Thursday, February 14, 2013

Where Is The End of This Circle?

I started looking into alternative forms of financing my life. Last year, I had rehung up my shingle as a mental health therapist (LCSW) and life coach, but referrals have been slow. Although the therapeutic counseling needs to be a face to face proposition, it can be done with SKYPE or in the office I have on-hand for professional needs. Life Coaching can be done anywhere, using e-mail or telephone call, when face to face is not possible. There are actually some advantages for clients in not doing a face to face session.

With the aid of a personal assistant, I sent out over thirty-five letters to local organizations, health centers, churches, and native English speaking embassies announcing my services. What I continually find is that all ventures require full-time efforts to produce part-time results. 

If there were only thirty hours in a day and 9 days in a week, could we do it all? I think not.

While trying to work smarter, not harder, I have been investigating the world of copywriting, something that can be done worldwide with the aid of an Internet connection. There is much to read, investigate, ponder, sift through, and then fill in forms. First one comes across dozens of sites who want to sell you their fool-proof way to make money as a copywriter. These pearls of wisdom will only run you anywhere from $97 if you act now, as this offer will expire at midnight or at your leisure for $497. Sorry, but I am certain I can find all I need with some Internet searching.

Yikes! What I am finding is that the research is taking up more time than the actual work would. Just as you are finishing one project, it takes one or two weeks’ worth of hunting around, sending out letters, to try and find the next gig. When you take into consideration the time and expense involved in marketing yourself, the creation of micro-bytes produced has turned your income into micro-bits. There is not enough income to justify a personal assistant to fill this gap, but my suspicions are that if I were to fork over the money for one of these programs, it will not be short-cutting  the hunt. It will just be an explanation of what needs to be done to start the hunt.

This led me to wonder about information overload. I had remembered reading years ago that there is more information generated in one day than a person could read in a lifetime. However, that was a decade ago. What is it like  now?

Richard Alleyne, the Science Correspondent for The Telegraph, a British newspaper wrote:
 “If you think that you are suffering from information overload then you may be right – a new study shows everyone is bombarded by the equivalent of 174 newspapers of data a day. The growth in the internet, 24-hour television and mobile phones means that we now receive five times as much information every day as we did in 1986….Every day the average person produces six newspapers worth of information compared with just two and a half pages 24 years ago – nearly a 200-fold increase.”

Guess what? That article was written in February 2011, a full 2 years ago. The ever increasing rate of generating information is even more extensive today. This investigation was prompted because of an article that I was reading in Publisher’s Weekly titled What Should Authors Do in the Digital Age? The framework of the article is advising authors actions needed in this age in order to be 'discovered', hence sell their written word in whatever form. This is an interesting part that capture my attention,

“…you have to be able to plan and commit to different methods of discovery, but (somewhat contradictorily) you also have to be able to abandon those methods and move on if you find something better. The takeaway: the digital world both allows and forces you to adapt.” This is shortly followed by the next piece which really sends ripples down my spine. “In relation to social media, Elizabeth Keenan of Penguin’s publicity department said, “It’s a full-time job to make it work.” Keenan cited one of her commercial fiction authors who, after four books and roughly three hours a day of social media engagement, is finally beginning to see a translation in sales.”

What a vicious cycle we have created for ourselves. Promotion, promotion, promotion.
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