Sunday, August 1, 2010

Heads I Quit, Tails I Keep Going

There's two things keeping me going this week:

1) A coin toss. It was tails.

2) A small business owner who reminded me yesterday that I have something that can't be taken from me: Creativity.... My spin on things... The many hours I invest into creating a sustainable and viable and trusted source of community news, week after week.

Even if they steal my email list, which I gathered by walking the streets for over a year, approaching strangers, attending meetings, scribbling names down, being a cheerleader for all things local business... and then send out their own email on the same day as mine, after cutting me out of $83 per week in ad dollars I'd been receiving (most folks thought I worked full-time for them, but I was grateful they were letting me use their email software template, where my old list was stored)....

Even if they tell me I have to be "patient"... with no clear idea on when they will return as advertisers.... Even if I am covering a festival for which the proceeds go to them... Even if I recently had to part with a beloved furry companion of nearly 10 years, because the financial strain was too great to care for him... Even if....

I don't know what else to say.
I love what I do.
I love working on The Pipeline.
The hours fly by.
I've met hundreds of unique and interesting people over the past 15 months.
There's a purpose for what I'm doing- or at least I believe that to be true.
I have a dry erase board full of ideas and new stories.
In other words, I'm not stopping. I can't stop.
In absence of clout, I have social capital and a platform for sending and sharing news over social media, which has no overhead outside of my labor and the labor of contributors.

If I didn't believe in the pipeline I'd have given up by now. I'd have kept my cat and gotten a job where somebody pays me and I don't have to wander around soliciting ad dollars and figure out a way to pay myself and contributors.

The few people I popped in at yesterday to solicit actually thanked me for stopping in. That never happened when I worked for a traditional newspaper. I guess that's reason number three to keep on going. Along with the readers who are far more than three at this point.

There is a note above my desk that asks, "Is it useful?" and I try to make every issue full of useful information. If I wanted to be of use to just myself I'd be writing more poetry, working on sketches.... instead I'm aggregating links from dozens of sources as well as creating next week's listings and then wandering around a street fest and chatting up strangers and adding lots of original content to the mix because new media isn't just about your own voice, nor should it be. Traditional media owed its strength to classified ads and automotive ads and the fact there were only one or two games in town which all eyeballs fixated on. We don't have that anymore, so what's next? Do we try to replicate a dying business model or create a new media model?

Somebody gave good feedback yesterday, so there will be slight design changes in the next issue that will hopefully make the newsletter easier to read and to scroll down.

The vacation I just went on was about recharging the mental batteries and having downtime with family, and then my cat got sick and I came back early and gave him up and have been a mess since.

"It'll pass" or "This too shall pass" are phrases I put stock in. I was born with a sense of urgency, so the question I keep asking is, "Yeah, but When????"

It's going to be soon as in NOW, aka 'fake it til' you make it'- such an American thing to do. And I'm headed off to do it.


  1. Don't quit. You are inspiring!

  2. Aw, thanks, David. I think you were one of the random people I approached on the street a while back!

    Quitting at this point isn't an option... biggest concern is figuring out a way for it to be sustainable or to decrease its length or the time put into it, always tough when there's so much stuff happening...

    It ended up being a decent day despite the big chip on my shoulder that I hope is just made of ice and will melt in this crazy heat.