A Good Week for Self Publishing

If you read the blog, then you’ve already gone on our ride around the Superstition Mountains in Arizona.  Motorcycle Mojo picked up the story to run in this month’s (August) edition.

I then got an email from the editor of noplacelikeout.com saying that I’d been included in their recent list of top 25 motorcycle bloggers.  It’s always nice to get a compliment, and I’m in the company of some pretty major bloggers on that list (you’ll find many of them in the blog roll on the right side of this page).

Top 25

Five or so years ago I stopped playing video games after wracking up 1000 hours on Left For Dead 2 (I was really good!), and then reading Chris Hardwick’s excerpt of The Nerdist’s Way on Wired.  Gaming never got in the way of my career like it did with Hardwick (the breaks I got involved manual labour in 100° warehouses), but that thousand hours spent shooting zombies had me asking myself a difficult question, “what the fuck are you doing with your time?”

Hardwick Nerdist Wisdom

I went cold turkey on video games. I’ll occasionally play with my son, but a single game and not often.  What I did instead was kick off a hobby that I’d always wanted to do (motorcycling) and reinvigorate my dream of getting published as a writer.  A few less electron zombies have been killed by me, but the things I’ve done instead feel a lot more satisfying because they are, you know, actual things.

One of these times I’ll find an angle and get the support to take one of the dream trips I fantasize about over the winter months…

…or get a chance to ride one of those dream bikes I read about….

I do pretty well with what I make, but anything like those opportunities only empowers the writing, giving me more to explore and write about.  Where ever possible I’ll keep pouring gasoline on the fire to make that happen.  It’s easy when you love what you’re doing, and what you’re doing produces real world results.

Why Blog? Lisa’s Meme

via Lisa Neale’s Never Ever Stop Learning:  

I get the sense that a number of educators are recommitting to blogging in the new year.  This can only be a good thing.  A blogging educator not only reaches out to other teachers with a blog, but they also reach out to the general public, who seem to harbour a number of misconceptions about the profession.  Blogging is a wonderful way for individual educators to bridge that gap.

I’ve written for paper publication and find it tiresome.  The constant editorial revision waters down any edge in your writing and can make even the most acerbic argument seem bland.  The worry over saying anything that someone else may have already said and the resulting over-citation also takes any joy out of writing (or thinking for that matter).  I understand why many people would back away from old-school publication, it’s a miserable experience.  Blogging is a way to refine your writer’s craft while still enjoying the benefits of an audience.

My favourite part of blogging is that there is no captive audience, no circulation.  If people want to read it, they can, if they don’t, they won’t.  It’s publication with none of the overhead (advertising, editors, space limitations, etc).  Blogging is an opportunity to write without having to carry a pile of other people with your words.

Lisa mentions Dean Shareski’s ‘excuse to write’.  With blogging you don’t need an excuse, just write!  If you find you want to write about different subjects, then do that too, it’s easy enough to create interest specific blogs, and it’s a great way to enter the online community of your new interest.  The more you write, the easier it gets (like most things).  The trick is not to get all wound up with what you’re writing, it’ll get better over time.

With that all said, here is Lisa’s dare:

Nominating blogger:  Lisa Neale
11 random facts about myself:  Facts?  How tedious… look me up online, it’s all there if you want facts.  The fictions are far more interesting though, and much harder to find.
List 11 bloggers?  I enjoy many of the staff writers on WIRED.  Quinn Norton is a genius.  If I had to pick a local edu-blogger, it would have to be Jamie Raeburn-Weir.  She’s a writer’s writer, a direct, honest voice.  Andrew Campbell is another one I enjoy reading.  He writes how he talks, which probably gets him into a lot of fights.

Lisa’s Questions:

favourite mode of transport:  motorcycles! The more minimal and visceral the better…

Random piece of advice:  luck is like everything else, you need to practice it to get good at it.  If you never test your luck you’ll atrophy it.  Virgil understood this when he said, “fortune favours the bold.”  We’re all less lucky (and compassionate) than we once were because of the nanny-state and insurance.

Favourite hobby:  Reading? writing? photography? art? riding? mechanics? Whatever lets me express myself most completely in any given moment.

How do I like my eggs: sunny side up and runny.

Something I think differently about: it’s not how long you’re here, it’s how you’re here that matters.

Must watch movie:  anything by Guillermo del Toro, dude’s a genius.

When nothing is pressing:  take a long ride on my motorbike.  It is meditation in the wind, you’re completely in the moment.

Preferred hot beverage:  loose leaf black tea

How do you say 2014?  11111011110

First job:  delivering newspapers, refing minor sports (hockey, soccer)

Lesson learned from relationships: nobody owns anyone

I think that’s it…  I’ve been told I haven’t done this properly, but I’m ok with that.