Welcome again to my little wholly independent corner of the writing, and therefore reading, world.
On this really sunny day here in Ireland, I re-read this illuminating interview with the amazing Margaret Randall and was compelled to share it with friends, readers, fellow writers, website visitors and (later) students.
In my view, the print books business here in Ireland often short-changes many of it’s customers or ‘real life readers‘ by really pushing and promoting that whole ’emerging’ and ‘up and coming’ writers paradigm, it feels like it may often be more about securing and promoting contracted (owned) talent than actually curating careers or offering genuine diversity to a reading public.
Current commercial strategies also sell these fixed agendas within an industry of cultural gatekeepers to the aspirants facing the very barriers to entry that industry erected. As I write here often, (or did for 20 years before the site got spammed out of existence) the book publishing and distribution industry is simply not ‘the writing life’ it is only (with a few rare and valuable exceptions) about commerce, money, and profit.
I don’t want to offer spoilers here to Margaret’s interview so the links here should be enough for now, suffice to say I will be including some of Margaret’s work in my up and coming playshop sessions and I will be asking participants to read this interview as part of our discussions around memoir and technology, and the contemporary writer’s online life.
Stuffafizing should be up and running soon.. thanks to those who have already signed up.
Thank you for your unsolicited confidential message xxxxxx,
Rather than simply delete your message, I thought it might also be ‘nice’ to respond to you personally here on linkedin first, before deciding whether to post my reply below publicly on my own timeline or elsewhere, as a kinda critique.
I’m sure at one point this whole thing sounded like a really good idea in that room, I can tease using scarcity and exclusivity appeals via simple (& cheap) personalized direct linkedin message, invite a broad cross section of connections and filter later using three (reinforcing) questions to build community via our promise of exclusive value, intimating that my actual bog standard value proposition is so really good it needs to be ‘secret’.
That’s an old 1960’s advertising trick but hey that was 60+ years ago..
I can call the initial linkedin message ‘a confidential message’, to set tone and general expectation to message recipients.
I then basically create a standard linkedin group to help form a community which we can later migrate to our own branded platform and then monetize.. we will have plenty of time to come up with better branding, simply: Secret… XXXXX XXXXX group… is initially cleaner.. until we get some additional creative talent on board..
We could later do a hot takes handbook on our success building the group. Group content can also be repurposed with our new branding.. it’s a digital playbook waiting to be complied..
We could use the hottakes handbook as clickbait reward for newsletter sign up, it can be one pillar of our broader content planning.. inbound strategy dev is underway.. what about an infographic ?
One central omission from your initial collateral and your thinking xxxxxx is that to many human beingsSecretscan be a damaging psychological phenomena.
Since before whispers were invented, secrets have caused suspicion, misunderstanding, disinformation, guilt, lack of trust, betrayal, in our current post truth age, where disinformation is causing unnecessary and major political, medical, and personal, difficulties for a whole range of people and societies globally, why would any genuine thinking person want to be involved with some cheap social media ‘secret’..
Why would anyone in their own proper mind be enticed to carry additional and unnecessary psychological weight ?
FOMO ? – STFU !
Does any ‘normal’ individual really want to receive a completely unsolicited ‘confidential message’ ?
In normal circumstances I would just delete both buckshot marketing message and the connection but with all the crap currently in our world, seeing this kinda stuff from a Harvard educated CMO, a consultant, is honestly disturbing.. I need to point this cheap trickery out.
I was blessed to bring three sons to adulthood, one of the main tenets of my parenting was to have no secrets, to advise my children that yes each person could and should have personal stuff that is their’s alone, and they correctly have the choice about what they share with others.. or what they don’t.. but never be forced to carry a secret for someone else.. anyone who would ask you to do that, really needs to look at their own motivations and expectations.. and the worth of that secret, before asking you for a reply..
That final bottom line (doorknob) NLP attempt in the message:
“And remember, it is our big secret 😏”
is simply infinitive wrong..
Having written the reply above to the message below, I decided to post it here for my regular readers instead rather than dignify the unsolicited message with any form of response, I chose to leave it unanswered… and deleted the connection who sent it.
BELOW the Text of the original Message with clear redaction so as to avoid unnecessary embarrassment. and below that again an image of my desktop with the message with lots of colorful redaction to protect other identities..
You have received a highly confidential message 🔒
I see, you have experience and expertise in the XXXXXX area, so I thought it would be nice to give you an invite to our Secret XXXXXX group.
As a member of our group, you will have full access to: •
•Fascinating interviews with XXXXXX experts
•Most recent XXXXXX news
•Quizzes, questionnaires and polls
•Discussions of pressing problems with XXXXXX leaders
•Funny XXXXXX jokes and memes
This offer will be valid for only some days, as we have a limited number of invitations.
If you want to be one of the lucky ones and get into our group, let me know about it, and I will send a short 3 question brief to make sure you can join.
And remember, it is our big secret 😏
I am starting to write a regular newsletter which is (hard to believe I know) more opinionated, considers more topics than presented here, in hopefully more detail with additional links of interest and references, that is if enough people sign up to it.. its about all sorts of stuff…. so I’ve called it:
If you want to make money writing, then write computer code.
If you wish to explore your humanity write poetry.
If you’d like to network in the writing world write short stories.
If you really want to destroy your writing soul, why not try crafting literary essays.
If you want to seek specific career advancement write academic material.
If you want to pursue your dreams write print novels.
If you want to connect, write journalism.
If you want to make enemies write reviews.
If you want to make films write screenplays.
If you want to make lingering mistakes write spiritual literature.
If you enjoy emotional purgatory write brand communications.
If you want to tackle social or societal issues write plays.
If you want to be helpful write manuals.
If you want to be accommodating write invited articles.
If you want to waste your valuable time and energy write a blog.
If you want to be depressed write comedy.
If you want to go into deep financial debt write computer games.
If you subconsciously crave creative obscurity write digital literature.
If you want to create value write business plans.
If you want to be a writer, read everyone and anyone who calls themselves a writer.
If you really want to be a writer, write anywhere, on anything, anytime.
If you want to be an original writer prepare for poverty.
If you want to be a popular writer befriend other writers, particularly those you don’t like.
If you want to be a truthful writer live freely inside and outside your writing.
If you want to be a successful writer, write, write a lot, and then get an agent.
If you knew you wanted to be a writer aged 12 years old start saving ‘therapy money‘.
If you regard writing as an art rather than a craft buy a paintbrush.
If secluded daily writing excites you, try writing curricula.
If you really want to be ‘just a writer’ then write away right away.
If you’ve read down this far, you’ve reached point 30 and already know you know but were just checking in.. just in case…
I am starting to write a regular newsletter which is (hard to believe I know) more opinionated, considers more topics than presented here, in hopefully more detail with additional links of interest and references, that is if enough people sign up to it.. its about all sorts of stuff.. so I’ve called it: