About 299 days ago, I decided that I would commit to publishing 365 consecutive days of posting. Somewhere along the line, I ran across a motivational speaker, who said something like “If you can commit to 365 days of anything, you can succeed.” I don’t know if that’s true or not, yet. To be honest, my other website, www.penguinate.weebly.com, which I can’t access from my current location, is still doing better than this blog in terms of income and in spite of the fact that I haven’t published anything new there for more than a year. I even pulled the most popular post from that website and put it here: Internal Communications of Southwest Airlines.Continue reading 298 Consecutive Days of Posting
I wanted to capture the joy and use the examples of creativity in Disneyland to help people become more creative. Creativity is a core part of our humanity. People have been artists and storytellers since they came together in caves hundreds of thousands of years ago. Human beings survive as a species not by being the fastest or strongest but by being the most creative. Our creativity allows us to adapt as a species, and our personal creativity allows us to live better lives. I wrote “Disneyland Is Creativity” to help you find your creative process and empower you to become more creative.Continue reading Why I Wrote ‘Disneyland Is Creativity’: Creative Process
Moving into the electronic age, we’ve lost some of the ways that are important for harnessing knowledge and creativity. One thing that’s gone by the way say is writing things down. If you want to improve your memory and creativity, write things down.Continue reading Write It Down: Tip Tuesday
When I started writing to make a living, I ran across a post that said authors need to write between 15 and 20 books to be able to make a living from their writing. The idea is that people buy a new release, like it, and then buy the other books in the author’s backlog. One crucial piece of information that I missed was that these books should be interlocking trilogies, so three focus on main characters and the other six focus on side characters. No matter, I thought about the type of book that I enjoyed the idea of, and the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series (affiliate links) came to mind. Then I crafted “the Adventures on the Amur.”Continue reading Why I Wrote ‘Adventures on the Amur’: The Creative Process
Someone once said that being creative isn’t just about having ideas. There are billions of ideas out there. The creative person has to choose one of the ideas and bring it into the world. As a writer, I have tens of ideas for books and series, and hundreds of ideas for articles. (This year alone, I’ve written over 275 articles on my website and more at my day job.) So, how did I come to choose to publish “My Life in the Projects” as my first book? Here’s a peek at the creative process of writing that book.Continue reading The Creative Process of Writing ‘My Life in the Projects’
As a blog writer, I have several goals, and they all intertwine. Perhaps, the biggest goal is to write what people want to read and share. Firstly, the number of page views directly influences my income. More viewers mean more money. Secondly, and maybe just as important, I can write a thousand articles, but if no one reads them, what good are they? I want my writing to impact people, help them learn, or bring them some entertainment. In order for that to happen, I need people to read the articles. Otherwise, I could write a journal and put it on my shelf for whomever to find after I die.Continue reading Go Viral: Top-Viewed Articles of May 2020 on Penguinate and Medium
Somewhere along the line, someone challenged me to follow through with blog posting for 365 days. I’m decently certain it was one of those free webinars that said if we could commit to it, we would see our blogs become profitable. There may have been more to it than that, but I decided I would commit to one post a day for 365 days. I had come close before – somewhere in the 200 range, so I thought I would just need to buckle down and get ‘er done. So, here I am, on day 209, struggling for something to write about. There are a lot of reasons for this; most of them have to do with COVID-19. But let’s examine how I got through 208 days.
The First 170-ish Days
Basically, the first several weeks I was ready to go. I wrote one or two blog posts a day, and I scheduled them out. I knew I was going to be on vacation, and that gave me a great subject to write about. New Zealand was awesome and learning more about it made for easy blog topics. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to write while in New Zealand, so I made sure I had enough content to keep publishing even if I didn’t get Internet.
Afterwards, photos and more articles about New Zealand made it super easy to keep writing. I was reading New Zealand related books, including a money management book that made for several articles, and then things went wonky.
COVID-19 and Immigration
The coronavirus hit, and the U.S. downplayed its effects. People were saying it was just another flu. It wasn’t anything to worry about. I kept writing what I could about New Zealand, money management, penguins and the book I was writing: “Tales from an Alaskan Cabin,” which gave me a lot of days published because I was posting each chapter for my Penguinators at Patreon.
My wife and I went to Moscow to get her Green Card visa. That gave me more photos and things to write about. We did some touristy stuff, and we had Wi-Fi, so it was easy to keep up with. When we got back home, we had to wait for her passport. During the week between returning and her passport being delivered, the U.S. had shut down. We weren’t going to be able to get out.
Of course, COVID-19 provided some fodder for writing, especially after watching dumb people do dumb things. Seriously, in the U.S. in cases that have been resolved, a third of the outcomes have been death. It was 36% yesterday and 32% today. Those numbers might not stay that way, but even if everyone else gets well, the mortality rate of those who have tested positive for coronavirus is going to be about 6% for those in the system. Stay the F—k Home and protect your community.
Anger and frustration can only take you so far in the writing world. Yeah, I know, Hollywood called Rod Serling “the Angry Young Man,” and he was responsible for an amazing number of great stories in “The Twilight Zone,” “The Night Gallery” and a couple of other TV movies. Still, there’s only so much bile, venom, and stupidity that one person can take. So, I found myself today talking to my mom, writing for money and not in the good way, and without ideas for how I am going to continue posting.
This problem has been coming for a couple of days now. My wife told me to write how I feel. That’s not what this blog is supposed to be about. I want to explore creativity, travel, and joy. Unfortunately, that all seems a little far off. The blog posts I have done with creative intent have fallen flat. Writing about New Zealand or money management seems to ring a little hollow. Why would I give you ideas about going places you can’t get to? Why would I write about money management as the stock market is cratering, and we have no idea what we will emerge to when this is all over?
The Crux of It All
And that’s really the crux of it. We don’t know how this is going to end. All we know is that it can’t go on the way it did before, and those that try are going to end up on the wrong end of another epidemic of illnesses. Even if you’re one of those people who believe this disease will ultimately only kill between .1 and .2% of those who get it, the reality is that it has killed more than 200,000 people worldwide and more than 55,000 people in the U.S. as of April 27. Each of those people was someone who had loved ones. It’s not just a number that you haven’t seen; it’s a person who could be you, your grandma, or your dad.
Change is the only constant, and this is going to require us to change everything. Or we face the consequences of repeating this history. The problem is we don’t have the leadership with the guts to initiate the needed changes. We have a lot of old people that want to go back to the way things were. Even though our supply chains have failed and just-in-time manufacturing practices have shown how they aren’t good for emergencies, with people showing their true colors and profiteering, much like pharma-bro did a couple of years back, and facing the selfishness of millions of scared, over-privileged people whose biggest rallying cry is “I Need a Haircut,” there’s the thought that will be able to reopen like none of this ever happened.
In the End
That’s not how this is going to work. If we ignore what we’ve gone through, we’ll just go through it again. Someone once told me that God (you’re welcome to substitute Karma, Deity, our own choices) keeps giving us the same lesson until we learn it. The time to learn the lesson is now. The time to implement the changes needed is now. We can’t wait for another pandemic or another disaster to teach us again lessons we should’ve learned before. We can either be the initiators of the changes for a better society and world, or we can react to whatever changes other people want to implement. Which would you prefer: To act or to be acted upon? Go out an make a change for the betterment of the world. Let’s let our selfish urges die, and they’ll take this disease and plenty of other problems with them.
If you’re trying to take advantage of additional time that the pandemic has left you with by creating a blog to earn some extra money, you need to get more people reading your blog, subscribing to your email list, and coming to you for important information. Here are some things to consider so that you can get started and be more successful from the beginning. If you are already blogging, use these tips to improve your blog posts.Continue reading How to Improve Your Blog Posts to Get More Readers
When I was in college in the mid-1990s, I was lucky enough to find a roommate who had similar interests. When I was faced with the school’s illogical and uncaring bureaucracy, we decided to write a story: The Pirate Union. Now, I’m not sure that the bureaucracy was the reason for the story. It may have just been coincidental. I do know that my coauthor was smart enough to have suggested as a remedy, but there was no real cause and effect here. At least, I don’t think there was.Continue reading Pirates, Bureaucracy, and Magic? Oh, My: The Pirate Union’s Story
This post will mark my 251st consecutive day of publishing on Penguinate.com. For the last 8+ months, I have posted at least one article. I didn’t take any weekends off, and some days I posted more than one article. All of that work, plus what came from the beginning of November 2018, has created less than $2 worth of revenue, and August was the worst month for income, even though views were the third highest. So, I must be doing something wrong.
With this information, I have decided that I probably need to step back from publishing so much on Penguinate.com and start concentrating on the places where I can bring in more money. To that end, a lot more of what I publish here will be accessible by Penguinators (those who are a part of my wifes and my Patreon campaign) only. Not everything, just much of it.
Obviously, I’m not going to try to keep my streak alive. I may or may not publish anything tomorrow. Those 251 articles represent enough material to make a book if it had been written as such. So, I urge you to join my wife’s and my Patreon to help me continue writing and to read all the great content you get here. No matter what level you join at, you’ll have access to everything on Penguinate.com.
If you have a better idea of how to overcome this discrepancy in work versus pay, let me know. Leave your content. Otherwise, thanks so much for reading and through that supporting our creative endeavors.