Big changes are coming. Parental discretion advised. I’m kidding. It’s all PG … 13. We’re about to launch some exciting new things on the blog. If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you know what’s coming. If you haven’t, you should! I’ve been sharing lots of fun photos and things in between blog posts on my personal Facebook profile, but I just re-vamped our HaveWindWillTravel.com Page for the video launch and will use it to share photos, adventures and other fun tidbits that don’t make it to the blog (yes, there is a ton of stuff that doesn’t make the cut). So “Like” and follow on the Page to get every bit of HaveWind goodness. I wanted to take a moment, though, and talk to you here about all this crazy social media stuff I’ve been doing recently: Facebook, GoPro, now videos? Lord, when will she stop? You’re probably wondering: Where is all this going? Why am I doing this?
Good question. I ask myself that every day (which may sound crazy to you, but, trust me, as a self-published author, it’s not). I constantly have to ask myself: What am I doing to help grow my readership and engage my audience today and is it working? Uhhh … marketing. Easily the least fun part of my job as a writer/creator. But I was serious about this writing gig when I left the practice, so I do want to succeed at it. Just because I’m not a high-priced lawyer anymore doesn’t mean I’m not still driven, disciplined and want to succeed. I just define success differently now. It’s finding fulfillment in what I do to earn a living so that my time is spent in a more meaningful way. I have found that in writing about our adventures, big and small. And I have been flattered and humbled by the support I have received from readers who have read and enjoyed my blog posts and books and those who have written reviews and supported me on Patreon. It seems I am reaching people and they’re enjoying what I’m doing. That motivates me to continue. The writing I love. It’s the most frustrating, but rewarding, challenge. I could do it every day, all day─well, all morning, rather. In the afternoons I like to get out and play! But, turns out, unfortunately, even if you write the best stuff on earth (or at least a good salty yarn or two), it won’t reach people unless you tell them about it. As a self-published author, that whole “telling” bit falls on Yours Truly, which means what little time I have outside of writing my next book (that’s coming─this fall, lookout!) and playing (equally important) is spent currently devoted to … say it with me. Yes, with the sigh. Uhhh … marketing.
Thankfully, my version of marketing includes writing in that I try to engage readers with blogs, video scripts and Facebook posts, so I don’t feel it’s too far astray from my true passion and it does help me learn what my readers want from me, but it is a bit of a necessary evil. At least that’s how I used to see it─as evil. Like this tiny little grungy gremlin crunched down in the corner, eating the edge of the carpet and asking me what I had done today to promote myself. “Nothing yet you nasty little bastard. You got some carpet in your teeth.” I hated that critter. And I hated seeing marketing as just that─as the loathsome task of constantly promoting myself. I’m just not good at that. I like the downplay, the soft sell, the self-deprecating approach. But I’ve had some great people inspire and advise me recently (thank you Conrad, Jeff and Tim Grahl) so I thought I would share. They turned what I viewed as an evil critter in the corner to a rewarding and fulfilling task and the answer to the very question posed: Why am I doing this?
The answer is simple. It’s the same reason I write: because I want to share my journey in hopes that it will make your lives better by forcing you to laugh, reminisce, escape your mundane routine (even if only vicariously and momentarily), inspire you and encourage you to get out and pursue your own cruising-like dream, whatever that might be. While writing is a great way to do that, the videos are just another avenue to help me share with more people in a different way. I’m happy to share. Sharing is great. I just didn’t know that could qualify as my “marketing.” Apparently it can. The new goal is to simply create lasting connections with people by sharing my adventures, discoveries and lessons learned in hopes of making people’s lives better. That sounds way better than the “M” word. Screw you carpet critter! No more promoting. Just sharing.
I suppose I have been trying to do that with the blog for about two and a half years now (wow, how time flies) and I hope it has inspired some of you but I think I can do a better job of it. Little Annie that Could here. I love a good yarn and will continue (always, always!) to capture the gritty, warts-and-all details of our adventures in my writing, but I know I can reach and engage with more people, more frequently, in a vivid way by using photos (which Facebook is perfect for) and now videos. So, look out YouTube, here Annie comes. They can’t handle me …
I’m going to share it all with you─big stuff, small stuff, mundane stuff, life-changing stuff. Everything (well, almost everything). Why am I so hellbent on sharing the cruising lifestyle? Because it changed my life. It rescued me. I found cruising is not just a lifestyle. It’s a mindset. It requires a resourcefulness, a ruggedness. You have to be creative, durable, self-sufficient. But every day is an adventure. Every day is interesting, challenging and rewarding. What little cruising I have done has already inspired me to spend my time in a more meaningful way─whether that’s sailing, kite-surfing, cooking, reading, climbing the silks or cramming myself into the engine room on the boat to replace a gasket. As a result of cruising, I no longer just “spend” my time, I try to savor every minute of it. We’re not full-time cruisers yet, but we’re working to get out there. And when we do finally untie the lines, you know I will share every bit of the adventure with you.
And tell me what you want to see, what you want to know about cruising, kite-surfing, the silks, the contents of my underwear drawer (I’m kidding). But I want to know what you want to learn and do with me. Comment on the videos or Facebook or reach out to me here on the blog. Tell me! I want to make your lives better by sharing mine, both the successes and failures. I hope you enjoy the journey. If you do, share with friends to get more people inspired and on board. In the meantime, I’ll keep sharing and extending the invite:
Thanks to my Patrons who help me share the journey. Get inspired. Get on board.