Part 1: Why the recession doesn’t totally suck

This is my third attempt to write this post.
As it turns out, I’ve chosen a really difficult topic. So I’m going to break it down into two sections:
1. Recession=creativity.

2. If statement number 1 doesn’t apply to you, then you should do something about that.

Recession=creativity

You guys know I love bragging about how awesome my Facebook newsfeed is. I wrote a gushy love note about it the other day. To expand on that, what I’m seeing is a growing trend toward entrepeneurship, despite the economic climate.

People are developing business ideas and asking for feedback via networking sites. People are writing and posting on blogs. People are selling their creations (jewelry, baked goods, photography services, etc.) online. It’s not necessarily a new thing, but it’s been growing recently.

I’m wondering if it has anything to do with the fact that we’re frustrated. Or that we’ve lost our faith in big business and want to try a hand at it ourselves. After all, with so many fantastic free online networking services, the overhead is low. Really low. Want to advertise immediately to 500 people? Post a status update.

Or maybe we’ve finally connected with the fact that yes, that thing we love to do is a legitimate passion, something that’s God given. And it’s alright to pursue it.

I did an incredibly official, scientific survey on Facebook yesterday regarding careers, asking “What do you want be do when you grow up?”

Here’s a sampling of the answers:

1. A Jedi
2. Professional writer
3. Professor/medical illustrator
4. Wilma Wonka (this from a fantastically talented woman who makes her own chocolate candies)
5. I think I’m right where God wants me to be.

Can’t help number one there much (although I understand there’s a Jedi Training Academy here), and I love that there were several answers like number 5. I also love the variety of answers, both honest and silly.

The point is, we’ve got dreams. Some of them involving lightsabers, but I’m not judging. And I’m getting to watch some of them unfold on my newsfeed. How neat is that?

If statement number 1 doesn’t apply to you…well, why doesn’t it?

That’s a question I’ve wrestled with before. Understand that I’m not preaching at you here, because I’ve done my share of foot-dragging. It’s too hard, I’m scared, nobody publishes anybody anymore, the book industry is dying, blar de blar blah.

I even spent four years teaching other people how to write while simultaneously being too chicken to try to get published myself. How’s that for avoidant?

I maintain that the biggest hurdle to any dream or idea or passion getting off the ground is the fact that we don’t start. Or we start, then stop. Then sort of start again, then get distracted by tin foil. Repeat.

There needs to be consistency to our approach. Consistency, and a lot of focus.

We (and by we, I also mean I) also need to stop making excuses. Let’s attack my excuses to start with, shall we?

Nobody publishes anybody anymore. Well, it’s true that it’s really hard to get published, but a lot of authors self publish first. And it’s cheap now.

Steps to self-publishing:

1. You write a book.
2. Obtain an ISBN number; my research indicates cost is $100-$200. I could be wrong, but let’s use that as a starting place.
3. Go here: https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin
4. Sign-in, follow the instructions, and upload your book.

Amazon takes a cut of your proceeds, yes, but um, they’re a business too. There are other ways to self publish, but my point is that it’s fairly inexpensive, and if you market correctly and write well, you could get a following.

And maybe get picked up by a legit publisher. It worked for John Scalzi, who wrote his first novel on the weekends and actually published it online initially for free.

Yes, I’m oversimplifying a bit, and I’m not saying that it’s easy to get published. My point, though, is that if you don’t try, you definitely won’t get published/sell your handmade soaps/start an emu farm.

And again, the overhead of getting your writing out there isn’t really that expensive.

Same goes for putting items up for sale on Etsy.com. The excuse there is that yes, there are three hundred kazillion oomphamajillion Etsy stores, but do some research and market accordingly. There are ways to get noticed that don’t cost a lot. And you will never get noticed unless you try.

These are just examples. I know that not everyone’s dream involves starting a business, but the point is, no dream will ever get started if it doesn’t…well, get started.

What creative ideas are you working on right now?

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Part 1: Why the recession doesn’t totally suck

  1. I am loving these posts. Several of my friends have dreams and I seem to be becoming involved in them in some form or fashion. My desire is to see them all succeed! Chocolates for everyone!!

    As for me, I think I would prefer to get paid to hike in the woods and smell flowers, unfortunately I haven’t figured out how to make a profit out of that career path. :0) I do have in my heart a need to share some of my life lessons. I have thought of writing a book but my challenges are much different then the ones you have listed. I am filled with self doubt about my thoughts ( will others identify with them, are they based in truth or am I way off on my beliefs), I ponder the effects of my writing (will it hurt or help others?), and probably my biggest concern is my lack of writing ability.

    There are always reasons not to proceed with your dreams. I guess what I am hearing you say is; At what point does your desire to accomplish your dreams become stronger than the fear that you will fail? If fear is the opposite of faith, What does that mean as a Christian? Just a thought….

  2. Ooh, I love how you summed that up: “At what point does your desire to accomplish your dreams become stronger than the fear that you will fail?” Very eloquently put. See? You’re a writer.

    Fear is not faith, so what does that mean as a Christian? I’ve been pondering that, and it’s actually a bigger question than I thought.

    Maybe the first thing to have faith in is the idea that God gave you your passions. From there, it’s an easy step to the idea that God wants you to pursue them (otherwise, why would he give them to you in the first place? Just to taunt you? Doesn’t sound like the God I know).

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