The Tale of Two Cities

Sometimes I get intense urges to move to Boston again. Part of me feel like relocation to a bigger city is just another big ball of stress that I don’t need. Other times I get to spend a bit of time in Worcester and enjoy a lot of the city’s culture and amenities. Now that it’s getting warm Worcester as a city is coming alive from it’s long, hilly, and cold winter hibernation. There’s not even that much dirty snow anywhere anymore.

Financially I don’t see moving back to Boston as an option for the short-term plan. Even the cheapest apartments that I’ve had in Boston were still at least $100 more a month than where I’m at now and were absolute shit holes.

Part of my impulse to get away is not due to Worcester’s charm or lack thereof. It’s more a concoction of personal issues that are not subsiding as I’d hoped. I’ve got lots to do and never feel bored and usually I’m too busy to really need to search around for entertainment, but the fact of the matter is that the place where I rest my head is in close proximity to people I don’t much care for.

I picked my poison. There’s a chance I may move somewhere else in the city that may cost slightly more, or maybe even back to the city if some awesome opportunity presents itself.

Either way, I really love Worcester and Boston. I’d recommend either of them very highly as places to chill and be cultured.

So, I heard there’s a big announcement coming up. Anybody know what it is?

Developing new consumer markets is an interesting concept…

Developing new consumer markets is an interesting concept. I never really trusted finding a demographic, studying their needs and wants and then building something, anything, to sell them.

I much prefer the concept of figuring out good technologies or services that have a sustainable future and good cash-flow projection and molding them to the consumer’s needs. It’s possibly that I’m a populist, or naive, but I really feel like everyone is a consumer to some degree, especially living in an openly capitalistic society, so why stoke the fires of “need” and create an artificial or psychological demand?

The products I have in mind are supplements that make you happy and give you positive chi, or whatever and those stupid video phones that I’ve been approached over so many times. I’m a really hard person to sell to. I’d challenge anyone to hustle me. This is because I’ve gotten hustled before and learned my lesson through good advice and careful examination of the world surrounding me.

Not many people have a keen sense of the world like I do, not to say I’m smarter or better than anyone else. All I mean is that I know a lot of people who really enjoy their television and Hollywood movies and genuinely buy into the hype of what is constantly advertised to them. I may come off as stuck up, no fun or entirely dead to the world because I don’t get excited about the third installment of the mind-numbing “2 fast 2 furious” series, but I’ll take those labels with a grain of salt.

It makes me sad to see so many people tapped fully into the general media machine, letting themselves become progressively addicted to fabricated products that are basically worthless.

You might accuse me of being a hypocrite, as I am in the copy writing and marketing business. This label could possibly stick except for the fact that I do my job with as much integrity and honesty as possible. Is that even possible? Business, integrity, honesty matched with profitability? Well, yes it is possible. I stand behind what I try to market. Solar panels, wind turbines, educational programs, public safety issues; these are just some of the products and concepts that I rally behind in my business. Is there a need for them? I think so. Can I sleep at night saying that? You bet.

Thousand Yard Stare

What’s the worst thing that could happen?

What’s the best thing that could happen?

What is the cost of inaction?

I think I have answers for all of these questions. Yes, all that is left is fear when you answer these questions. What do you do when fear stares you in the face? You stare right back at it until it backs down.

I’ve got my thousands yard stare on.

Transitions To and From Self-Employment

Becoming self-employed or shifting one’s career goals can be a frightening, yet exhilarating experience. The undeniable comfort associated with a steady paycheck is often clouded by the sheer anxiety experienced when you realize that you’re just a number and not really fulfilling whatever potential you thought you once had. Maybe you find work in a smaller company that is closer to what you thought you’d be doing if you ever had the opportunity to own your own business. That’s a “dream” job by my definitions.

The question I pose today is: If you quit your job to engage in a semi-lucrative small business such as freelance copywriting (assuming that it is lucrative), are the means of liberating one’s self justifiable if you’re simply planning on hopping to another even more lucrative (or not) field in a few years?

Do you take huge risk now to do something that you may not choose to do forever?

Making Time to Blog

I have been swamped with freelance work for what’s going on a month now. It’s finally happening! It’s coming from all different directions and all different clients and to be honest, I’m friggin’ exhausted and LOVING it. I’m pushing myself to the limits of mental concentration and efficiency and I’m learning so much.

That being said, I’m not having much time to blog. My view numbers have been WAY down since February, which I have sort of expected. I never intended on really monetizing this blog aside from Adsense (which I still say doesn’t work unless you’ve got HUGE traffic numbers).

Anyways, I’m still posting, still writing, still maintaining. Working on an eBook that I’ll be posting here when I finish it. Should be a few weeks at least.

Otherwise, please stay tuned for more blog posts on here or elsewhere. Just because JR’s Not So Literal Logging isn’t popping, doesn’t mean I’m not on my grind. I’m going to do a better job of directing my readers to the locations of my other (relevant) work.

One Hand Washes The Other That Feeds

I cook quite a bit as most of you know. I really like to cook. I really like to eat too.

I don’t clean as often. Definitely don’t do it every day. Would like to do it once a week…

Today I cleaned my apartment after taking a 3 week layoff from a full clean. What a pain in the ass! So many combined activities that my roommates and I have neglected.

Moral of the story, try to clean bits and pieces of the apartment more often during the week. There’s no point in cooking delicious food and enjoying it every day if you need to spend an entire weekend day deep cleaning everything.

The Balance is Better

“Don’t moonlight, it ruins your life”

I received a reply on Twitter in response to a question I asked that basically read, “how do you unwind and prepare yourself for a second shift of writing after your day job?”

Some people responded that they exercise. Other people responded that they meditate. One person blatantly said that channeling your energy after having a hectic day was the best way to prepare for doing work after you’ve finished your day shift, but that he also doesn’t recommend doing any work when you go home.

My first instinct to such a reaction is, well it would be nice if I didn’t have to freelance and find side jobs, but unfortunately the balance of my finances depends on making extra money here and there to offset unexpected expenses. I am also determined that no matter what happens in my life, no matter where I am or what my personal situation is, I will become the best writer than I can possibly be and I can only do that with constant practice.

Eventually I’d like a job where I plan communications and marketing as well as write and edit for a living. These jobs are hard to come by and are very competitive, but not having a portfolio and some experience behind me will ensure that I never get a chance to have the career of my dreams.

I know I get tired and irritable when I’m working all the time. But have you ever seen the ear to ear smile on my face or the deep sigh of relief I let out when I finish a piece that I’ve slaved over in the remaining hours of my waking days? If you’ve seen me that happy after busting my ass to finish a project, you’d probably agree with me that it’s worth the trouble.

I’m meaning to read the book “The 4-Hour Work Week.” The person who attempted to discourage me from moonlighting mentioned this book as his inspiration for working less. I bought that bought along with “Career Renegade” and haven’t been able to get to them yet.

The concept of working less and making more money is great, so hopefully that’s what the book is trying to sell. But, if it’s basically trying to convince me to cut corners and do some sort of scam-type bullshit that is lucrative so that I can have more free time to go bird-watching or do yoga, he can keep his message.

I’m at a point in my life where work is very important to me. I’m young enough and (what I think to be) enlightened enough where I don’t place value in much else besides my relationships and my own self-reliance. I place more weight on the future of what I can build with my career, with my hands and with my mind. Family is important too as well as being able to relax someday. BUT, I want to work. If you offered me the chance, right now, to either retire comfortably or have the dream job I’ve always wanted and have to bust my ass, I’d chose the dream job and I really mean that.

“I’ll lay my boots to rest when I’m impressed. So, I triple knotted ’em and forgot ’em.”~Aesop Rock

Happy Movie Endings, Happy Monday and Happy Snowstorms

How was everyone’s commute today? Mine was terrible! The daylight savings event completely threw me off and I didn’t even bother to check the weather report before I left the house. I don’t look forward to the ride home. I’ll probably post up at a coffee shop and do some work until I feel it reasonable to hit the trail.

After viewing “Watchmen” over the weekend, I can envision just about anything twisted with a positive, holistic perspective and vice versa. What a movie! I had absolutely no background on the comic book series as I was a dedicated X-Men nerd throughout my childhood. I read a few reviews of “Watchmen” and the general consensus was that it stumbled a few times and was not a perfect movie, but just about anyone with an open mind can appreciate the effort that went into making this film. It was not a CGI display with an empty plot. Maybe the concept of relativity (Einstein) is particularly resonating with me, but “Watchmen” touched a lot of nerves in me. I’m probably going to watch it several more times. To top it all off, the action was intense and graphic. It even made me go “oh my fucking god!” a few times. An arm lock followed by a penetrating bone-break always makes me squirm a little. I walked out feeling pretty exhilarated, trying to remember the last time that a Hollywood made movie provoked such thoughts from me.

On a side note, I’m getting business from various sources and it feels…. GREAT! Economy be damned, I’m going to keep knocking these assignments out of the park. This is MY time.

Hope everyone else had a good weekend!

Desperate for Ad Revenue, Not Readers

The rant begins…

I write this in desperate frustration over the formatting of two of my favorite blogs, Triple Pundit and GreenBiz.com. I know entirely too well that the state of publishing good journalism is getting more and more difficult because of the failing economy and an even more abysmal printing industry, but these websites have some of the poorest layouts I have ever seen.

How do they expect their readers to chose to visit their pages instead of just reading from an RSS Reader when you click through to the original article and you have to sit and think for a minute which part of the page is actually the story you want to read. I’ve complained about this in public forums before, but if these websites actually want people to visit each article’s original page and possibly click on some links, they need to tone down the over-advertisement and use more focused techniques rather than screwing up the entire aesthetic of the page.

I’d say GreenBiz.com has a much worse layout than Triple Pundit, but either way, neither of them are good. They need to do their content justice and make it stand out more on the page. The articles are usually brilliant and cutting edge, so if they can target their advertising in relation to the topic of the article, I’d bet they’d make even more money than they do from splashing small ads all over the place.

Okay, my rant is done.