearly as bad as hurricanes. I caught a few snapshots of the white stuff coming down last night, and then a few shots of the aftermath this morning. Which begs the question, how come there is no beforemath?
What I imagine a nuclear winter will look like.
I love this orange glow.
Hello, blue skies!
Our Weeping Willow looking a little weepier than usual.