Thursday, May 14, 2009

You Said to Go Back to the Beginning!

Had a loooong talk with Big Mean Flash Gamer about the whole job situation...thing. There's really nothing else to call it at this point - it's a big, ugly thing that sits in the middle of the room, leering and taunting us. Or maybe it's just me. As per usual, my love has done an excellent job of shaking off this disappointment and going on with his life while I spent the day having little fantasies about being rich enough to buy up the company that pulled the rug out from under him, firing all the decision-makers and installing him as head of the whole shebang. Hey, a girl can dream.

Anyway, the discussion turned at one point to Rich Dad, Poor Dad, the book I'm currently plowing through about finances, investing, and why no one should ever buy anything on credit, ever. There are several things I like about the book, but there are two things that I found most fascinating:

1) Intellectual property rights are an asset - that is, they can be like stocks if treated properly. Intellectual property is like a stock in the sense that you have ownership over an intangible (i.e. an idea), but that intangible will provide you with continuous revenue of managed correctly.

2) You're never just selling one thing. I'm a writer, but I don't just sell my writing - depending on the job, I sell emotions (advertising/marketing), illusions (advertising/marketing/PR), knowledge (arts/entertainment reviews, factual articles) and experiences (concert reviews, essays, crappy fiction). Learn how to market that, and you can drum up some decent business for yourself. Or so the logic goes.

That's how we got on the subject of websites. I've wanted to do a website for BMFG for a while so he'd have a place to showcase his reviews, videos, read-only PDFs of his scripts, an online resume and links to his LinkedIn, Twitter and so on. It isn't lack of desire that kept me from doing it, but rather a lack of time and knowledge. (And patience, yes. I've been told that I'm pretty good at page layout, but most graphics/page layout programs and I don't get along. Add to that the additional aggravation of coding everything in HTML and you've got a very stressed woman on your hands.) I mentioned the idea of a website to him and was pretty surprised to hear how enthusiastic he was about the prospect. He and his friend Mark had taken web design classes in college, and he seems eager to use this knowledge. He said that he would be happy to make me a website as well, but this presents a bit of a problem: as of now, there's nothing to put on it.

That's not to say that my writing isn't online in some capacity - heaven knows I did plenty during my tenure with AMG - but unlike people like The Rotund (who has a book out now - rock on, dude!) I don't have a set subject or area of expertise. I'm a writing mutt by experience and necessity; I started my career at a trade magazine company where I wrote about construction equipment and underground infrastructure, wrote freelance music and entertainment stories for an alt-weekly and then moved on to covering music. I didn't do much writing after being laid off, due to a crisis of confidence and some family tragedies, but I think I'm ready to get back to the swing of it. Which sounds good, until I realize that I have no idea what the hell to write about these days. I'm facing a quandary - if I even want to hope for a dream career, I need to get myself in gear and land some high-profile gigs, such as the aforementioned Rotund. (She has a column in The Guardian, which is something I envy to no end.) At the same time, I have no idea where to start or what to say. Sad but true. I also don't know if my words alone are going to compel anyone to visit my as-of-now hypothetical website, especially since the web is so thoroughly driven by multimedia these days. I'd take some pictures, if I wasn't such a crap photographer, but I lack the equipment to make things like films. I'll leave that to , since he does a great job anyway.

Perhaps the best course of action at this point is to help him get his website squared away before I worry about my own. It'll at least give me more time to figure out if a website would be a good option for me anyway - after all, I need to determine if there's a market for a writer like me. You know, the odd, yet average, scattered sort.

Music For This Post: Placebo - Running Up That Hill

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