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Alice Won

So I got some bad news before I go to sleep. I’m pushing the release date to Alice Won back to December 1st. Things are happening this month that are going to make me move and I want to make sure that I take care of Kenzie before I release this. She really killed it, as you’re about to see. I’m covering my bases and making sure good things happen.

The good news? It’s finished.

Alice Won Cover
Alice is playing Croquet in the Underworld

Alice Won is written by yours truly, and is illustrated by the great Kenzie Carr and it will be coming your way Dec 1st, 2021. I’m proud of this book and I can’t wait for you guys to read it. Stay tuned. The order link is coming up shortly.

Got a magazine article to finish. Also, another cool announcement is due soon. Next blog will be out this week.

Updated: You can order the book now by clicking on the link here. I promise it’ll be worth the wait.

Episode 776: Just Joshing Episode 776: Patti Shales Lefkos Just Joshing

#PattiShalesLefkos #Memoirs #BooktubeAfter doing this interview, I am convinced Patti Shales Lefkos might be the toughest woman I know. We talk about her memoir Grounded by Granite It's a fascinating look into Patti's life, and we talk about the lessons learned, and perhaps neatest of all, the perspective of this book, honoring what Patti felt at the time and comparing it to now. I really dig it when Patti shows up on the podcast. This conversation was awesome. Patti Shales LefkosWebsiteFacebookSponsorsJE TaylorCome alive and head into the worlds and wonders of author JE Taylor. JE's books and stories will whisk you away to other worlds filled with magic, fantasy and romance. In the darkest corridors and nightmares where dragons, vampires or witches roam, you will discover those wonders and more. JE Taylor – Face your nightmares and find your freedom. Part Time Comixs Kickstarter – Featuring two anthologies with stories from the town of springfield, and stories inspired by Magic the Gathering, including a short story and an illustration by yours truly. Check it out. ServicesAdvertising Services – Let me create your advertising for your next book or campaign. If you're a creative wondering how to create your advertising for your next project, I can create video, audio, written and graphics. Let me help you get your story, and your best story, out there.Available Now:Alice Won? – Available now. Alice escaped the asylum and pursues the Queen of Hearts to the Greek Labyrinth in the underworld, there she must engage in a game of croquet unlike any other, against Jason of the Argonauts. Illustrated by Kenzie Carr, written by yours truly, come to wonderland Dec. 1st, where the real games begin.Support And Subscribe:Buy my MerchBuy Me A CoffeeNewsletterPatreonTwitchYoutube
  1. Episode 776: Just Joshing Episode 776: Patti Shales Lefkos
  2. Episode 775: Just Joshing Episode 775: Joshua Harms
  3. Episode 774: Just Joshing Episode 774: Circa Arcana
  4. Episode 773: Just Joshing Episode 773: Nicholas Larue
  5. Episode 772: Just Joshing Episode 772: Heather Ashbury

Play To Win

In May, 2009 I came to Calgary with nothing. I had lost everything from my sojourn into Arizona. My life as I knew it had come to an end. I had tried with what I knew, and I had failed, miserably. I had survived to date, the biggest trial of my life, and I was miserable, and I was looking to rebuild. Calgary treated me well in that journey to recovery. I found a life I was missing and I grew and learned so much.

Until I had done what I felt I could accomplish in the city the first time. It was time to leave. I decided to head to Vancouver. I had plans to enter the movie business. My plans got derailed again. All of our plans, to be honest. No one can plan for a pandemic, and I ended up back in Windsor, Ontario Canada. There, I started to freelance. I learned a lot.

Fast forward to May 3rd, 2022 and I’m back in the city. In some ways in a similar situation. I’m at the bottom again. Kind of. I’m coming in with…nothing. Well, almost nothing. For two years I’ve wandered in the pandemic. I’ve had nothing but a support system helping me get to the next phase of my creative career.

Even what I’m doing right this minute feels very much like the beginning of the last journey. Next week I’m not sure where I’ll be yet. Wandering into many different directions is interesting. In some ways I feel like I’ve gone nowhere.

But I have gone everywhere. And that is the difference

I’ve learned so much in the last two years as a freelancer. My site here has grown tremendously. I’ve written things for magazines, comics, I’ve released three books in the last two years, and will be releasing more.

Beyond my professional aspirations, I’m amazed at the people in my life. Yesterday I was chatting to a friend, who animates for Marvel Studios. We talked shop, and we talked chasing our dreams. I’m incredibly blessed with the people I have met on the journey. I’m working on my first major client for my advertising services. Right now reading her works and listening to the Greatest Showman soundtrack.

My assassin is currently rescuing a girl she has a crush on she shouldn’t in a forthcoming novel, and I’m drawing a glitter dragon. My creative career is rocketing.

And, I’m determined. The next six months may not look pretty. It won’t be easy. But I’m at the door. I’m going to walk into the future I have worked hard to create. And here? I can make the most difference.

So Calgary, I’m back. I missed you. It will be like old times in some ways. In others, it will be a new beginning.

Let’s do this.

Nostalgia. Magical place for me. Not the same though

This isn’t just a circle, it’s a new path. I’m determined to succeed. I am succeeding. I will succeed.

Episode 776: Just Joshing Episode 776: Patti Shales Lefkos Just Joshing

#PattiShalesLefkos #Memoirs #BooktubeAfter doing this interview, I am convinced Patti Shales Lefkos might be the toughest woman I know. We talk about her memoir Grounded by Granite It's a fascinating look into Patti's life, and we talk about the lessons learned, and perhaps neatest of all, the perspective of this book, honoring what Patti felt at the time and comparing it to now. I really dig it when Patti shows up on the podcast. This conversation was awesome. Patti Shales LefkosWebsiteFacebookSponsorsJE TaylorCome alive and head into the worlds and wonders of author JE Taylor. JE's books and stories will whisk you away to other worlds filled with magic, fantasy and romance. In the darkest corridors and nightmares where dragons, vampires or witches roam, you will discover those wonders and more. JE Taylor – Face your nightmares and find your freedom. Part Time Comixs Kickstarter – Featuring two anthologies with stories from the town of springfield, and stories inspired by Magic the Gathering, including a short story and an illustration by yours truly. Check it out. ServicesAdvertising Services – Let me create your advertising for your next book or campaign. If you're a creative wondering how to create your advertising for your next project, I can create video, audio, written and graphics. Let me help you get your story, and your best story, out there.Available Now:Alice Won? – Available now. Alice escaped the asylum and pursues the Queen of Hearts to the Greek Labyrinth in the underworld, there she must engage in a game of croquet unlike any other, against Jason of the Argonauts. Illustrated by Kenzie Carr, written by yours truly, come to wonderland Dec. 1st, where the real games begin.Support And Subscribe:Buy my MerchBuy Me A CoffeeNewsletterPatreonTwitchYoutube
  1. Episode 776: Just Joshing Episode 776: Patti Shales Lefkos
  2. Episode 775: Just Joshing Episode 775: Joshua Harms
  3. Episode 774: Just Joshing Episode 774: Circa Arcana
  4. Episode 773: Just Joshing Episode 773: Nicholas Larue
  5. Episode 772: Just Joshing Episode 772: Heather Ashbury

Fight For Your Worth

You don't need anyone to tell you what you're worth. You're priceless.
I know my worth. How about you?

Avoiding the Trap of Free Sponsorship

This week worth in art came up a lot. I’m about to look for a part time job. It’s kind of cool to be at that point with your creativity that you can get by working at Wendy’s if it comes down to it. I’m cool I’m at that point, and hope to jump forward in the next few months with my advertising biz, but I digress.

What I’m here to talk about is an incident with yours truly and two conversations I’ve had on my twitch this week.

Let’s start with me. About a week and a half ago a marketing/pr company approached me to interview their clients for my podcast. I’m always open to more content, and am open to interviewing anybody. But then they asked me to put out a logo for the show. Now once that happened, we entered into sponsorship. When I pointed out this little thing, the company offered to compensate me by sharing my logo on their webpage.

I don’t do anything like that for exposure. I don’t need to. So I looked the company up, asked some questions to some of their former clients, and then proceeded to write up a proposal. Keep in mind I have relationships with pubilc relations companies and people in a variety of industries. I have deals in place with them as well. I offered that company two proposals. One of them with the logo, and one like I have with the public relations companies.

They said no to both, in the most elaborate, nonsensical way possible. I laughed at it. Some people would have felt pressure to say yes, but I don’t. If something doesn’t feel right to me, I don’t do it. I was rewarded with that trust in my gut feeling with their response. The fact that they said no was more damaging to their clients than me, and showed me they were in it for themselves. I don’t want to work with PR firms like that. Kind of defeats the whole point.

The Self Doubt of Nicholas Larue

Nicholas Larue joined the podcast earlier. Talking to as many authors and creatives as I do, I realize how awkward and pretentious it can sound to talk about yourself in a positive light. Now, Nicholas was on a Nyquil high a little bit, but we talked about those fears and insecurities. Nick has carved an amazing niche for himself prior to becoming an author, and wasn’t taking advantage of it. I don’t know too many people with over 100k followers on twitter, but Nick did it, and wasn’t using it.

In our talk I pointed out to him that they are still following him in spite of him not doing that anymore. It wasn’t the work that they followed. It was him.

He needed to embrace that the work he had done prior had made an impact on so many. While I understand his need to brush off into new ground, he had up until this point, wasted his biggest resource in his newest venture.

On a personal note, I love this chat. We talk about publishing and what often is expected from writers as opposed to what works. I enjoyed it a lot. Check out the twitch, or wait about a week before it shows up on the audio


Joshua Harms Rocks

This above title is completely true. Joshua Harms does rock. I had him on the podcast tonight and we talked about him launching his guitars this weekend.

We talked about the price points with them. The kind of work Josh does is phenomenal. I had the pleasure of listening to him play his guitars for about thirty minutes of the show. It was incredible to watch him work. Again, the issue of worth came up.

He wasn’t confident about what he was doing until he met someone he looked up to that made guitars themselves. They told him that his work was amazing, which knowing Josh, is absolutely true.

This is something all artists struggle with. Freelancing taught me early that price point is important. Price points need to be set at a certain rate in order for clients and people to respect your work. It’s the way of the world. The things that cost us nothing we have no real value for. It’s always been this way.

So when you set a price point on a good or service, you have to ask yourself a whole bunch of questions. One of them is who is the audience you are targeting? Your price is going to accomplish two things. It’s going to filter out people away from your service. That’s not always a bad thing. If you charge too little, the people that you will find will not value you. And over time you will come to despise what you love doing.

I work too hard in this craft not to love it. You need love to discipline yourself to do things. Without that love, you will not find the strength to do it. So I refuse to deal with people who make me feel this way.

It also protects you in another way. If you price yourself right, the people that pay for it will value you. They will expect good work and trust you to do it. As long as you don’t screw that up, it will be a more pleasant experience.

Finding that worth is one of the hardest things to do as a creative. Just remember, you love what you do. You have spent time, effort and energy crafting a great tale, or comic, or music, or whatever. Do not let yourself be sold short for that time to master your craft. You are worth it.

My Newsletter

So this blog? Gets released early in my newsletter. I release all kinds of goodies like this in the newsletter ahead of time. I’ll be advertising my own services of course. But I’ll also show off drawings, writings, and other musings. If you like what I say, and want it a touch earlier, sign up.

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Episode 776: Just Joshing Episode 776: Patti Shales Lefkos Just Joshing

#PattiShalesLefkos #Memoirs #BooktubeAfter doing this interview, I am convinced Patti Shales Lefkos might be the toughest woman I know. We talk about her memoir Grounded by Granite It's a fascinating look into Patti's life, and we talk about the lessons learned, and perhaps neatest of all, the perspective of this book, honoring what Patti felt at the time and comparing it to now. I really dig it when Patti shows up on the podcast. This conversation was awesome. Patti Shales LefkosWebsiteFacebookSponsorsJE TaylorCome alive and head into the worlds and wonders of author JE Taylor. JE's books and stories will whisk you away to other worlds filled with magic, fantasy and romance. In the darkest corridors and nightmares where dragons, vampires or witches roam, you will discover those wonders and more. JE Taylor – Face your nightmares and find your freedom. Part Time Comixs Kickstarter – Featuring two anthologies with stories from the town of springfield, and stories inspired by Magic the Gathering, including a short story and an illustration by yours truly. Check it out. ServicesAdvertising Services – Let me create your advertising for your next book or campaign. If you're a creative wondering how to create your advertising for your next project, I can create video, audio, written and graphics. Let me help you get your story, and your best story, out there.Available Now:Alice Won? – Available now. Alice escaped the asylum and pursues the Queen of Hearts to the Greek Labyrinth in the underworld, there she must engage in a game of croquet unlike any other, against Jason of the Argonauts. Illustrated by Kenzie Carr, written by yours truly, come to wonderland Dec. 1st, where the real games begin.Support And Subscribe:Buy my MerchBuy Me A CoffeeNewsletterPatreonTwitchYoutube
  1. Episode 776: Just Joshing Episode 776: Patti Shales Lefkos
  2. Episode 775: Just Joshing Episode 775: Joshua Harms
  3. Episode 774: Just Joshing Episode 774: Circa Arcana
  4. Episode 773: Just Joshing Episode 773: Nicholas Larue
  5. Episode 772: Just Joshing Episode 772: Heather Ashbury

Tipping Points





It’s nearly at 2000…

So this week was absolutely crazy. To put things in perspective, I tend to average 400 – 600 downloads a week. On average that means I usually hit around or above 2000 plays and downloads on the podcast.

My grand total of plays and downloads this week was 1905. Holy. Crap. Only one day this week did I go less than 100 downloads, and one day I hit dang close to 600. This was unbelievable.

How did I do it?

Part of me wishes I had a tangible answer. I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. I didn’t use advertisements. I didn’t do anything but consistently put out content. Since November, 2020, I have been doing a podcast practically 4 to 5 days a week minus the Christmas holidays. I have just been putting content out on a regular basis, day in and out since.

As one of my friends puts it, tipping points are real. Sometimes you just put out enough content, and people realize you are there, and then they tell their friends. Someone went through the trouble of telling the world I existed. I’m very touched, but the honest truth is, I didn’t do nothing but put out content to the world. I am grateful.

What You Can Learn From Me

This may seem like a tricky question. If I did nothing out of the ordinary, what is there to take from me? The truth is, a lot of different things can be gleaned. I kept it simple. I made content, I released content. I released content in three key spots. My Twitch account, for starters. I added that little bit of scaling. On top of that, I worked very much just on being consistent. Content almost always happens exactly when it’s supposed to. I think my content is pretty good, and apparently so does a lot of people.

Before you know it, if you consistently put out a good product on a regular basis, people start to notice. Lots of people seem to be noticing now.

I don’t know if I hit 2000 downloads again right away. These kinds of numbers tend to start out as anomalies. I expect my numbers to come back down to earth a little bit. That said, I’m hoping I do find a few people that checked out my stuff to stick around for a bit, and before I know it, my numbers will get bigger.

And then suddenly hitting that mark will become the norm. Holy crap when that happens.

Perhaps the biggest thing is the simplest. Believe it is possible and follow through. Great things happen when you just go forward, and if you can believe that good things can happen, they usually do.

Let Me Advertise For You

I started an advertising page for creating microads for companies and creatives. I’m willing to promote everything I create, from my podcast to this blog, making content just like this. Or you can just have me make a video for you. I’m good with that too.

Motivation:

Pursue change, not perfection. We can always make the world better, but it will never be perfect. So move like the world. Always go forward.

I don’t believe in perfection. Perfection to me is nothing more than stillness. Stillness is something that never changes. I’m not sure I’d want a world where things just stood still. Instead, I pursue change. I can always be better. The world will be a different place tomorrow, and so will I. I can embrace those changes and become something more. And really, how wonderful is that?

Also with that attitude I’ve been able to draw. See below everyone. I can’t believe how good that Cassie Cage came off.

Stay inspired everyone.

Buy Alice Won Here
Cassie Cage For the win!

Kat Flannery Makes People Better

Kat is always learning. Love her attitude

So I met Kat Flannery a long time ago at When Words Collide. I interviewed her for the Just Joshing Podcast and we hit it off fairly well. I actually thought when we were being interviewed that Kat was one of my sister’s friends. She was that friendly, kind and just so chill. Her resume is super impressive. We’ve been friends ever since.

Last year towards the end of the year, Kat contacted me. I had done some work for CAPIC for the myconsultant.ca show, and had acquired some video skills. Kat contacted me to work on a project with her, and I was in.

Very few people pushed me like Kat did. She’s passionate, driven, and expects the very best from you and from herself. We crash coursed how to do animation in film. (For the record, animation in film is one of the hardest things to do from scratch.) It’s a commercial I’m proud of, and I wouldn’t have worked as hard or done as well, without her.

I appreciate people like that. People that push for the best they can are people that go for it. I understand why Kat is so successful. She is driven, she strives for the best in everything she does. Who cannot help but admire that?

So when I started my advertising idea, I needed that push. Who better to learn with than with Kat? And the results are what you see. If you listen to my podcasts, you hear the ad I created for her. If you go to my accounts, you’ll see this ad, and the other one at the bottom here. Same thing. She pushed me to make it better.

This is someone that you want to work with, and for. Passionate, knowledgeable and driven people are the best people to be around. They make anything exciting, and give you the confidence to push yourself farther. I’m eternally grateful for Kat for this.

So, if you want to find the best, go with Kat. Her website is here, and if you need someone to market your stuff, help you with your writing or create compelling content, I cannot recommend Kat enough. She’ll bring out the best in you.

Also, if you like great reads, check out her latest book, The Memory Bell.

The Memory Bell

As for anyone that wants to see their best story, I create micro-ads and other content for creatives to use on their platforms, not to mention you get to use mine, like here, to promote your stuff. If you are interested, click on my advertising services page. You’ll get content like this, and more.

She really does bring out the best in you.

Giving Glorious Metal Thanks

Episode 776: Just Joshing Episode 776: Patti Shales Lefkos Just Joshing

#PattiShalesLefkos #Memoirs #BooktubeAfter doing this interview, I am convinced Patti Shales Lefkos might be the toughest woman I know. We talk about her memoir Grounded by Granite It's a fascinating look into Patti's life, and we talk about the lessons learned, and perhaps neatest of all, the perspective of this book, honoring what Patti felt at the time and comparing it to now. I really dig it when Patti shows up on the podcast. This conversation was awesome. Patti Shales LefkosWebsiteFacebookSponsorsJE TaylorCome alive and head into the worlds and wonders of author JE Taylor. JE's books and stories will whisk you away to other worlds filled with magic, fantasy and romance. In the darkest corridors and nightmares where dragons, vampires or witches roam, you will discover those wonders and more. JE Taylor – Face your nightmares and find your freedom. Part Time Comixs Kickstarter – Featuring two anthologies with stories from the town of springfield, and stories inspired by Magic the Gathering, including a short story and an illustration by yours truly. Check it out. ServicesAdvertising Services – Let me create your advertising for your next book or campaign. If you're a creative wondering how to create your advertising for your next project, I can create video, audio, written and graphics. Let me help you get your story, and your best story, out there.Available Now:Alice Won? – Available now. Alice escaped the asylum and pursues the Queen of Hearts to the Greek Labyrinth in the underworld, there she must engage in a game of croquet unlike any other, against Jason of the Argonauts. Illustrated by Kenzie Carr, written by yours truly, come to wonderland Dec. 1st, where the real games begin.Support And Subscribe:Buy my MerchBuy Me A CoffeeNewsletterPatreonTwitchYoutube
  1. Episode 776: Just Joshing Episode 776: Patti Shales Lefkos
  2. Episode 775: Just Joshing Episode 775: Joshua Harms
  3. Episode 774: Just Joshing Episode 774: Circa Arcana
  4. Episode 773: Just Joshing Episode 773: Nicholas Larue
  5. Episode 772: Just Joshing Episode 772: Heather Ashbury

My Second Ever Thousand Download Week!

This is an unexpected long one. But I have two major things of announcement here. The first is this. I had over 1000 downloads for the second time ever this week, and my highest total ever so far. My podcast generally averages 4-600 downloads, but the upward trends have been incredible. I want to thank you all very much for the opportunity to let this brand grow. Seeing 4 figure downloads is nothing short of amazing. So I want to take this moment to thank you all.

I cleaned the computer after this shot.

Metal Weekend

I haven’t been to a great metal concert in over 3 years. Metal concerts are not quite like any other beast out there. Metal concerts require close contact, proximity, and a great way to eliminate all your aggressions. There are rules, but I never feel quite so refreshed after some great physicality. Good music, and good fun hasn’t been available for the longest time.

Until Now.

This was so much fun.

Lifestyle determines my deathstyle

The band Metallica had one of my favorite lyrics of all time. St. Anger isn’t a fantastic album, but the first song, Frantic, has one of my favorite lines every. “My lifestyle determines my deathstyle.” I like that. How we live is how we end, and yes, we will end.

Compared to most, the pandemic didn’t impact me the same way. I had already faced my own brushes with death and sickness. You can’t be as scared as something you’ve experienced before. You know where it goes.

I’m not here to tell you how you’re supposed to feel. But for me, life will always be risky and filled with chances to take. I rather headbang and scream into the night than be afraid of what’s next.

For me that’s reconnecting with people I haven’t seen in person for years. That started on Friday. Omnium Gatherum was the main band and they were incredible. I cannot recommend them enough. The two opening bands were pretty sweet too. My friend Jolty recommended me to check out the show and I’m glad I did.

Nothing like the beautiful feel of sore ribs, neck, and behind the knee (? I have no idea what I did there.) Loved the pain. I love being alive. I love living. And while what I did here isn’t for everyone, I’m sure you got your own things that make you come alive. Do them. Love them. Appreciate them.

Lifestyle determines deathstyle. Here’s my friend, the all amazing ms. Jolty below.

Jolty!

Pirate Metal

In keeping with the whole metal theme of the podcast, I should mention my latest episode in which I talk to the pirate metal band Crusade of Bards. Not only do you get the opportunity to listen to the amazing song “The Northern Passage” but you get an amazing conversation with the band about success and that the goals we have are never unrealistic. It’s all about what you’re willing to do to make it happen.

Take a listen.

Coming Soon

This blog is going to go through another upgrade. Starting next week, it’s not just going to be my content up there. Not exactly anyway. I’m working on creating advertising content for other creatives. My first client is being worked on as we speak. Next week, on the blog I’ll be premiering new content.

One last thing. Most of this content came from my newsletter first. To get this content ahead of everyone else, hit the button and add your email to the list. Am I going to sell you stuff? Yup. But I’m going to inspire you and stuff I drew.

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Brandon Sanderson And Disneyland

Before we begin, let’s get the obvious out of the way. I know it’s Brandon Sanderson. If you are going to start and end your understanding of what has happened on his kickstarter there, you are foolish. Yes, his fame has something to do with it, but have you really looked at his campaign? Do you understand the other things that made this brilliant?


The Disneyland Experience

I'm going to disneyland!
I’m going to Disneyland!


If you look at Brandon’s Tiers, you will note a lot of things. None of them are cheap, and none of them are just for anybody. Now why would he do this? There’s a very practical reason for it. Brandon Sanderson did not want just anybody to buy these books. One of the reasons for that is his fame. Could you imagine how many books he’d have to ship if this was available at a rate for anyone? He set his prices this high to filter somewhat.


What I think even he underestimated was the Disneyland effect. What is the Disneyland effect? It’s simple. Why does someone go to Disneyland? Nothing in the park is cheap. Most of the souvenirs you can buy for significantly less at your local Disney store. So why oh why are they much more expensive at the park? Because in one real sense the item doesn’t matter. You’re paying for the experience. You’re paying for the memories of being in this place, and whatever you buy there, whether it’s a goofy hat or a mug, or whatever t-shirt you overpaid for, you didn’t buy those things because they were cost efficient. You bought those things because you want to be reminded of the feelings and the enjoyment of that moment in time.


It’s not just Disneyland…movie theaters with their overpriced popcorn, bars with their overpriced beer, concerts with VIP passes. A lot of businesses use this model, because yes, there is an audience that can only afford what it affords. But there is also an audience that wants to be spoiled rotten. They have the money to burn, and want an experience they won’t forget. That audience is big and out there, and if you do have an experience that’s unique, you should cater to this audience to make it worth their while.


On top of that, you are crowdfunding. If anything can be taken from this particular result is that this is a unique campaign. Each of the four books are a mystery. You are paying for that year of surprise, wonder, and the fact that you know Brandon Sanderson delivers memorable products. What a treat. You get four mysterious novels written by Brandon Sanderson that will only be available through kickstarter delivered to your door. Isn’t that a one of a kind experience?


Artists often think of getting as many people as they can to read their stuff. Sometimes, it’s not about quantity of readers, but quality. If you decide that a few hundred can support your campaign, you can make some serious bank. Ask Disneyland. Ask your movie theatre. There are premium products like this out there, everywhere. And chances are, you have partaken in them in one form or another. Think of it, as great customer service.


This is an audience that a lot of creatives do not think about, and they should, at least a little. My next three books are going to be crowdfunded in some way or another. It may not be kickstarter. It may be something like Unbound or Indiegogo. I don’t know. Now do I expect to beat this campaign? Almost certainly not. But can I create unique content that is one of a kind that an audience will appreciate? Yes. And you can too.


What Serves You?


Is this a game changer for traditional publishing? Yes and No. I’m not going to proclaim the death of traditional publishing. It’s still going to be around. But a question that everyone should be asking is this. Why did Brandon Sanderson choose to do this instead of going through a more traditional publisher?


Brandon isn’t the first author to crowdfund and do well at it. I submit you all check out Russell Nohelty sometime. He’s done five figure campaigns with novels. It can be done, is being done and can be done by anyone.


That said, Kickstarter isn’t just a place to drop your project and just say here it is. It’s a community of people supporting or creating amazing products. Like newsletters, like podcasts, you have to build a bit of a following. And you can forget if you choose to go this path that you’ll be nominated for awards. But if you have a dedicated group of people that believe in you, you can carve out a nice niche here. And the thing is, it doesn’t need to be a big crowd. Can you get one hundred people to invest in your product? If the answer is yes, you can create something successful.


But as the title here suggests, the question of what serves you and what serves your project are questions you must ask yourself. Some genres benefit more from certain paths you choose than others. Publishing today has a myriad of options, and all of them can be quite beneficial to you. If the goal is just to find readers, the traditional path isn’t always best for your project. You need to have an honest gut check about what that is.


Finally, if you don’t like marketing, this path isn’t for you. Especially during campaigns, that is all you’re going to do, unless you have the money to pay for an advertising agency. But it is viable, and if you’re good at it, you can make more than an advance from most publishers. Movie deals aren’t even off the table this way anymore.


Why am I doing it? There’s a lot of space in this world. I want to create some unique experiences. For example, I want to release a board game with my Alice in Wonderland poetry series. I can’t do that traditionally. And I think I can build an audience that’s uniquely mine. And that ultimately, is what I care about. The potential is there. Wish me luck.


Beyond the potential of crowdfunding, if there is anything you can learn from this, is that you shouldn’t just be targeting a general audience. You got to think about putting together hardcovers, one of a kind performances and opportunities. Finally, creative service to your fans. Writing at the end of the day is a customer service industry. You are creating experiences for people to journey through. So what is the ideal one for the projects you have? Chances are there is an audience for it.


What serves?


Finally, if you feel more inclined to look at a lot of the publishing options out there, check out my conversation with Natasha Khullar Relph, bestselling author and journalist. And if you’re so inclined, check out her Unbound Campaign. It’s one of the most fascinating books I’ve seen in a long time.

Business

So this content right here? This originally appeared in my newsletter. I’m relaunching my newsletter right now. It’s in general my plan is to be very lazy. I’ll be posting mostly motivational stuff on a regular basis. I’m not going to write too many articles, but when I do, they’ll be there first. This article was my first article from the newsletter. If you want to get access to this content before anyone else, you can do so with the link provided.

I’ll even give away what’s my next article about. Ready?

See this?

my final episode on film

This. I’m planning on talking a little about the experience of making a show for a company. This is my final episode for the company and I want to talk about it. I’m pretty proud of what I accomplished with this show, and want to share that experience. It’ll be on the newsletter next week. So subscribe.

Alright. I got some other stuff to write. So that’s good. I’ll be adding a section about this show on my site shortly. In the meantime, I’ll be back with another blog in a couple of weeks. Or you can join the newsletter and get it next wednesday.

Episode 776: Just Joshing Episode 776: Patti Shales Lefkos Just Joshing

#PattiShalesLefkos #Memoirs #BooktubeAfter doing this interview, I am convinced Patti Shales Lefkos might be the toughest woman I know. We talk about her memoir Grounded by Granite It's a fascinating look into Patti's life, and we talk about the lessons learned, and perhaps neatest of all, the perspective of this book, honoring what Patti felt at the time and comparing it to now. I really dig it when Patti shows up on the podcast. This conversation was awesome. Patti Shales LefkosWebsiteFacebookSponsorsJE TaylorCome alive and head into the worlds and wonders of author JE Taylor. JE's books and stories will whisk you away to other worlds filled with magic, fantasy and romance. In the darkest corridors and nightmares where dragons, vampires or witches roam, you will discover those wonders and more. JE Taylor – Face your nightmares and find your freedom. Part Time Comixs Kickstarter – Featuring two anthologies with stories from the town of springfield, and stories inspired by Magic the Gathering, including a short story and an illustration by yours truly. Check it out. ServicesAdvertising Services – Let me create your advertising for your next book or campaign. If you're a creative wondering how to create your advertising for your next project, I can create video, audio, written and graphics. Let me help you get your story, and your best story, out there.Available Now:Alice Won? – Available now. Alice escaped the asylum and pursues the Queen of Hearts to the Greek Labyrinth in the underworld, there she must engage in a game of croquet unlike any other, against Jason of the Argonauts. Illustrated by Kenzie Carr, written by yours truly, come to wonderland Dec. 1st, where the real games begin.Support And Subscribe:Buy my MerchBuy Me A CoffeeNewsletterPatreonTwitchYoutube
  1. Episode 776: Just Joshing Episode 776: Patti Shales Lefkos
  2. Episode 775: Just Joshing Episode 775: Joshua Harms
  3. Episode 774: Just Joshing Episode 774: Circa Arcana
  4. Episode 773: Just Joshing Episode 773: Nicholas Larue
  5. Episode 772: Just Joshing Episode 772: Heather Ashbury

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My Goals for 2022

Welcome to 2022. I hope you’ve had a good year so far. I’m getting ready to really get rolling tomorrow. I’m disconnected from the web as soon as this entry at a blog. I got some personal goals, and some professional ones.

Let’s get personal.

My Personal Goals

I have three goals this year personally. The small goal is to read more books. I’m on bookbub now, and I intend to be a part of the community there. I’m nearly finished the first book of the year, and working on my second and third as well. I’m going to make it a point to review books. Hoping that I get more reviews for mine. By the way, if you are on bookbub, come say hi.

My second goal? Go on some dates, maybe find a relationship. I need to find someone as crazy as I am…or maybe an adult. We’ll see how it goes there. But I realize that at this point in life, I’d like someone in it, and I’m going to work hard on that. This sounds the vaguest, but I’ve been giving this a lot of thought the last few weeks.

Speaking of people, I’ve only managed to see a handful of my old friends in Calgary so far. This year I hope to rectify that some more.

My last goal is to get back into my own living space. I’ve enjoyed the last two years, but would like to see some of my stuff again, and have a space. I’ve been grateful for how things have worked out, and there’s even a chance my wanderings aren’t done yet. Not against that if it happens.

Beyond that, I’m going to be on social media a tad less this year. Don’t get me wrong I’ll be putting out regular content here, and a couple of other places. I’ll be experimenting with patreon again this year, but primarily it’ll be my blog and my newsletter. (more later on this this week.) But it hits me that facebook in particular while there are people I love, I will be taking a step back from interactivity. There will still be motivations, podcasts and announcements of my work, but beyond that, probably not so much. Less is more in some cases. I may do a whole post about it, but the cliff notes version is this: I’m tired about how polarizing social media is. I rather be there, deliver my message and get out, and interact with the people I give a damn about.

My Professional Goals

Three books this year. One of them is being drawn by me.

Holy Shit.

I can’t believe I wrote that sentence.

But it’s happening right now. Kind of scary to realize this. If you had told me a year ago this is what I’d be doing I’d have called you crazy. Here I am, drawing a book that so far the betas have loved a lot. I’ve heard from 3 of them and they all say the same things. So I’m pretty confident in the next release. It’s called Lights Out, and it’s a little love letter to Ray Bradbury. I’ll have more on that in March.

The book after is a new milestone. I get to work with someone I’ve wanted to work with for over a year. This is the perfect project for us both, and we are definitely going to be busy. I’m looking at some unexpected research this month and hope to finish the draft of it by March.

Project number three will be the sequel to Alice Zero and Alice Won. Alice is going to be a big part of my plans in the second half of the year. I’ll be doing my first crowd funding campaign. Alice Zero and Won will be made into physical books, but that’s not all. I’ve had a board game in my head for a couple of years and I’m ready to do it. It’ll probably be late summer, or late fall. But stuff is happening.

Podcast/Video Goals

So the podcast resumes a normal streaming schedule starting January 6th. The audio podcast will resume its normal release schedule January 17th. In the meantime the audio schedule will be three episodes a week until then.

I’m currently doing two shows with two different clients. The myculture.ca show, which resumes January 13th.

last episode of 2021.

I’ve finished the pilot for another show, and that one will be airing regularly starting in February or March. (Stay tuned for that one.) It turns out I’m quite good at doing video. My very next blog and first newsletter this year will be talking about the art of making a good blooper video. Point is, I’m suddenly creating shows and getting paid for them on a regular basis.

I’ve also done things like commercials, animations and more. If you want to get a hint of the services I’m providing, check out my Broadcast page, to get an idea of what I’m doing. I’ve done work on quite a few shows, and am always open to do more.

That is the service I feel really comfortable providing. I love creating a concept that works and I can do a variety of different shows. I seem to be doing educational shows of various types, and enjoy the process of making them click.

As for my podcast, it continues to grow. I already have had nearly 300 downloads in two days this year. Once upon a time that number would have been unthinkable. That’s a regular occurrence now. I’m grateful of this, but still want to reach more people. Both on the audio and on the Twitch. I’m one follower away from one hundred on the twitch platform. Hoping to continue the growth on both.

I also enjoy voiceovers. Maybe I’ll be actively looking for more voicework. That one is a nice thing, and as you can see, this list is impressive as heck. This is my plan for a 2022.

I’m letting nothing stop me. I’m going to be doing things my way, and I promise that this year will be an amazing one for me. I wish you the same success.

My Top Four

These were my top four podcasts. It’s not always what is said, but what is felt. This list was everything I like. I learned stuff, I laughed, and I felt. And these were the best of a very amazing here.

Number One. Jenn is the most successful person I know.
Kelsey is uber impressive
52 times, I made Nikki Nash Laugh
I learned a ton on this one on how to look at myself.

Episode 776: Just Joshing Episode 776: Patti Shales Lefkos Just Joshing

#PattiShalesLefkos #Memoirs #BooktubeAfter doing this interview, I am convinced Patti Shales Lefkos might be the toughest woman I know. We talk about her memoir Grounded by Granite It's a fascinating look into Patti's life, and we talk about the lessons learned, and perhaps neatest of all, the perspective of this book, honoring what Patti felt at the time and comparing it to now. I really dig it when Patti shows up on the podcast. This conversation was awesome. Patti Shales LefkosWebsiteFacebookSponsorsJE TaylorCome alive and head into the worlds and wonders of author JE Taylor. JE's books and stories will whisk you away to other worlds filled with magic, fantasy and romance. In the darkest corridors and nightmares where dragons, vampires or witches roam, you will discover those wonders and more. JE Taylor – Face your nightmares and find your freedom. Part Time Comixs Kickstarter – Featuring two anthologies with stories from the town of springfield, and stories inspired by Magic the Gathering, including a short story and an illustration by yours truly. Check it out. ServicesAdvertising Services – Let me create your advertising for your next book or campaign. If you're a creative wondering how to create your advertising for your next project, I can create video, audio, written and graphics. Let me help you get your story, and your best story, out there.Available Now:Alice Won? – Available now. Alice escaped the asylum and pursues the Queen of Hearts to the Greek Labyrinth in the underworld, there she must engage in a game of croquet unlike any other, against Jason of the Argonauts. Illustrated by Kenzie Carr, written by yours truly, come to wonderland Dec. 1st, where the real games begin.Support And Subscribe:Buy my MerchBuy Me A CoffeeNewsletterPatreonTwitchYoutube
  1. Episode 776: Just Joshing Episode 776: Patti Shales Lefkos
  2. Episode 775: Just Joshing Episode 775: Joshua Harms
  3. Episode 774: Just Joshing Episode 774: Circa Arcana
  4. Episode 773: Just Joshing Episode 773: Nicholas Larue
  5. Episode 772: Just Joshing Episode 772: Heather Ashbury

The Biggest Lessons of 2021 – The Freelancer Credo

Crap, I still got some work to do for 2021. I got a blog to deliver, and a poem, and a drawing. If you were to tell me I would be doing all these things and more (I do videos and podcasts too, as you’ll see.)

But first, let me welcome you to 2022. Hopefully you are not too hungover.

So many lessons came from 2021 for me. I talked about what I accomplished. Now I’m going to talk about some of my failures, and I want to talk about my drawings.

Nikki Nash.
Nikki Nash

As you can see, I’ve gotten a lot better at this drawing stuff. So much better in fact, that today when you read this, I’ll be drawing work for my seventh book release, the one and done novel/novella Lights Out, my homage to Ray Bradbury. As we speak, beta readers are reading the book, and I’ve already gotten some great feedback. I’m hoping this week to get a little more as I put together the pages of the book.

I’m scared to death.

Part of me doesn’t want to do this. I’ve never done anything like this before. I need to do this. Why? Because I have goals. I’ve always been a fan of comics. While I’m not sure I’m going to ever do one, I’m going to be doing illustrations in my work, and sometimes I’m the one that’s going to do it.

That is vague. Here is me being specific. I want to keep telling stories in as many different ways as I can, that is me. Drawing has become more and more a part of my life in the last year. I’ve been evolving my style. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I do have a style, and it’s growing and evolving.

Agent Twilight of Spy X Family. Proud of this one.
A Ghoulish Agent Twilight

My career path has taught me three valuable lessons I want to share with you fellow creatives and artists. If you want you work to be noticed, this piece of advice will help.

What Do You Stand For

This one might be the most important one. Perhaps the biggest personal and freelance lesson that I can use to make more money as a creative than I ever have is this: The more committed I am to what I believe, the more I find people who believe like I do. The more specific I am in the pursuit of truth, the more I find people pursuing the same truths.

The biggest mistake a lot of artists make is trying to please everybody. While we all want to be loved, this tactic is a mistake. It’s much better to be open about what you believe and stand firm in it, whatever the popular opinion of the day is.

By taking the stands you do, you filter out people in your life that don’t stand for the same things. Honesty, that’s okay. It’s better to do that than to try and be something you are not. I said this on the air on one of the shows I was on today, but I rather take chances on the stories I want to tell and fail to reach people, than be something I hate that is stuck doing that very thing that is repulsive. That’s a hell Sir Arthur Conan Doyle went through. He hated Sherlock Holmes – especially after he brought him back. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.

In my stories, my podcasts, my broadcasts, I’m telling some authentic aspect of myself. That’s the part that makes me, me. Some are going to love it. Some are going to hate it. No one is going to be neutral about it. I’d love to be loved by everyone, but the truth is, that’s not going to happen. Someone is going to have the nerve to disagree with me. I mean, how dare they…or something.

I want people who love what I say. I want people to hate what I say. I don’t want people to not care. This stuff will get me sales.

Believe in Your Worth

This I truly believe is the hardest thing for any freelancer to wrap their head around. That self belief is going to be what pulls your forward. Anger, Passion, Tears, and even Sacrifice isn’t going to get you to climb the ladder. That self belief is. Without it, you have nothing. You need to believe in what you’re doing.

Because the moment you do that, that is the moment that you are going to look seriously about how to make it happen. One of the scary things about freelancing is wondering when that next pay check is coming. You have to believe in that abundance that is out there to find it, and most important, as a freelancer, you have to believe that you are worthy of getting it. That confidence opens doors, not just with jobs but with everyone.

What Do You Offer/What Do You Want To Offer

It took me about six months to realize that my big mouth would be the key to my success. Who knew that this would be the secret? This took me six months. I wish I had been smarter sooner, but it’s part of the learning process.

One of the hardest things that I had to do was explore what services I want to offer. For me, it’s broadcasting, podcasting, video, writing and drawing. I can make a show better just by watching it. I’ve produced three shows, not including my own, and can put together video packages. I’ve done blooper presentations, commercials, and put together regularly episodic content on a consistent basis.

It didn’t occur to me that I already had a niche. Once I realized it, I geared what I was doing in that model and have seen success in that regard. I understand the importance of building a platform where your voice can be heard and I do it on a regular basis. I can help others, as I know what I’m doing when I did it for myself.

In the meantime I tried hosting, audiobooks, voiceovers, sponsorships, and more. My life has often told me that the things you are doing are the things that you are already doing. So take a moment and look at the stuff you like to do. You can make money doing all of it.

Anya from Spy X Family. Like this one a lot.
I really dig Anya of Spy X Family

Keep on Yelling

So this is the hardest part for a lot of artists. Lots of places will tell you the importance of craft, and while that part of it is never truly done. You must constantly be willing to learn and experiment in that craft you pursue. But in truth, you got to let people know you are out there.

That terrifies a lot of creatives. Some would tell you that the work should stand out on its own. The problem is, there is a lot of good to great work out there, a lot of audiences, and a lot of people no longer in one concentrated place. You need to find your people, and that can be tricky to do. You take that first single step when you say “Here I am.”

You have to do this on some level. You cannot help it. Some services are in high demand (see: agents) and there are ways to pursue them, but for those establishing our own services, you have to admit they are there.

I want to put my mission statement. I have interviewed hundreds of writers and artists, and people in general. If I were to put it bluntly, most of us do not understand our best lights. I want to help people find that, whatever they are doing, so that they can scream and shout to the highest that their work is amazing.

Repeat

Cover for Alice Won?
Alice Won? Still available

So here I am constantly posting about my books, my podcasts, my services. Advertising has to be a constant. People have to be able to put their work out there and constantly say here I am, over and over and over again.

It’s simple, and sometimes silent. Create something, post about it, repeat. Over and over and over again. You have to have a thick skin. One of the hardest things about doing books or anything, is that you have to convince people to care about what you’re doing, and offering something tangible that people can gravitate towards. In other words, how to make people give a crap about it. Be loud, be enthusiastic, believe it.

Finally…

Keep Doing Stuff

Pretty self explanatory right? Keep making books, keep making content, keep getting better. Keep doing, and let the doors open when they will.

I got one more for 2022, but before I do that, here’s four more of my favorite conversations on my podcast this year. Five, Six, and Seven are right here.

Episode 776: Just Joshing Episode 776: Patti Shales Lefkos Just Joshing

#PattiShalesLefkos #Memoirs #BooktubeAfter doing this interview, I am convinced Patti Shales Lefkos might be the toughest woman I know. We talk about her memoir Grounded by Granite It's a fascinating look into Patti's life, and we talk about the lessons learned, and perhaps neatest of all, the perspective of this book, honoring what Patti felt at the time and comparing it to now. I really dig it when Patti shows up on the podcast. This conversation was awesome. Patti Shales LefkosWebsiteFacebookSponsorsJE TaylorCome alive and head into the worlds and wonders of author JE Taylor. JE's books and stories will whisk you away to other worlds filled with magic, fantasy and romance. In the darkest corridors and nightmares where dragons, vampires or witches roam, you will discover those wonders and more. JE Taylor – Face your nightmares and find your freedom. Part Time Comixs Kickstarter – Featuring two anthologies with stories from the town of springfield, and stories inspired by Magic the Gathering, including a short story and an illustration by yours truly. Check it out. ServicesAdvertising Services – Let me create your advertising for your next book or campaign. If you're a creative wondering how to create your advertising for your next project, I can create video, audio, written and graphics. Let me help you get your story, and your best story, out there.Available Now:Alice Won? – Available now. Alice escaped the asylum and pursues the Queen of Hearts to the Greek Labyrinth in the underworld, there she must engage in a game of croquet unlike any other, against Jason of the Argonauts. Illustrated by Kenzie Carr, written by yours truly, come to wonderland Dec. 1st, where the real games begin.Support And Subscribe:Buy my MerchBuy Me A CoffeeNewsletterPatreonTwitchYoutube
  1. Episode 776: Just Joshing Episode 776: Patti Shales Lefkos
  2. Episode 775: Just Joshing Episode 775: Joshua Harms
  3. Episode 774: Just Joshing Episode 774: Circa Arcana
  4. Episode 773: Just Joshing Episode 773: Nicholas Larue
  5. Episode 772: Just Joshing Episode 772: Heather Ashbury

Year in Review – I’m A Freelancer

So 2021 is near the end of the line. Let’s talk about the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Bad

I didn’t get to read as many books as I wanted to this year. I did read a few, but nowhere near as many as I want to. This week I’ll be adding at least a couple more to the list, but I only read about 20 books this year. Kathrin Hutson, JD Estrada, Mia Zephyr all did some great work this year. Comic wise, I love the books I’m reading, but I wish I could do more. That said, The Incantesi by Rich Perotta, Night Wolf by Rob Multari and Peerless by Kristopher S. Morron. I hope to make more time to read and I’m starting now. Fuck New Year’s Resolutions. I’m doing it now.

Also, in spite of my best efforts, the podcast hasn’t hit affiliate on twitch yet. I got followers, but no one is coming on the show yet and interacting enough. I have to work on that on my end a bit for sure, but it is the one goal that has eluded me that I’d like to remedy this year.

The Good

Let’s start with the writing. For starters, I’ve written and been published in a number of online publications including Writers Weekly, I’m Here With…, Author Magazine, and more. I’ve published 12 articles in 6 months which is solid numbers. And who knows? Lucky 13 might just be around the corner.

But the big thing is my latest release. My latest book came out. Alice Won? is currently out. I’m really proud of this one. I really think this particular style of poetry I write really stands out. No one is doing it, and it’s one of the things I want to talk about. I want to stand out. And books like this are how I do it. Check it out. Proud of it. You can check it out.

Speaking of Alice, the first book in the series, Alice Zero was nominated this year for the Elgin Award for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association.

Beyond that, the podcast is rolling. My Twitch account is approaching 100 followers. This year I have released over 200 episodes of the Just Joshing podcast. My listeners have jumped. My followers have increased and I want to thank each person that has taken the time to listen to the show. My top ten favorite interviews are going on right now, and the first three are going to be shared here.

#10. Learned a lot about Nydia and Hallmark
Love it when people are this surprisingly Awesome
Rodney Fyke is a deep dude, and he does a mean Dr. Seuss

I’m proud of the growth here, even if I didn’t achieve my goals. I got to interact with great creatives, and great people.

Speaking of the podcast, I did 235 episodes of the podcast inside of a single year. Something happened when I got to the summer of the year. My numbers went up. Jumped up dare I say. I regularly do 100 download days now. It’s not every day yet, but the numbers keep going up, not down. I even achieved my first ever 1000 download week. My numbers are climbing and rising. I did it. I broke episode 700 on the show, as well. That’s a heck of a lot of accomplishments. I’m regularly getting sponsors for the show, and am hoping to see more of that trend continue in the future.

My podcast also opened up the door for me to not only create shows but produce them as well. I produced Suzy Vadori’s Inspired Writing, which taught me an awful lot about Youtube, and show structure. When we get to our next season, I can’t wait to do some of the things I’ve learned.

Top 5 Signs is one of my favs.

But this isn’t the only show I’ve produced. I also produce the Myculture.ca show, hosting it with Sarah Ostapchuk, we educate people about immigration and what it takes to come to Canada. I do not only a lot of the stuff in front, but behind as well.

My Favorite Episode to date

It turns out I’m pretty good at putting together different shows. And it’s not the only video work I’ve done. I’ve put together voiceovers, video advertisements for clients and more. In short, I can do the Vlog/Show deal.

Finally, I created my first course. I teach you how to podcast and stuff for the Speculative Fiction Academy. You can view the course here. Proud of this little course. Here I teach you how to create a podcast, and think about how you want to create a show. I hope you guys check this one out.

I got some drawing stuff too, but I’m going to mention it in the next blog. It’s part of the goals for 2022, but I wanted to mention it here. I’ve gotten better at this art form, and I want to talk illustration goals next year.

What I Learned

I learned an awful lot this year. I can do a lot of different things. I’ve never imagined I would be doing so much broadcasting. I’ve put hundreds of hours into broadcasting and podcasting and I’m great at it. I don’t feel it a sign of overconfidence to say that. I’m comfortable interviewing all kinds of people, I can do different kinds of shows within my show, and I feel very comfortable putting an episode of any kind of show you can imagine on the screen. That is a service and skills few have, and I intend to take advantage of this.

The second thing I learned is that I can get accolades on my own. Even though I didn’t win the Elgin, I realized that my work was good enough to be nominated without any real help from a publisher. It made me re-evaluate the whole concept of my goals writing here. Also, it was neat to be nominated for my writing this year. I don’t mind being known as a podcaster, but I think people forget sometimes that I am a writer too. This was a nice reminder of what I can do.

Finally, I’m a freelancer. I was doing temp work from time to time earlier in the year. I was let go of a job of mine for no real reason. I’m serious. I showed up, I did what I was asked, and still let go. I kind of took it as a sign that I’m not meant to work for anyone. In fact, I haven’t looked back.

This was the year I fully committed to believing in myself. Freelancing is very much a head game. The key is to believe that you have value to the world. In light of my accomplishments this year, I have no choice.

I am worth something, and I have things to offer. I believe that, and will continue to deliver.

I hope you feel the same way about yourself. You have something to offer and in this world there is an opportunity to create yourself in any fashion. Up here? That’s who I am and what I wanted to accomplish. I didn’t do everything, but I did a lot. I hope your year is as fruitful.

Episode 776: Just Joshing Episode 776: Patti Shales Lefkos Just Joshing

#PattiShalesLefkos #Memoirs #BooktubeAfter doing this interview, I am convinced Patti Shales Lefkos might be the toughest woman I know. We talk about her memoir Grounded by Granite It's a fascinating look into Patti's life, and we talk about the lessons learned, and perhaps neatest of all, the perspective of this book, honoring what Patti felt at the time and comparing it to now. I really dig it when Patti shows up on the podcast. This conversation was awesome. Patti Shales LefkosWebsiteFacebookSponsorsJE TaylorCome alive and head into the worlds and wonders of author JE Taylor. JE's books and stories will whisk you away to other worlds filled with magic, fantasy and romance. In the darkest corridors and nightmares where dragons, vampires or witches roam, you will discover those wonders and more. JE Taylor – Face your nightmares and find your freedom. Part Time Comixs Kickstarter – Featuring two anthologies with stories from the town of springfield, and stories inspired by Magic the Gathering, including a short story and an illustration by yours truly. Check it out. ServicesAdvertising Services – Let me create your advertising for your next book or campaign. If you're a creative wondering how to create your advertising for your next project, I can create video, audio, written and graphics. Let me help you get your story, and your best story, out there.Available Now:Alice Won? – Available now. Alice escaped the asylum and pursues the Queen of Hearts to the Greek Labyrinth in the underworld, there she must engage in a game of croquet unlike any other, against Jason of the Argonauts. Illustrated by Kenzie Carr, written by yours truly, come to wonderland Dec. 1st, where the real games begin.Support And Subscribe:Buy my MerchBuy Me A CoffeeNewsletterPatreonTwitchYoutube
  1. Episode 776: Just Joshing Episode 776: Patti Shales Lefkos
  2. Episode 775: Just Joshing Episode 775: Joshua Harms
  3. Episode 774: Just Joshing Episode 774: Circa Arcana
  4. Episode 773: Just Joshing Episode 773: Nicholas Larue
  5. Episode 772: Just Joshing Episode 772: Heather Ashbury

Creating A Show Within A Show

Just Joshing is not my only show anymore. For the last two months I’ve been hosting the my consultant show with Sarah Ostapchuk on Youtube. So this was this week’s episode:

The News Edition

Now I want to compare this with a more normal variation of the show.

the more standard version

Before we continue, give these episodes a looksee. You don’t need to watch the whole thing, but give it a minute or two for sure and you’ll see some noticeable differences. Don’t worry, the rest of the blog will be here when you’re done.

Finished? Good.

Let’s talk about putting together a show.

Understanding A Show’s Formula

Every show needs a formula to succeed. My podcast Just Joshing’s basic formula through the 700 episodes it’s been in existence at its core hasn’t changed. It’s evolved quite a bit, but the basic formula is the same. This show in comparison is still finding itself. That said, Sarah and I have constructed a fairly basic formula that works for every show.

What is the My Consultant show? It’s an education program. It highlights news, features, and interviews educating immigrants about coming to Canada. Within this context, we construct shows that inform, educate and lastly, make people feel welcome coming to Canada.

That’s the pitch of the show. From there, it’s about building it.

There are three things that determine your formula. The first is time. How long is your show going to be? Length targets different audiences. This show goes no longer than 15 minutes, but no less than 10. That’s the length of show we are doing. From there, it’s about filling the goals. The most regular two things we do on the show is the headline section, and the concepts in immigration section Sarah Ostapchuk does almost every week. I do features, and interviews depending on what is available.

The second is tone. The tone here is a balance between formal and inclusive. This isn’t the stiff professionalism of an average news show, but it’s still formal enough, (although there is room for a more comedic approach from time to time,) to feel like experts are talking to people seeking information.

Finally, what content needs to be placed out there? Reading the mandate of the show, news, features and interviews all fit into these categories. I’ve mentioned some of this above, but if you have those three things in mind, time, tone and content, you can make a show formula.

With all this in place, the show generally looks like this:

Introduction, Headlines, Concepts in Immigration, Variable feature, Outro

These five things are in almost every show. We plan the shows out a few days in advance, film them, edit them and they come out every thursday. Understanding all this, a week and a bit ago, we were hit with an unexpected problem.

News Are Filmed As They Are For A Reason

The problem in that week was that we had a lot of headlines to go through. So many, that there was enough content to do an episode just with headlines. That in itself wasn’t a problem. Shows like this would be bound to have headline heavy shows from time to time, so making the show be that focus shouldn’t pose a problem…right? Sarah wisely pointed out that how we normally do headlines would be very tough to engage the audience for a significant length of time.

She was right. Which meant that we had to come up with something different.

So if you look at what’s above, our formula was being reduced from five things to three things. Intro, Headlines, Outro. That’s it. So we can’t use any other features. How could we make headlines engaging.

When in doubt, steal from the best. I looked at a few news programs. I watched a few different ones from Sports programs to headline news. I have to say, and this will piss some people off when I say this, Fox is great at this. Say what you will at the content (and you should) but Fox puts on the presentation of some of the smartest shows on television. They know who they are, and they present it perfectly. You may not like it, but you know exactly who they are.

In the end though for information purposes I looked at the BBC. They also do some smart programming, and present the news in a very professional way. They aren’t as flashy as Fox, but there is a certain air of expertise and credibility watching their stuff. I get far less polarization with them.

What they both did well was that they focused on the person reading the headlines, and moving away to the whole group when it came to discussion. From there I thought about what we could do. We could create that visual dynamic. We can make this episode feel like a news brief. With this in mind the concept of the show and how it would play out came to my head.

Visuals Create Expectations

The last thing I hadn’t mentioned prior through this is the importance of visuals in presentation. The visual experience creates a degree of expectations from the audience. I dressed up a lot more for that episode than I normally do. There were reasons for this. I wanted the audience to take me and the show seriously. The tone suggested that level of professionalism.

I wanted the backgrounds to be different. I didn’t want this to be a normal show, and more important, I wanted the audience to realize without being need to be told that this episode would be different. You can give people information and make them realize and make the connections on their own. Nuance is important in any story you tell, and television or Youtube is no exception. By making the choices we made in how we filmed the show, we created an entirely different experience that both makes it feel like a different show, but also something the fits within the context of a different show.

Bend the Formula

It’s important to understand how your show is put together, but it’s also important not to keep static with the formula you’ve created. With Just Joshing, length of time has increased over the years. The idea of casual conversations with creatives hasn’t. I’ve added new shows like the drink and draw format. There’s a visual element that didn’t exist before, but it’s still fundamentally the same show.

My Culture is just getting started. We are in the first year and we’re still discovering new things about the show. Part of the job is seeing exactly what the show can and cannot do. Once you have a formula, you have to develop it. You have to experiment to see where it goes and how it gets there.

No show can do everything. Limitations are not shackles, they are call to action to let you expand your creativity. Having a box, it’s important to stretch the walls and see what shapes form in them. If you watch the two episodes above them, you can see that they different, but fundamentally the same.

Everything Else

I have a new book out. Check out the Alice Won? Page for more details. If you want to support me, that’s the best way to do it. Beyond that, I’ve had some writing come out in the last week.

I did two Christmas Flash Fiction stories on Regan W.H. Maccaulay’s Blog. My most recent release is the Flash Letters to Santa . In it, I highlight that depression is a big issue this time in the holidays. A man writes a letter to Santa, and gets a hefty response in return from Nicholas himself. I do hope 224 Hastings makes it…

My other story is a lot brighter. I do a retelling of Little Drummer Boy What I realized about this song is that it’s not just a one sided thing about the drummer boy giving out a present. Read it and get it. It’s a little happier than Letters to Santa. I like them both, and enjoyed the Flash Fiction aspect of it. I may do more of that next year.

My show did it’s 700th episode recently. You can watch my shows regularly on Twitch or listen to them. Listening wise, I’m at 692. In light of the holidays, I only have three streams left for the year. One interview and two Drink and Draws. I’ll be doing a best of for the remainder of the year. The audio schedule will be going down to three a week until I return properly on January 6th.

That’ll do it for this blog. I got a couple more before the year is out. Hopefully one more this week on the 23rd, and one last one on Dec. 30th. Until then, be good. Or something.

Episode 776: Just Joshing Episode 776: Patti Shales Lefkos Just Joshing

#PattiShalesLefkos #Memoirs #BooktubeAfter doing this interview, I am convinced Patti Shales Lefkos might be the toughest woman I know. We talk about her memoir Grounded by Granite It's a fascinating look into Patti's life, and we talk about the lessons learned, and perhaps neatest of all, the perspective of this book, honoring what Patti felt at the time and comparing it to now. I really dig it when Patti shows up on the podcast. This conversation was awesome. Patti Shales LefkosWebsiteFacebookSponsorsJE TaylorCome alive and head into the worlds and wonders of author JE Taylor. JE's books and stories will whisk you away to other worlds filled with magic, fantasy and romance. In the darkest corridors and nightmares where dragons, vampires or witches roam, you will discover those wonders and more. JE Taylor – Face your nightmares and find your freedom. Part Time Comixs Kickstarter – Featuring two anthologies with stories from the town of springfield, and stories inspired by Magic the Gathering, including a short story and an illustration by yours truly. Check it out. ServicesAdvertising Services – Let me create your advertising for your next book or campaign. If you're a creative wondering how to create your advertising for your next project, I can create video, audio, written and graphics. Let me help you get your story, and your best story, out there.Available Now:Alice Won? – Available now. Alice escaped the asylum and pursues the Queen of Hearts to the Greek Labyrinth in the underworld, there she must engage in a game of croquet unlike any other, against Jason of the Argonauts. Illustrated by Kenzie Carr, written by yours truly, come to wonderland Dec. 1st, where the real games begin.Support And Subscribe:Buy my MerchBuy Me A CoffeeNewsletterPatreonTwitchYoutube
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