An honest essay: Lost in business, art and helping others



Above is a screenshot of my Twitter feed. Somebody tweeted that out to me. I’ve since reached out to her to email me so that we can talk more.

And quite frankly, though it may seem like a big deal, it doesn’t really make me feel anything anymore.

I know, I know, most people would be like, “Wow Alden. You saved somebody!” or “Your writing must be really good!”

But, I really don’t know.

I’m not trying to brag, but this is the second message I’ve gotten from somebody who claimed that my writing saved their life. Beyond that, I get emails and messages almost everyday from readers who want to thank me for what I’m doing and stuff.

So I guess that’s one reason: I’m pretty used to positive feedback and praise, to the point it doesn’t really inspire or motivate me much anymore.

Again, I’m not bragging. Straight up, positive messages don’t feed me or buy me nice things, and I do need to eat and I want to buy nice things. I’ve been on this blogging escapade for nearly four years now and as I’ve learnt, there’s so many subtleties involved when it comes to being successful, being happy and actually making a positive impact on others.

The wasteland that is self-help

So I write about, in the strictest sense and if you want to use some terms, self-help and personal development. I hate those terms. They reflect more on business than actually helping people.

I’ve seen tons and tons of praise, positive comments and testimonials being posted by entrepreneurs on Facebook, all of which are mostly contrived bullshit or only serve to stroke the ego. Yes. Most testimonials you see are created out of favor.

That kind of got to me. It irks me that people in the self-help business are not creating their own art, but instead only finding ways to make money. I personally know of one idiot here who posts shit like this and say it inspires him when I know for a fact he outsources all his shit.

That is hypocrisy on a religious level.

I guess with that, by a reluctant form of association, I feel jaded whenever I receive such comments.

But I do love them. I always try to help. This is why I’m writing this now.

The need and want for money

I was talking about this to a friend, who does sales before. I told him how a good day for me can mean I made a good amount of money, but conversely, despite churning out my most inspired shit ever, I’d feel it’s a bad day when I don’t make money at all. He agreed, telling me that good rapport with a client meant jack all if there was no closing.

And since this dream of mine of wanting to be a writer in my own terms consists of making money, yes, making money is extremely important to me. As said, I can’t live off positivity alone. Whoever tells you that you can is a fucking vegan hippie who needs to stop getting high everyday.

Yep. Money is that important, but sadly, I spent a large amount of time chasing it in the wrong places.

Needless to say, this fucking business is tough as shit.

But don’t worry, I’m still hanging around

During my hiatus, I started emailing a bunch of writers I liked, including the guy who does Zen Pencils.

I asked them all the same thing: How do you balance out doing what you love, creating art and expecting that to make you rich without worrying about the marketing and business side of things? (Of course, marketing is important, but if you focus on that only, the money will not come. It sounds ironic, but it’s true.)

They all answered the same thing: You’ve to write (create art) everyday without worrying about the results. The marketing will happen automatically and should work as a supplement to your art.

It sounds hopeful, and downright fucking scary, but it’s true. And I’ve wasted too much time with it the other way around.

The above screenshot has been mixed in my feelings with money. It’s sad, but I’ve been working on it. I really do try to help, but I really do. But just as how testimonials all over the self-help world are contrived, I’m starting to feel typical how-to and top-10 whatever articles are too. I really wonder how these run-of-the-mill articles impact people. I really do.

But yes, I’m still trying. You won’t find any of that here, at least not in a way that isn’t unique. You’ll only find honest and real stories here.

I’m trying to remember and evolve all the time.

Stick around, hopefully.

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