Why Support my writings?
If you’ve not got time to read this I’ll condense the following finely crafted text for you:
PLEASE GIVE ME SOME MONEY TO PAY FOR CAKES!
Got some time to spare? Read on:
I heard Tony Robbins on the radio the other day, you know: the guy who looks like Jaws from the Bond films, the one who runs around a stage in front of loads of screaming people like God’s henchmen, biting down with manly vigour on the everyday worries and insecurities of his audience. What he does is take what people know about themselves, mixes it with some new-age businessy power cheese, then feeds it back to them at an exorbitant price (or indirectly via a ‘using a certified Anthony Robbins life coach’). Anyway at the end of the ad for his a forthcoming ‘belief touchdown’ (or something like that) in Dublin he called himself a ‘thought leader’. 'Wow the man balls' I thought, ‘I need to get on that racket’, cash in on what I knew, fill some stadiums, sell some life coaching packages, maybe copyright my ‘system for personal growth’ I’d developed, based around the worship of cakes of all kinds (excluding those with raisins). ‘I’ll make a fortune’ I thought. Then I realised I couldn’t be arsed - it sounded like a full time job. I’d rather just write and talk and think about things that don’t make me money, things that pop into head: cake thoughts and the odd raisin idea.
I’ve been writing pretty much non stop for about twenty years, and kind of make a living out of it - by which I mean I don’t make any money fromwriting, but get to call myself a writer when traveling through US customs (even though that living is supported by other things, speaking and the odd hit I do for the mob). I’ve written quite a few books, books that won awards and appeared in funny languages I can't read (German, Italian, Polish and even Korean!). I’ve always fancied translating one of these books - translated by proper writers - back into English: how cool would that be?
I digress (I get easily distracted) over the last few years I took my inability to filter myself (I’m told there is something wrong with how my brain fires - which is great) - which worked well on stage - and put it into my writing. I began by being very honest about what I thought, and tried to apply the same bravery I had for climbing mountains to this attempt to understand myself. Yes it was all very 21st century, very narcissistic and navel gazing, but it helped me get somewhere good in the end (I really believe in the power of writing a honest account of the story of 'us'). It was an adventure and I ended up turning over many of the truths of 'me' , of what I took at sacred and unquestionable: my politics, my past, my whole belief system ended up - instead of brain-fill - as landfill. What I learnt was that we are wrapped up and entrapped by our stories, and it is mostly fiction. And now, in between writing about climbing and gear and techniques, I like to write about the exploration of this idea. You could say I’m looking for some truth while knowing as soon as I find it it’ll be a lie, but that's pretty much what I've done all my life as a climber. Anyway the summit of the truth is not what it’s all about. If I can create a real question in my own mind about something I thought I had all the answers for, and can share that through your writing, well that’s the point.
And yet the beauty of the blog, with its freedom for that little oppression of the conformity of ideas (I have no editor and no boss to fear, no advertisers to keep sweet) also means it is a real sacrifice to write what I write, as it takes time. What writing I do is paid for by the work I do as a speaker (not by writing), it's that that sustains my books and blogs (US customs think I’m taking the piss when asked what I do for a living I answer: ‘Speaking’).
What I hate is when I do have an idea for a piece of writing, one that may take two or three days (I can write but I'm not a natural writer... I type with one finger still), but it has to be set aside while paid work is done. Set aside work usually stays that way. My site andy-kirkpatrick get’s about 40,000 hits a month, which is a very healthy number, but unlike Tony Robbins I’m no businessman (that’s why I don’t own anything, no house or car, no ski lodge in Aspen or Grimsby), but I do love not stressing that when I’m writing a blog I’m going to get into trouble with my ex wife when I can’t pay for new kids shoes!
If you'd like to support my writing that would be fantastic, as it helps me not only explore stuff in my head, but also go on more adventures and share what I find there. If you don't want to support me then I won't stop writing or going away, that's who I am. And yet if I was going to argue for some small patronage, it would be that in this 21st century free economy of ideas and talent I'd love there to be some small place for people like me, not just the Tony Robbins of this world.