DJing & How to Write a Book | #173
March 12th, 2022: Greetings from Austin! After an intense first couple of months of the year, I’ve cleared up my schedule a bit for the next week or so and am wandering around SXSW and Austin for the next week. If you happen to be visiting let me know!
CEX-Creator Economy Expo is a new conference that helps content creators grow their audience, drive revenue, sharpen up content operations and learn about Web3 (social tokens, NFTs, etc.) business models. The event is May 2-4, 2022 at the Arizona Grand Resort and is limited to 500 content creators.
The conference includes speakers like Dan Pink, TitTok/Twitch star Leesh Capeesh, Ann Handley, Jay Clouse, Amanda Natividad, Brennan Dunn and more. I’m planning on being there and am excited to meet people from different domains meeting some people from different domains. Should be fun!
👉 If you want to get $200 off, use code BOUNDLESS here
🎚️#1 I started taking DJ classes
When I moved into our current apartment, I noticed a “learn to DJ” sign down the street. This seemed to be a message from the gods. I’ve always been drawn to DJ and mix music. In college, I created some very amateur mixes under the title of “DJ PoPo Shizzle” with a very cheap set of digital turntables that I found on ebay. The mixes were quite bad but I had a ton of fun mixing G-Unit with Mariah Carey.
As soon as I saw the sign I knew I’d be enrolling. I finally did a few weeks ago and am in the Intro to DJ 101 class with a local DJ. I’m three classes in so far and it’s been WAY more fun than I expected and I’m learning a ton. In addition to how to use DJ equipment, I’m learning how songs are produced and about things like phrases, structure, and what kinds of songs work well together.
It’s changed how I listen to music.
I also decided to buy my own controller to practice at home:
A few years ago I would have never bought the controller (it was about $250). It would be too impractical. What if I don’t like it? What if I can’t resell it? Isn’t this a waste of money?
Self-employment has helped me experiment with different ways of living and see the true value of time and money. I know that creating the conditions that enable me to learn new things, to write and create, and to be near people I like are the things that make almost everything else in my life better. So I bought the controller and have already gotten lost for several hours twice experimenting and practicing what I’m learning in class.
I have no goals. Last year I studied Chinese intensively for three months and also started taking YoYo lessons. Both of these things along with writing the book seemed to reawaken a childlike energy that had not been central since maybe college. I’m feeling that in many aspects of my life right now and it’s pretty great.
I need a new DJ name, though, any ideas?
📖 #2 From Blog To Book: How To Shift From Writing Online To Self-Publishing Your Own Book (On Your Own Terms)
I published a massive essay, about 8.9k words, this week on almost every step that went into publishing my book, from the beginning of my writing journey to the virtuous cycle of conversations, writing, and research that was unleashed in 2020 to finally deciding to write a book and then how I figured out how to write something I thought was worth reading.
Here is one part:
I never noticed writing as something important in my life until after I stepped away from my full-time career path. While I wrote more than I had in the past during my first year of self-employment, something was unleashed when I moved to Taiwan in the fall of 2018.
I would make coffee in the morning and wait for the inevitable call to write. This period was absolutely delightful. Through writing, I continued to make sense of my shift from an impressive career towards the pathless path as well as the noticeable gap between this new culture and mine back home.
In those months something was unleashed – unstoppable creative energy that had been bubbling beneath the surface but never quite had the space to emerge. That energy told me: keep writing. I decided to commit. I didn’t know where writing would lead me but I had a deep sense that it was going to become an important part of my life. I came up with a rule: “write, most days.” It was enough. I prioritized it and notice that when I have the time and space to think and write, I’m quite content and happy with life. When writing starts to drift out of my weekly rhythm, I know I need to make changes.
So I wrote, most days, and for the past three years, writing has become one of the most vital parts of my life. I also tapped into a virtuous cycle: sharing continuing to write and sharing it publicly, it made my life better. Putting writing first helped me realize it was work I liked doing and wanted to keep doing, led to making friends and having meaningful conversations with people from all over the world, and helped cure a residual cynicism that remained from my time in the corporate world. Eventually, it also led to the most meaningful project of my life: writing The Pathless Path.
📖 #3 Internet Writing
I’m reading and enjoying Thomas J. Bevan’s The Soaring Twenties and Other Essays. It’s a collection of his writing from 2021 and reflections on being an online person trying to do creative work.
I also borrowed his idea of the "Misery Tax” in my own book.
This is from one of the first essays:
In short, anyone who is uninterested in the current zeitgeist has moved to the catacombs- to the decentralised corners of the internet and even back to reality, to the place beyond computers.
You could call this surrender, but I think this is short sighted. The catacombs dwelling artist has not given in. Quite the opposite. They are merely taking shelter so that the flame that they carry is not blown out by the raging winds of the present moment.
And this, this very thing you are reading right now, is an artefact from my own personal catacomb. A small part of the new culture of independent art and thought that will be here for when the bloated empire of top down art has breathed its last.
Will share more reflections as I read but its a fun way to recap 2021.
#4 Book Sales Update
I found a self-publisher to sell my book directly into the Indian market this week which was pretty cool. I’ve had multiple people reach out asking for printed versions in India because the ones available ship from the US and are way too expensive. It should be up on Flipkart and Amazon.in by the end of the week for 334 rupees.
There are still consistent sales but slower than February. I have some exciting news to share about some podcasts I’ll be on in the next few weeks but I’ll let you know when they go live!
Here’s the latest sales numbers:
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