I have conversations with connections on social media and friends daily about work. In many of the discussions work is simply a synonym for money. It doesn’t make a difference if our work environment is in our home, a downtown office building, factory, retail store, indoors or outside, whether our dress is professional or casual, many desire more.
A recent conversation with a hometown friend, Edward Fuller, highlights that desire and while not directly asked, what I believe to be the core of the discussion involves one big question.
Does the time and energy we spend working also enrich our lives?
There is a definite link between the effort required to maintain our home, make contributions to our community and to provide for the well-being of our family <-> to work that engages us and provides us with purpose and meaning. How do we create systems that generate income, especially passive income? Many of the desires I hear include starting a business, building a web site, becoming an investor, or generating royalty income from creative work.
Edward is creative and has recently self-published a book of poems and short stories …
He agreed to answer a few questions about his experience.
Brian Tramuel: Who is Edward Fuller?
Edward Fuller: I’m still trying to figure that one out myself. I have a very secular side. That’s the one that presents the conformist face to the world. Goes hard at work. Grinds and pays the bills. Years in sales constructed a penetrating ability to socialize. The introvert beneath is the side that writes, paints, draws, and seeks to express the desires and exorcise the demons with creativity. A lot of this personality helped me shape-shift my way through a strict, devout, and repressed upbringing in the hood, that pulled me in the opposite direction to attempt normalcy and social comfort. PS recently divorce, but see my daughter every week and amicable with ex. Older daughter about to finish grad school at Syracuse.
BT: Have you always felt driven to write?
EF: I was always more driven to read than write, but at a certain point, the switch flipped and I decided that writers are just people who are willing to express themselves and say the things that others keep to themselves. I didn’t see anything out there representing where I came from.
I want to do for northwest Roanoke, what Harlem renaissance Writers did for Harlem. There’s plenty of creativity there. How about a Roanoke Renaissance creative movement? New voices never hurt. Black Tarantino style goals.
To this point, there are so many creative and talented people in our hometown – This is an exceptional idea – BT
BT: What do you think is the greatest advantage of self-publishing?
EF: Control is the greatest advantage of self-publishing.
BT: Did you design your own cover? How important do you think cover design is to a potential reader?
EF: I gave creative input to the graphic art team that created my cover. I figured they would make a professionally marketable cover better than I would, with no experience. The cover is the welcome sign to attract the widest variety of readers possible.
BT: What is a typical day for you? When do you write?
EF: A typical day is 14 hours long for a trucker. I have to grab opportunities to write guerrilla style, as the chances present themselves.
BT: Why did you decide to self-publish?
EF: I decided to self-publish because I started late in this game, and my path has always been non-conformist and not traditional. I burned to put my work out there, my way, the way I wanted to say it, and patience is not a virtue of mine. My risk = my control. I wouldn’t change a thing. Another consideration of mine was that there are big name authors out there like James Patterson who have teams of writers creating their con tent 😉 for them, but knowing big book publishers will push that out to the public, because they have better odds of getting a profitable return on their investment with a big-name author who teaches master classes. Patterson should teach marketing.
BT: Having now gone through the process, is there anything you would do differently?
EF: I do have some things I would do differently in publishing this book. In the future, I will edit it better myself, or get the help of an editor, instead of rushing to press out of impatience. Next time, I will also do my best to promote the book with the legwork necessary. I’ve pretty much just promoted this current edition on Facebook, instead of contacting local media outlets, setting up book signing events, or really hustling to make it sell. Part of this comes from a self-consciousness about the subject matter. I may have personalized it too much. My advice is to budget how much money, time, and effort you are willing to spend on writing hobby, until it becomes your writing main source of income. In the future, I will actually contact more traditional publishers instead of hearing no from one, and then self-publishing.
BT: Has anything you’ve done; work, life experience inspired you to think differently about money?
EF: Kids should be taught financial fundamentals in basic math classes, before algebra. Real world money survival skills. Money is not the root of all evil. Desperation for it damn near is.
BT: What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?
EF: I want to show that anything is possible, even to kids from poor backgrounds, in the Information Age. I want to be remembered as a get-it-done guy.
BT: What’s next for you?
EF: I just started my sequel to novella portion of Caldera: Notes From the Pit
“My advice is to budget how much money, time, and effort you are willing to spend on writing hobby, until it becomes your writing main source of income.”
Solid advice for the many conversations I’ve had where others have been unable to find balance between the work that they have to do and the work that they want to do.
What’s your approach?