In the mid-90’s, I was a student at York University in Toronto with access to a 24-hour computer lab. Its main purpose was to write and print essays, but at some point, I became aware of this crazy new thing called … The Internet. I quickly became fascinated by it, and even created my own website at the time. It would be hilarious (not to mention embarrassing) if I could look back at it now. Basically just a few short stories and links to other sites. I even had a little red notebook where I wrote down URL’s to my favourite sites and links (there was no Google back then!), right down to their full-length addresses (fictional example: www.picturedatabase.com/vb323312/altr/icons/tv/thesimpsons/homer.html). My, how times have changed!
I recently visited the local library to pick up a DVD. Revenge of the Sith. That movie pissed me off so much when I saw it in the theatre, I never bothered to buy a copy, even though I had all the others and am a big Star Wars fan. But I was watching the first 6 films in order to prepare for The Force Awakens (it’s really good, by the way … go see it!), and, well, they had a copy. But while I was there, a book caught my eye: Laptop Millionaire, by Mark Anastasi. So I checked it out along with the DVD.
Since those early days, I’ve been an avid internet junkie, and have always thought that “someday”, I would use it to make money. Cause I’m a smart guy, and use it all the time. Maybe next week, next month, next year. But it just never happened. Why? Because I never made it happen. It is only a series of tubes, after all, these interwebs. We the people are what bring the whole thing to life. The tool and the opportunity are there, and they’re spectacular. The variable is us.
I read Tim Ferriss’ The Four-Hour Work Week (and loved it) a number of years ago, so I was familiar with the basic concept of the “get rich quick on the internet” book. I know there’s a million of ’em out there. But Laptop Millionaire really got me thinking. So I came up with a plan, and starting researching. Initially, it was a pretty simple plan: write and sell an e-book. I still intend to do that. But I quickly became overwhelmed at the vast amount of information out there. I’m still working my way through trying to get a handle on things like SEO and AdWords, while trying to figure out what to write about in my planet-spinning, life-altering e-book, what domain to host it on, how to market it on Twitter, etc. etc. etc.
At any rate, it’s been an interesting night. I found myself reading message board posts about online marketing, thinking about buying and selling websites, working as a freelance writer (how in the hell did I never hear of Fiverr.com before?!), and a bunch of other things. Then I came across an article for writers listing WordPress as a valuable asset. And suddenly I’m writing a blog. I still have to go back and finish the message board thread I had been reading, and finish editing my freelance website profile. The tabs are both still open. If you had told me this afternoon I’d write a long-ass blog post tonight, I would have said “You’re Fucking Crazy!” In an Axl Rose voice.
Money really doesn’t mean much to me. I mean, it’s a pretty cool concept and all, much better than carrying my sheep around town trying to find somebody who will trade me 3 chickens and a toothbrush for it. But it is one element in life that completely overshadows so many other important elements. I just know that I need it to buy things. And there are a helluva lot of things I want to buy. And the concept of the book is so goddamn beautiful: sell products or something of value, rather than your time. Because time is a finite resource. There’s never enough of it in a day, and in the end, not enough in a lifetime.
Plus, the internet is the greatest selling tool ever invented. I have created a couple of websites in the past, so I have some experience with HTML. It was never really intuitive, but I managed to get by with a lot of trial and error. Somebody recommended WordPress to me a long time ago, but I just never got around to it. I will definitely check it out now, and am intrigued by the combination of blogging, website design, and internet sales. I definitely need to do more writing. We’ll see how much I continue to blog going forward. It may be a lot, it may never happen again. The unknown, is unknowable.
Ahhh, the bittersweet taste of sinister cinnamon. The opening line of a poem/weird creative writing experiment I wrote a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. I will find a way to earn money online, and replace the banal drudgery that is my current occupation. But this blog is not about money. It’s about art, and life, and writing, and passion. I haven’t felt this optimistic in a long time. So if you’re still reading this, thank you for doing so. And just remember to do something you enjoy, every day of your life. Cause it is apparently possible to completely turn to the dark side in about ten minutes. Life is the ultimate page-turner. You just never know what’s going to happen next …..