The other day when I was perusing the endless black hole that is the Interwebs, I came across a video by Imran Siddiq entitled I’m a Writer. Of course, I had to watch it because I’m a writer, but the problem is, I am an afraid writer, so please watch the video, and then read my story. I’ve been sitting on it for weeks…
My title at Kbuuk used to simply be Marketing Director, but that seemed such a far departure from what our platform is all about — community, engagement, solidarity in this new frontier of publishing. My new title is Resident Writer and Marketing Director, the emphasis being on the writer part rather than the marketing director part.
Although I managed to graduate with an M.S. Marketing degree, truth be told, I think I’ve always been an entrepreneur and a closet writer. This is my third or fourth foray into the wild world of startups (and not just tech! this is actually my first tech startup); therefore taking the position as marketing director for a self-publishing platform was a no-brainer. I knew taking the position would feed my entrepreneurial needs as well as make me take my writing more seriously. It has. I was always scared to put myself out there in my writing. The last thing I wanted was for someone to tell me that it sucked because I loved it so much. I wrote for myself, and there was something very fulfilling about that, but then I realized that I wasn’t really all that happy doing other things, so I had to find a way to interweave my passion and my career to feed my greater self. Now with this new position and title, I’d be a starving entrepreneur and a starving writer. Joy.
It is my job at Kbuuk is to get people to use the site. To “sell” our service, to make us ubiquitous, to put our service in the ranks of other household names, maybe you know them: Google, Facebook, Amazon? What can I say, I dream big. Aside from being insanely ambitious, I’m also idealistic. I refuse to sell something I don’t believe in, that I wouldn’t use myself, that doesn’t somehow make this world a little bit better to live in. Human expression, learning, and sharing ideas, those are things I can solidly stand behind, so does the company. Have you read our manifesto yet? Additionally, I believe in this company because I feel like it embodies the spirit of the independent writer in a way that intersects the craft of writing with communication tools that are necessary for business in modern society. The modern writer needs to be an entrepreneur with a focus on marketing in order to make it in an increasingly competitive writing landscape. Have you read the Author + Entrepreneur posts?
In order to prove how committed I am to this platform, I want to go through the writing and publishing process, and use our service as my jumping off point for trying to make my own writing commercially viable, because if there is anything I have, it’s wild and crazy stories that have forced me to learn invaluable life lessons, and I also really, really like to write them down.
So it’s time for me to step up to the courage chair. What is the courage chair? One more story…
I attended Catholic high school, and during that four-year period I was required to take religion classes every year. The easy breezy year was junior year. This year was about discovering yourself and connecting with your peers on a spiritual level, and part of that included being truthful. In order to encourage this truthfulness all of the students in the class over the course of the year had to participate in an exercise known as the courage chair.
The courage chair had been in the school for God knows how long. It was an old, upholstered antique Queen Anne chair with wooden feet. Now that I think back on it, the chair was pretty gross and unsanitary, whatever. The chair sat in the middle of the classroom on a raised platform against the back wall. Students had to sit in the courage chair and endure a barrage of questions from our loving and accepting (yeah, right) classmates. Students in the audience were allowed to ask whatever questions they wanted of the courage chair victim, and the courage chair victim was supposed answer truthfully, but had the right to respectfully decline questions he or she felt crossed the line. Refusing a question, however, was simply asking to be heckled. It was an invitation for people to not only goad the brave soul, but also to make their own assumptions as to what the answers could be. The whole situation was a nerve-wracking experience. Having to sit in front of people and having them pick you apart and form opinions about you based on what you were communicating from a place of truth and sincerity. I survived the courage chair experience, but I feel like that awkward high school student again. I’m stepping up to the courage chair again, and I’m about to make myself vulnerable and exposed. About to have to let people form opinions and make judgments even though my writing comes from a place of truth and sincerity, my coping mechanism for trying to make sense of the world around me. So here I am sitting in that ratty old Queen Anne chair, waiting for the barrage of questions.
Special thanks to Imran Siddiq for making the video, and to all of the writers in it. Slowly but surely I am finding my voice and the courage to publish my writing because I’m a writer… WE ARE WRITERS.
If you’re a writer and you just haven’t known what to do with your writing, we’d like to invite you to publish on Kbuuk. Set up your account today, visit http://kbuuk.com