Hello. Technology is great, ain’t it? Anyone with a computer and too much free time can set up a website and ramble on about any old thing that crosses their mind. And the best part is that there are droves of people out there who will read it. I recently heard the internet described as a high-tech town square where people stand on boxes and shout about whatever’s on their mind at the top of their lungs with the best, most charismatic criers attracting the biggest crowds. What a great image. I mean, who didn’t want to be the guy in the wool hat standing on an old orange crate bemoaning climate change? A platform is a powerful thing, whether it’s in front of a few casual bystanders on an anonymous street or in a blog with tens of thousands of readers.
Anyway, this is my orange crate. I’ve spent the past twelve years trying to carve out a place for myself in publishing, learning everything I could from writing and design to circulation and sales. I’ve been a writer, editor, graphic designer, publisher; even paper delivery boy. I’ve worn so many different hats, sometimes I feel like a damned hat rack. And yet, here we are, on the cusp of 2010, and the industry I’ve committed myself to is a shambles. Through a combination of economic upheaval, incredibly short-sighted thinking from those in who’s care the industry resides, and the magnificent emergence of entirely new and much more efficient means of connecting to people that the internet has brought about, my visions of a career have become more uncertain than ever before.
I’ve been contemplating the current state of affairs for a while now, much like the industry itself, desperately seeking a means of continuing to earn a living at what I’ve chosen to do with my life, to somewhat limited success. So I finally reached a conclusion. To hell with it. All the carefully crafted plans, the in-depth strategic thinking, it’s not really getting the job done. And the more I try to find a way to reap the whirlwind, the farther I get sucked away from the opportunities that exist. There’s little point in trying to build a chain-link fence to keep back the ocean. I’m going surfing instead. So, without the least bit of a thought to making money or earning a living, I’m going to do what I want, cover what I want, write about what I feel like writing about and see where that takes me.
I’ve spent my entire life convinced that if I just approach each day with my eyes—and my mind—wide open, any problems will take care of themselves. Whatever happens, something will come along. It’ll never be what I expect, most life-changing things aren’t, just seemingly random events with profound impacts, but the universe will provide. It has so far. Let’s see where this road leads…