Monday, October 13, 2014

How to Do Shameless?

My days are numbered. All of them.

My life will end, of course. God knows when. My life in construction is going to end, probably sooner than later my doctor says. I had parts replaced last year in hopes of prolonging my construction career, but now I have more issues that will require more surgeries than I can pay for or take time off to recover from. I might get by with "light duty" for a while if nothing goes wrong...goes wrong...goes wrong....

So, now I'm backed into a corner. I need another income stream, if nothing else as a back up, because I can't shake this eating and drinking habit I have. And yeah, I like my internet connection and a roof over my head, though I'd forgo the roof before the internet if I wasn't married, I think.

I've been writing for a long time. I've been putting out a lot of other media stuff for a long time. All for free, and that was always fine with me, I was doing fine in construction. Other people have monetized my stuff but I've always resisted doing that, even when people told me I should because it was wildly popular. I had the same problem with monetizing my media production that I have with marketing my construction work: I hate self-promotion.

With my construction business, I've had the luxury of never having to advertise, sell, schmooze, cold call, or do marketing. I've worked for 33 years with an unlisted phone number and never had to solicit a job. I have always been referred by word of mouth and I was "sold" when I walked onto the project. My podcasts, blog, and writing have all gone viral or have been promoted by other people so I never had to "put myself out there".  And I've never had to wonder what any of this is really worth to anyone.

So I'm jumping into the cold water of turning what I love to do into something of a business. I know very well what might happen when a passion and an avocation becomes a "job". But I also know I've had a "job" for 33 years that I still love to show up and do, even when some of the things I have to do aren't snazzy and challenging anymore.

I'm also gagging down the reality that I'm going to have to put my stuff out there, tell people who have never heard of me about it, and put a dollar sign on it.  I have no clue how to go about it without feeling sleazy. But I'm going to give it a try, at least for a while, to see if I can figure it out.

Here's what's up with my new writing venture.

I've self-published another book. I'm actually surprised how well-received "Fire from Ashes" has been. I appreciate Fr. Joseph dragging me out of my seclusion to work on the book with him. That gave me a kick start to finish "Lord of the Hunt and Other Tales of Grace" which has been sitting on my desk for over ten years. It was actually published back in 1991 but went out of print.  My "claim to fame" is that it got rejected by Multnomah Press who, at the time was publishing Max Lucado. They said they couldn't publish it because "it was similar to Max's work". I still have that rejection letter framed. The publisher who went with it said it was "Max Lucado with a dark side".  Twenty five years ago with a 38 year old's aspiring "Christian" writer's ego that made me very happy. Still does, in a way. Max kept writing and I built walls to feed six kids and wrote just to write.

A few years ago I got the rights back. I have revised, added/subtracted and illustrated it for the new edition. It is a Christian book, not an "Orthodox" book, meaning there is no Ortho-apologetical agenda in its pages. If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you have read a few of the stories in it. I am working on a marketing plan that will focus first on folks in recovery of some kind. (In a sense we're ALL in recovery, but just not as acutely aware of it as others are).

I have a new website called Word and Line  This is my "writing/illustration/speaking" business website.  It is serious self-promotion. You can view my "stuff", buy my books, and hire me to write, draw or speak. I will also be posting my blog stuff over there once I get settled into a plan. I'll cross post relevant stuff. I don't know how that is going to go, but I have to start somewhere.

So I hope you will pass this stuff on if you know of anyone who might be remotely interested in what I have to say or in my skill-set or services.  Word of mouth, bay-beee... marketing pros say that's where it's at.

And of course, they're right.

Thanks, all.....




15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you considered becoming a construction consultant? I don't know if there is such a thing. You could network with a core of competent and reliable contruction guys and charge a "finder's fee" for finding them work. Word of mouth refers work to you. You refer work to them. You wouldn't be making the kind of money you used to, but it would be something, and it would not be self-promotion.

Anonymous said...

You could put ads on this blog. Not even Google AdSense. It could be links to Amazon books that you like.

Bill M said...

Blessing on your venture!

Rusmeister said...

Keep the sense of shame and do it anyway?
(If that doesn't go too far down the road of humility...)

Bill M said...

Bought your book. It's good! :)

Steve said...

Thanks Bill! Would you be willing to put a review on Amazon? It helps get the word out. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

God Bless you!!
I love your blog, so I just bought (downloaded through amazon kindle) your book! It looks good!
After finishing it, I'll post a review.

Steve said...

Anon, Thank you! I appreciate the support and encouragement!

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Richard said...

Steve, I have been so blessed by your work over the years and look to you as inspiration. If you had a donate button I would gladly use it and if you had links to your resources (e.g. Amazon etc..) then others would find your works and purchase them.

Don't be ashamed to seek financial support from the ministry you provide. The worker deserves their wages.....

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