I just did something cool. I released an audiobook today. For free.
Now, before I explain what that means, why I did it, and why you should care (and the reason isn’t “because I’m so cool”) head over and pick up the free audiobook of my novel The Bialy Pimps if you’re AT ALL interested in my writing, audiobooks, or laughing so hard you end up shooting various liquids out of your nose. Oh, or things that have been called “Like Fight Club, but stupid.”
(Note: If you’re baffled by the idea of a “podiobook,” which is a “podcast audiobook,” click this.)
Got it? Downloaded or subscribed? Excellent.
So, here’s the deal.
As some of you may have observed, my online focus has taken a few twists and turns lately. I got started by setting up WordPress websites, and I don’t do that anymore. I used to offer business coaching, and I sort of still do that, but not in any way that’s obvious to the general public.
Now I blog about “waking up” and “doing what you know you’re supposed to be doing with your life instead of sitting on your ass and watching life pass you by” — a field I tend to boil down to the convenient phrase “human potential.” (It’s kind of like “personal development,” but you get to say “awesome” more often and sometimes give people the finger.)
And as part of writing about human potential, I realized that I wasn’t living up to my own human potential. Not really. I wasn’t taking my own advice.
I started out, just out of school, dreaming of being a fiction writer. I wanted to tell stories. Sometimes I wanted to make people laugh, and sometimes I wanted to make people think. If I could do both at once (kind of like managing to say “awesome” while simultaneously giving people the finger), then bonus points to me. So I wrote some stories and I wrote a novel and then exactly nothing happened, as it happens for most budding artists.
So I tried to find a practical way to tell stories and to connect with people. After a detour into uncreative writing (Lex Luthor to the Superman of creative writing) and tech services, I started this blog and found a round-about way to do those things again, by writing sometimes-funny, sometimes-thinkworthy stuff that had to do with business and entrepreneurship.
But talking only about business and never being truly, truly creative wasn’t good enough. It was cheating myself. It was settling.
Are you still listening?
Because, look. This sounds like it’s all about me, but it’s not. Not really. It’s about you too, if you have something inside of you that you want to do that you haven’t done yet.
Which is all of us.
Anyway, I figured I had it nailed when I started this blog. I figured this was the way to write and tell stories and make a living out of it. And don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic. I built websites and I told stories about business and I coached clients and I told stories about that, and I blogged all over the place, and I even eventually put two and two together and created a course about how to use stories to sell what you have to sell.
But there was more that I was missing. In one area, in one way, I was sitting on the metaphorical couch of life, metaphorically letting my life pass me by.
I read Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art and suddenly, I realized that as much as I talk about maximizing your life and your potential, I wasn’t doing it myself.
All that pure storytelling I’d wanted to do, I wasn’t doing. And I had good reasons for not doing it, too. It wasn’t practical. There was no way to make it work.
Regardless, I pulled my book out of the closet, rewrote it entirely, and published it.
Then I started writing something else (something about zombies – hint, hint) and that felt good, so I started talking to my friend Sean Platt and his friend and writing partner Dave Wright about their projects, and we enjoyed talking writing and publishing and creativity in general so much that we started a podcast, and I started to really enjoy that.
I heard about a site called Podiobooks.com that will distribute your audiobook for free. People use it to grow their audiences, and it sounded cool and like a lot of fun, so I did that.
Then Dave had this idea about how if we, as writers, wanted to bond with readers, we should talk more about stuff we liked that our readers also liked. So we’re going to start another podcast about supernatural stuff like zombies and warewolves and vampires. We’re tentatively calling this show “Better Off Undead.”
So if you’ve been watching this blog and if you’re on my email list and if you’ve been wondering just where the hell I’ve been and what I’ve been doing, this is it.
Right now you might be like, “Who gives a shit?”
Maybe you don’t care about my books or about podcasts. Maybe you don’t care about my creative projects or about my audiobook. Maybe you don’t care about zombies. (That’s a bad idea, by the way. Zombies love it when people don’t care about them.)
Wait, I should give the link to my audiobook again. Here you go.
And maybe you haven’t wondered what I’ve been up to. Maybe you could care less.
But do you care about the things you’ve neglected? I guarantee there are some. Do you care about the dreams you once had? Someone talked you out of those once upon a time, but that was wrong.
Every day, literally, I become more and more convinced that most people go through life in a fugue state. They do what’s in front of them because it’s in front of them, and they forget about the fact that there are things they’d rather be doing and the fact that they will inevitably die and that there is nothing they can do about it. They forget that their so-called “insurmountable problems” are, in fact, mere trifles. They lose that spirt of “what the fuck” that they had as kids, because adult life is so damn serious.
“You’ll screw up your life if you do X,” someone responsible might say.
Adults don’t even consider saying “well, what the fuck?” to that. Should you roll the dice every single day and pursue every dumb whim? No. But should you keep doing stuff you hate every single day just because it’s safe? Similarly, no.
“What the fuck?” is sometimes an appropriate response. Do you know what will happen? Do you always need to know what will happen? No. Not really.
I don’t know about you, but I want a legendary life.
That means no settling. That means that if I want to write, then dammit, I’m going to write. If means that if I hate what I’m doing, I’m not going to do it unless it is truly and totally necessary, and even then I won’t do it for long.
There’s this terrible story in the film I’m Fine, Thanks, where this woman who is simply hosting the crew shooting a movie about how people become complacent in life suddenly realizes just how complacent she’s being without even realizing it. Every day, she goes to a job she doesn’t like and doesn’t see her family and is chasing a mortgage that is dragging her down, and she feels trapped.
That’s a hideous realization to have blindside you. But it did wake her up.
At the end of the movie, in the closing sequence, we learn that she quit her job. She said “what the fuck.” And what will happen for that woman? Will she lose her house? Maybe. But who cares? Assuming the family isn’t totally leaping with out any kind of a net, they can get a small apartment. Hell, the movie even features this woman who lives in a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny house not much bigger than a fair concession stand. Pay cash, be done with it. What the fuck. I’ll take fulfilled and broke over fancy and miserable any day.
In a really, really, really roundabout way, that is why I’m writing more and podcasting more. It’s why I released an audiobook today (which, again, you should pick up here because it’s awesome and costs nothing.)
I want the best out of my life because I only have one. Each day, I’m trying to be better, to create an existence that is more legendary.
I don’t like settling.
EXPLANATORY NOTE: My audiobook is technically a “podiobook,” which is an audiobook that is delivered, for free, via a podcast feed. If that’s all Greek to you and you just want to listen to the damn thing, here are your two options:
1. Go to my audiobook’s page on Podiobooks.com and scroll to the bottom. Then just right-click on all of the episodes and download them as MP3s. Presto, you’ve got my audiobook.
2. Learn how podcasts work! It’s not as intimidating as it sounds. Here’s a video showing you how to subscribe to a podcast in iTunes**. BONUS: If you do this, you can also subscribe to our Self Publishing Podcast and our upcoming undead podcast, assuming we get our shit together and start it.
** Podiobooks has its own “subscribe” process, but you can also just go to the iTunes store and search for “The Bialy Pimps” and get it that way.