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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Time Has Come

I've been hinting at it for months, and it is now time for me to come clean. Early last month everything changed for me. For starters, I quit my job. The reasons for this are myriad. Some I will lay out here; others I will keep for myself. But needless to say, this is just about the best thing that could happen to me. I now get to write for a living. I get to spend more time with the people I love most. I have the freedom to travel when I want (even if I don't exactly have the money). I get to raise my son the way I want to, instead of constantly compromising with the ideals of a daycare.

These are all very good things.

But in the run up to this decision, several things became apparent to me all at once. The most important of these is that a life not devoted to making the lives of others better is a life well wasted. We are living during an important inflection point in American history, and possibly global history, and we are told constantly that the best way to survive this moment is to protect ourselves and those like us. The rich rally around each other. Unions stage protests. Talk about taxes, taxes, taxes! I don't agree with this. There is more than enough money, time, charity, optimism, and health to go around, and I refuse to spend anymore of my life devoted to wasting those things so that I can be happy to the detriment of others.

So, think of the following as a "What I Did Over Summer Vacation" essay, only looking ahead, instead of back. I will be using my temporary-to-permanent vacation from corporate hustling to focus on a variety of inter-related projects, and I'll keep doing these things as long as I can.

1. I've started a publishing company called Shire Reckoning Publishing House that will be doing three things: 1.) overseeing the administration of a literature contest for young writers and publishing the yearly anthology from this contest (more about that in a second); 2.) publishing the work of other people; 3.) possibly publishing my own work (though this kinda gives me the heebie-jeebies, honestly), and overseeing the publishing of my various music projects over the years.

2. Running an online literature magazine called Dog Eat Crow Magazine
that will focus exclusively on publishing the work of young writers (14-20 years old). Naturally this works in tandem with the writing contest and the work of Shire Reckoning. I have an eye for publishing quarterly or semi-annual anthologies of this work starting in late 2013 or early 2014.

3. This is the one I'm most excited about. I will be administering a literature contest for young writers called Best Young Writers
. It's the chance for young writers to win $1000 (1st place), $400 (2nd place), or $100 (3rd place) as well as the chance to see their writing in print in a variety of places and formats. The long view for this project is that, working with Dog Eat Crow Magazine, Best Young Writers will help foster a vibrant online community for young writers to get inspired, help each other, and receive good criticism. Publishing is a brutal world and I think that young writers deserve a chance to flourish without competing in the blood sport of adult publishing.

All of these things are just a first step in my ultimate goal of setting up an investment holding company for investing in other projects dear to my heart, like starting a development company that specializes in zero-to-low carbon footprint, pedestrian-centric town centers, and a private equity fund for failing cities. That I don't have even .0001% of the scratch to get any of these things started just means I have a lot of work to do. You have to work hard in order to make the world the type of place you want your kids to live in. These are my first steps. I hope that, if any of these projects sound interesting to you, you'll join me, because I'm gonna need help. For sure. There's plenty to do.

Email me if you're interested, or have any questions at