We need a Universal Basic Income (UBI).
To counter the inevitable the fuck we do from the people who loved their own suffering so much they delight in spreading it around: (a) we'd save money implementing a single program over the myriad of interacting programs that barely function today; (b) studies have shown the employment rate actually goes UP for anyone who isn't a stay-at-home parent or a student; (c) the crime rate goes down; (d) health improves; (e) the community benefits; what the (f) is wrong with you?
I've explained my take on how it would work before. Briefly, it would cover your costs of exactly two things: shelter and food. And the food isn't foie gras and truffles, but neither is it ramen and pocket lint. The shelter isn't the Ritz and neither is it a cardboard box. It goes to everyone, with a dollar for dollar tax clawback as your income rises above the threshold that covers food and shelter.
If you're still waffling, consider: all this would do is reset society's gross class imbalance to where it was in about 1960. We're not trying to create utopia here. We're trying to reclaim what was stolen from us.
Oh, adding to the above list of good reasons for a UBI: (Gee), I'd have a hell of an easier time making something not of myself, but of my modest skills.
While writing is probably the best and most marketable of my talents....that's not saying much. The kinds of things I'm most comfortable writing come at the end of a writer's career, not before the beginning; collections of essays and memoirs that only spark people's interest if they know the doofus writing them. I've written more than a few things I'm very proud of, and none of them really fit into any imaginable market. Maybe that's not true, but it feels that way.
Friends have suggested I acquire accounts on every social media service going, so I can share my original content to -- that part's unclear. Behold my new Instagram and Twitter accounts, where I replicate what already exists on Facebook so that the few people who have seen it in one place can see it in another? Audience, audience, anyone got an audience? After twelve years I still have fewer than 100 friends on Facebook; after a year of everything I've shared there being completely open to the entire world, I have the same 24 followers I had before. I still live with a secret dream that somebody will randomly read something I wrote and show it to a friend who shows it to another, who shows it to another and ten degrees down the line, "we'd like to publish this". I'm pretty sure this is the writer's equivalent of being struck by lightning while holding a clutch of winning tickets to different lotteries. But the alternative seems to be a neverending slushpile.
I see columns in the New York Times and the Washington Post that I know I can match. I'm sorry if that sounds cocky, but I feel it to be true. As I said before, I lack the credentials (and the money to obtain them) as well as the reputation (and the ability to enhance and amplify it). I feel like you have to be an extrovert's extrovert to be successful as a writer. You need to be persistently extroverted, not to mention incredibly thick skinned to handle all the you suck that you'll inevitably hear. It should be a lesson to me, every time some author is rejected eleventy squillion times before writing a best seller. I should learn from it that the gatekeepers are fallible. Instead I wonder how to tailor my writing to appeal to them, decide in doing so I will lose my own voice, and oh, yes, I'll take each and every rejection personally because how do you not? How do you hear you suck over and over again without agreeing?
I asked a couple of writer friends I know to look at a couple of pieces I wrote: never heard back, which of course means I suck so badly that they don't want to tell me. (Right?) This is where my mind still goes and it's pretty clear I need to work on that before I even start.
A while back I saw ads on Facebook for "FilthyRichWriter.com". I don't want to be filthy rich, but I would like to be able to call myself a writer, and so I looked at it. It looks plausible. It doesn't seem like a scam: it doesn't promise easy or quick; quite the reverse, actually. But the site is extensive and looks like it gives actual resources.
How it defines copywriting really speaks to me. It's about connection. You're connecting a person to a solution, which means making a connection with both the person and the solution and then bringing it all together.
Oh, do I see problems and solutions in the world. Oh, do I value connection and seek it everywhere.
I can do this. I don't know how, yet, but I can learn.
I'm about to hit crazy season at work. It's not so much the time commitment as the energy commitment I'm unwilling to give right now, because at the end of the kinds of shifts that are coming, I simply do not have the spoons. But I'm going to give this a shot, and I want people to hold me to this.