It seems that in less than two weeks when I cross over to my fourth decade of life, I will be celebrating another milestone; five years as a blogger. In blog world that almost feels like a lifetime, granted by blog standards, I am most likely middle aged. In my five years of active blogging and the seven years since I have discovered the world of blogs, the digital landscape has most certainly changed.
Back when I started this crazy space, most bloggers were simply people with something to say, information to share, stories to tell. The concept of blogging as a way to generate income was largely relegated to a select few. Sure, you could put up a tip jar if you had a situation or enough readers, or maybe some ads but it wasn’t the business and industry that it has become. Considering that a few days ago, I cleaned out 1400 emails from my blog email account, trust me, the game has changed.
The downside of that change both as a whole and for me personally is that I am always mindful of what I write. In my earlier posts, I would prattle on without a thought in the world. Of course, back in 2008, I only had a handful of readers at best. So truly I was just talking to myself and a few friends and family members. Yet, upon entering the mom-o-sphere of bloggers since being discovered by “that” list, suddenly my sacred space was no longer sacred. Almost any known blogger can tell you, that there are people who sit around waiting to catch bloggers slipping or for any inconsistencies in their stories and in some cases relish the opportunity to put them on blast. It’s messy stuff and I have been fortunate that to a large degree I continue in my little corner of the world. No need to wait for me to get messy, I fully own my messy. Which is why a post like this is hard even for me because it requires a level of vulnerability that I am no longer comfortable expressing publicly.
For the past several weeks, I have been working on a project that was inspired by my old college adviser. After years of lamenting how I want to write a book, she pointed out that with 5 years and almost 900 blog posts, I have written a book, and this space is more than the size of a full length manuscript. I went back through my archives and realized that she was right; I have written more than a book here, hell, it’s several books of material. So I have been working on breaking things down into themes and long story short turning the first three years of my blogging into an e-book that I was hoping to have ready to go by March 1.
However the recent turn of events means I need to rethink my plan, since the reality is that to do the things I need to do including visiting my dad and dealing with his situation requires cold hard cash. I am finally out of debt and in a relatively stable place financially and I am not interested in messing that up. But as member of the sandwich generation with one kid in college and an aging father, it means it doesn’t take much to take my plans for stability and turn them on their head. Which means I need to create an additional revenue stream like yesterday! So I am working on a mini e-book that I will have up and ready for purchase within the next two weeks. It’s a collection of posts that have been cleaned up and focus on the themes of race and class from the lens of my thirty five year old self. At over 22,000 words and still in a stage two rough draft, it’s a quick read but not too quick and gives readers the ease of reading my work in one continuous read. I have added new insights, so it’s not a complete re-hashing of what has been on the blog forever.
The e-book will be available by donation, there may be a minimum suggested donation of $3 though I am leaning towards a pay what you feel deal and will trust that it all works out in the end. It will be in a downloadable PDF format. The old saying that necessity is the mother of invention is true, though it might be more accurate to say that necessity is making me get creative under pressure. Creativity under pressure is hard but at the same time this process is something that I have wanted to do, so the universe just gave me a kick in the ass via my Dad.
So, I would be honored if you decide to purchase a copy of my musings and if anyone does so before the official release date of February 4, you will get a little extra gift for your support.
Phew, that was hard.
PS: No pressure but a reader just informed me that finding the link to pre-order wasn’t easy to find, so I am including it in this post.