Plan B: When writing doesn’t pay
How Medium solved my dilemma
I gave this writing thing the serious school mascot try, but it just ain’t workin’ out. I even extended my Six Months to Fame/Fortune plan by an extra month, but still — nothing. Curse me and my sticktoittiveness.
Here is why I’m giving up —
- I checked the balance in my SMF/F savings account. I forecasted that by Feb. 20, I’d have earnings of $3.2 million based on a modest assumption of three book deals, one movie deal, subscription fees to my fan club and undisclosed honorariums for quoting nice things about other authors. Imagine my surprise when I checked the ATM this morning to find a balance of -$49.99*. (*The Write Like Ethan Hawke workshop was a waste, but Channing Tatum sure knows his way around a PowerPoint.)
- I had to fire my agent/editor/accountant. We’re still married, but she was slacking. Always with the me me me: I have to cook. I have to clean. I have to free the dead owl from the power line. Plus, she doesn’t always laugh aloud when she reads my stuff, even after I’ve explained why it’s funny.
- The last straw was reading David’s rockin’ tribute to so many talented Medium writers. The project must have been a labor of love. And as much as I respect those acknowledged, it pains me that Parenting — the tag I associate with — didn’t make the cut. Granted, there are too many tags to list, so no grudge. In fact, it was the kick in the pants I needed. So after a good cry, a few bowls of gin and cereal, and a serious talk with my aloe vera, I’m ready to move on.
Medium has known it all along: My talent is not writing. By acknowledging my wisdom in parenting, what they have essentially told me in no certain, uncertain or identifiable terms is “Roy, you should profit off your kids.” Pure genius. I should have heeded their expertise long ago.
So as a new method of achieving financial security, I turn to my Plan B: the babies. Well, they’re not so much babies anymore. They’re triplet girls who just turned thirteen and are prepared to launch into the American work force. (I lied about my age to get my first job at a doughnut shop. We start early around here.)
I’ve identified several ventures and vocations for the girls to choose from. They can get cracking on any one of them right away to begin earning some serious cash. The best part is most don’t require an advanced education, but if necessary, I’ll let them borrow my Lynda.com password.
And since they’re millenials, I was mindful in selecting purpose-driven roles. My daughters are good-hearted like their mother. They wish to make a positive contribution and promote goodwill in whatever they do. I love ’em and will proudly support that dream so long as they maintain a high profile and land lucrative speaking engagements as a result.
Here’s what I have so far —
- become the world’s first speed metal jug band complete with electrified washboard and spoons (John Markowski inspired this one)
- open an obedience school for Uber users
- become roadies for Mummenschanz
- take to social activism (link arms and form a “wall of caring” to prevent families from entering bad movies like, for instance, all of them)
- reboot The Golden Girls (the girls meet as kids at a middle-school in Queens, talk about boys in their clubhouse and take a pinky oath never to live in Florida)
- open a discount dental practice for people who can’t afford pain-free treatment or who feel they don’t deserve it
- be affordable dietitians who simply scream profane insults in clients’ faces as they snack
- introduce Sesame Street to Snuffleupagus’ lost cousin, Squabbly: a lovable but conflicted six-legged muppet who grumbles incoherently until her eyes roll back and she collapses in a spastic fit
- deliver gasoline to rich people’s homes; fuel up their SUVs while they sleep; check under seats for discarded cash
- become professional bird walkers
Hm…these made more sense when I jotted them down over cereal this morning. I promise I’ll keep working on it.
In the meantime, I plan to post on Medium for enjoyment only with no expectations to earn anything.
Except for hearts. Those are the currency of love.