Nine-hundred and forty-four dollars. That's how much money I raised in one year through generous donations from people like you. I launched my orange PayPal DONATE button on my 40th birthday: February 19, 2012. I took an entire week off from work and family and created my own self-imposed writer's retreat. I got a lot of writing done, and laid the groundwork to finish my book in what I thought would be a matter of weeks.
Fast-forward one year. A lot has happened. I changed jobs. I spoke at conferences. I did workshops. I travelled. And I kept putting off my book and feeling guilty. While on vacation with my family in Florida, I came to the conclusion that my book wasn't getting done because it wasn't exciting enough. A book on creativity should have a creative presentation. And my book felt too much like a text book, not a radical manifesto.
I made the decision to set aside my notes and to start over: this time with only a stylus and a beautiful drawing app for the iPad called Paper. It was suddenly fun again, and I could feel the momentum and energy start to build. The pages felt fresh and relevant. It was easy to carry my book (iPad) around, and work on it at a moments notice. I was excited again to start sharing my progress.
And then suddenly I was in the hospital. I had suffered from an arterial disection, where the inner layer of a major artery in my neck suddenly tore and caused blood-clotting to begin. I imagine it like the inner lining of a winter glove giving away and bunching up so it's harder for your fingers to pass through. Except in this case my fingers were oxygen-rich blood that wanted to get to my brain. And instead of flowing nicely, the blood slowed down, started clumping, and then some of these clumps and clots were pushed further into my head where they blocked off smaller vessels and killed off some unsuspecting brain cells. That was on November 21, 2012, exactly one month before the world was supposed to end because the Mayans stopped printing calendars.
I'm still in recovery, but my prognosis is good. On February 22, 2013 I will find out if the tear in my head has healed or not. That means I get to drink radioactive chalk and lie motionless in a claustrophobic, white tube for thirty minutes while they record my brain with a camera that sounds like an air-powered machine-gun. Regardless, I've had a lot of downtime to re-think my book strategy, and how to communicate with my fans and a potential audience.
Here's my plan:
- HAVE FUN: I'm going to have fun with this. It will be a slog sometimes, but I want the net result to be ground-breaking (no pressure).
- BOOK SITE: The book is bigger than me, and needs its own space. I hooked up with SquareSpace because it's beautiful, easy, and does all the simple things I want like linking to MailChimp and Facebook Pages. You can check out the new digs at CreateMoreBetterDifferent.com. Some of you are already here!
- MAILING LIST: I'm starting a fan mailing list, using MailChimp, called the Create Club. You can sign-up for it if you want!
- OBLIGATORY FACEBOOK PAGE: Enough said. I know a lot of people on Facebook and it's still the best place to share and create conversations, even if they are mostly about gossip and cute animals. LIKE the book page and help me get the word out.
- EXPERIMENTAL WIKI: This is like a giant desk for me to organize my notes on, except the desk is in a cloud, and everyone can peek at my notes (and even scribble on them). I have wanted to do this forever, but was always intimidated by the proprietary mark-up languages. I finally tried Wikia, and it appears to be working. Check out the Create More Better Different Wiki (but be kind because it has only just begun).
- WRITE THE DAMN BOOK ALREADY: Stay tuned.