Bonita's Career Change
Bonita was a chemistry student at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College here in Truro when we met back in '97. She also had a bachelor's degree in biology from Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's, and had done a great deal of field work, doing such things as collecting samples of salmon scales from remote Newfoundland rivers. When she came to live with me in California, she was able to get a TN-1 visa because she was offered a job as a biological technician at a biotech firm.
But she hated everything about her work. Based on what she said and what I knew about her, I suggested she change careers. Bonita is now nearing the end of her first year studying fine art at the University formerly known as The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax.
She is making blazing progress. I am convinced not just that she will succeed in her art career, but that someday Bonita is going to really Be Somebody in the art world. I am very proud of her.
Tonight she drew a portrait of me that I rather like as an exercise for her studio practice class. I don't have time right now but tomorrow evening I'll snap a digital photo and post it on my website for you to see.
My Career Change
I think I finally have a credible plan for getting out of custom software development, in fact, out of programming altogether. I know that to say such a thing in a place like Advogato is like farting in a crowded elevator, but I've been a coder for seventeen years. Although I am very good at what I do, the joy that programming once held for me has faded. Yet I continued to consult because I could see no alternative, as I cast about for a way to change careers.
I plan to earn a living as a professional writer, by writing technical articles of the sort that I already publish here. I plan to make money from advertising published along with my articles.
I've been running Google AdSense ads since September, and have just started featuring affiliate ads for books at Amazon and Powells City of Books. I thought that flogging books would pay well because I'm always recommending one book or another in my articles.
Late yesterday afternoon, I launched an advertising campaign aimed at promoting my writing. I'm starting with self-service text ads placed at Kuro5hin. I'm only running a few ads, but with wide variation in presentation and ad copy, so that I can conduct market research.
I learned what I know about test-driven scientific marketing back at Working Software when I worked for Dave Johnson, who saved the company from failing retail sales by selling via direct mail.
But the style of my marketing campaign is inspired by Christopher Locke's book Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices. He is also one of the authors of The Cluetrain Manifesto. I assert that both books are required reading for anyone wanting their business to prosper in the age of the Internet.
If you were to read either book, you would understand my reasoning behind the following press release which I wrote late last night, to announce the kickoff of my marketing campaign:
Send your comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Writing isn't my ultimate destination though. I have a lot of work ahead of me before I can pass the entrance audition, but someday
I want to go back to school to study musical composition. If you like, you can listen to
my MP3s. Those were recorded over ten years ago though; I have come a long way since then, and plan to start recording again this summer.
Thank you for your attention.