I’ve had a tough few weeks, on a few levels, but it’s forced me into introspection, and it’s become habitual for me to recognize this as a good thing. One of my resolutions for the new year was to maintain consistent positivity. Positive thinking. Positive expression.
The thinking part of it is pretty impossible, but I think it’s most important that I stay positive on the exterior. It’s kind of like the threefold law, or karma, or whatever. The energy you send out gets returned to you. Energy is only borrowed, after all.
Admittedly, I was just tired of all the complaints. My Facebook newsfeed. The real news. The media. Everything. It was so bad that, at one point last year, I recognized that a single person I knew was always posting positive updates. Even when everything went to hell. Her optimism was inspiring. And practical, too, because expressing an attitude like that benefits everyone.
I’ve always found it useful to think in relative terms. Even at a point in my life when I was technically poor, I was still an American with opportunities to overcome it. Even when I’ve been depressed because a dozen little things didn’t go my way, I focused on everything else I have.
One thing that every American has, and almost every American takes for granted, is freedom. It’s a common subject to preach, especially in military culture. Freedom isn’t free. We know that because we’ve served or loved people who’ve served to protect our freedom.
I’m not saying that everyone else isn’t appreciative. But in general, there’s a lot of political commentary about recent and current wars and the motives behind them. I’m not discussing how our government might or might not abuse our troops. What I appreciate is the presence of our troops. Because without a military presence, we wouldn’t be able to defend our freedom.
Slavery, for most of us, is this vague far-away, long-ago concept. We forget that the whole world is not on our page. It’s easy to forget, really, in a culture like ours. So obsessed with other stuff…
We can read history books and books on cultures where slavery is still common or accepted. But it still exists a lot of surprising places, in some form or another. But we’re disconnected from the reality of that. What we need, to really understand, is empathy. And that doesn’t come from lectures, textbooks, or research.
It can come from fiction, though.
This is just one example. Fiction explores all kinds of themes in human history, society, and culture. The writers of these books do the research, then create the world and the characters to be real. To exist for a purpose. And within some of these stories, we can experience these themes we’d otherwise know nothing about.
Fiction can provide perspective.
That’s why literature is taught in schools. It is, actually, educational. So these adults I meet who don’t “waste” their time with fiction because it’s just “entertainment,” have probably not read much fiction to begin with. Because otherwise, they’d know better, right?
Fiction is life. It’s based on truth. It’s based on people. People write it. People consume it. It changes people. It can even inspire revolution. It has so much power. I can’t stand how easily it is disregarded by some.
Okay, rant over. So much for positivity.
In other news, my friend, Shawna, has created a fundraising team for MS. I interview her in my recent blog post at GCP’s website. Please help spread the word, and thanks in advance.
Well, today my son turned two. I suppose the days of month-counting are officially gone. He’s no longer “19 months old” or “22 months old.” He’s not a baby anymore. Oddly, around this same time I’ve realized that I no longer know, for certain, how old I am. I mean, sure, I can figure it out, but it takes that extra second. You know, the extra second that makes me seem senile even though I’m only 27. (Yeah, I checked.)
When you’re a parent, you don’t age along with your own milestones. When I turn 30, I’ll be thinking, “Oh sweet, I’m 30. That’s cool.” Same with 40, and so on. But when my son turns 5, 10, 15… then I’ll be thinking, “Wow, I feel old.” It’s kind of like having a pet that’s been with you for a long time. When I was a newlywed, I bought my husband a puppy while he was deployed. The dog was actually born a day or two before or after we married, and I brought him home 7 weeks later, a day after I returned from visiting the hubby in 29 Palms for a week. That, by the way, was not a honeymoon. That was me stranded on a military base watching Spanish television and staring at never-ending desert by myself 14 hours a day. But I digress. That dog has been with us almost since day one of our married life adventures, so I can always remember how old he is by thinking of how long I’ve been married, and vice versa. It’s never, “Oh wow, I’ve been married for seven years!” It’s usually, “Damn, that dog is getting old. Wow, we’ve been married for a while, too.” It’s all about perspective.
Admittedly, it’s comforting having ties into my past like the dog. Pretty much anything that stems from my younger days has been completely abandoned, so having some kind of consistency in my life for seven years is an accomplishment. Of course, this applies to my husband and not just the dog. But even throughout our marriage, we’ve moved so much and changed so often, adapting to different lifestyles, jobs, and neighborhoods. I think the dog is a nice reminder for both of us. Even if we chart our lives at beginning the day we decided to elope, we have roots somewhere. And that dog is proof. Even if he makes us feel old. Which, actually, he doesn’t. But then, I have uncommon views on aging.
Moving on. I noticed that WordPress sneaks ads into my posts. And not just ads, but video ads! The thing that disturbs me most about this is that these videos appear to be part of my post, as though I included them intentionally. I don’t remember WordPress doing this in the past. It makes me sad.
I can’t complain, I guess. It’s a free site, after all. I don’t pay for the domain or the software or anything. But that’s only because I don’t know how. I didn’t realize this at the time, but taking college classes in web and document design is useless unless you couple those classes with technical ones. Rarely does someone want to hire you to design a website that you can’t actually create. And if I knew anything truly useful, no one would be subjected to advertisements on my blog. Alas, such is not the case, and I apologize for that.
Propel Your Creativity Forward and Achieve Financial Success: A Guest Post by Publisher and Writer Ron Gavalik
Yay for guest posts! It’s been so long!
Here’s publisher extraordinaire, Ron Gavalik, to introduce you to his newest project. If you’re a fan of the Emotobook Revolution, then he needs no introduction. Still, though, for the rest of you… his bio follows the post.
Propel Your Creativity Forward and Achieve Financial Success
As a publisher and marketing professional, I’ve always found it vitally important to ensure creative professionals possess the correct tools to market their work to the right kinds of audiences. I’ve enjoyed a long and fruitful career ensuring the success of businesses, but also multiple fields in the arts. I take a lot of pride in sharing that learned experience with others.
Unfortunately, I’ve met so many creative people who honestly believe they’ll never make a secure living by pouring passion into their work. That kind of cynicism is sad and frustrating, especially when I know for a fact that it’s not true. We all require housing and plumbing to sustain life, but it’s creativity that gives our lives purpose…and talented creators perform a necessary function in our society. It’s my job to make sure they earn a high middle-class income.
That’s why our team assembled Financial Success for Creative Professionals, the first of its kind marketing plan that’s guaranteed to drive your long-term success.
In the modern era, writers, artists, performers, models, photographers, musicians, and crafters face two real challenges when it comes to selling their creative products and performances. The first is contending with an oversaturation in the market, where so many indie creators are now selling their work to the masses. The second and more important challenge is gaining the marketing knowledge to break through the chaos and build a significant fan base that leads to achieving a secure revenue stream.
Because of the oversaturation, consumers are only willing to invest about 5 to 10 seconds viewing a creative product or performance on a website or at a tradeshow. If they’re intrigued, they’ll stay longer to absorb more of the experience and begin to build what’s referred to as an emotional investment. That happens when something about the product or performance you created pleases the sensory pathways of the brain and a person is compelled to become part of the experience, such as making a purchase.
On the other hand, if the consumer doesn’t emotionally identify with your work in a few heartbeats, they’ll navigate away from your website or walk away from your booth. Their psychology will register your product or performance as a negative experience and you’ll never see them again.
In that brief 5 to 10 second moment, the potential fan stands on the shore of a river while your work sits on the other side. You must persuade the consumer into building a bridge (emotional investment) to cross the river and then obtain your creation. That’s no easy feat, but when we understand how to brand a creation and then present it properly to potential fans, it’s easy to achieve the needed connections with hundreds of thousands of consumers.
How do we do this? Exposure. The marketing plan shows us how to attract the right kinds of consumers, referred to as target audiences. These targets must be exposed to a properly branded product or performance over and over again for their minds to build the bridge across the river and purchase your work.
Financial Success for Creative Professionals provides you the tools to drive hundreds of thousands of target consumers to your creations. You’ll also gain the ability to brand your work in a unique category that eliminates competition. It’s that created perception of your work that raises you above the chaos of so many indie writers, artists, musicians, and performers in the world.
The marketing plan is delivered to you in five-parts to achieve long-term success. You’re walked through expert marketing theory as it applies to the arts. You’ll construct your public marketing structure. The plan then drives your media marketing initiatives to win support of social media followers, the news media, and others. You’ll diversify income from multiple sources into your one checking account. Don’t worry; it’s not that complex. You’re given easy to follow checklists for daily, weekly, and monthly initiatives that respects your artistic time. That’s the guaranteed formula that will achieve you the true success your passion deserves.
Now that you’ve been given a glimpse of the proven marketing plan, it’s my hope that you’ll take your creative career seriously and allow your work to raise the quality of life in potential fans around the world. If you pour your passions into each project or performance, you must propel your career to the next level, realize your full potential and achieve success.
Let’s make it happen.
Ron Gavalik’s Bio:
Ron Gavalik is the author of Financial Success for Creative Professionals and has over 20 years of celebrated experience in corporate and creative marketing. This former Director of Communications has assisted private, nonprofit, and artistic organizations achieve success through grassroots experience marketing initiatives. Gavalik is currently the Publisher for Grit City Publications and creator of the innovative Emotobooks fiction medium. He holds a B.S. in Marketing Communications from Point Park University and an M.A. in Writing from Seton Hill University. His work in the arts has shaped success for countless creative professionals who seek financial independence.