Being Seen

Happy 2015! It is a new year, a new day, a new perspective. I have started this year off in a mellow way. For some reason (maybe having the flu) I have a very laid back view on this year, and maybe my engine just has not revved up yet.

I have been reading and just finished a book: “The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help” by Amanda Palmer. An interesting book for me, as I hate asking for help from others. Yes. I am more of the do-it-myself variety. Asking for help means I have to trust others, and from past experience “others” can let you down, and not be there with what they said they would do. So I rarely ask. I am a product of my childhood where individuals often did not come through for me. Alas, I do not often ask. So I thought this book would be a good one for me to read.

I had an aha moment. Asking and being seen. One of my life pet peeves is not being seen. Somehow feeling invisible for much of my life (remember my dad felt that children should be seen and not heard) has been a pain point for me. I want to be seen and heard. Thus this ideas from Palmer especially resonated with me:

“There’s a difference between wanting to be looked at and wanting to be seen. When you are looked at, your eyes can stay blissfully closed. You suck energy, you steal the spotlight. When you are seen, your eyes must be open, as you are seeing and recognizing your witness. You accept energy and you generate energy. You create light. One is exhibitionism, the other is connection. Not everybody wants to be looked at. Everybody wants to be seen.” Page 201

I crave connection. To me there is no point in a relationship if there is no connection. While I have not told you much about Palmer’s book, I highly recommend her story. It is a long read, but she takes you through her triumphs and setbacks as a street performer, musician, wife, and friend. She easily is able to ask total strangers to crash at their home, but has a hard time asking her husband for money. I am the complete opposite. I can ask Chris for almost anything, and have a hard time asking friends, colleagues, and strangers for help. I know that 9 times out of 10, Chris will be there for me (no one is perfect). Yet, I do not know if I have those odds with everyone else in my life. Sad I know, but it is how I feel after being burned.

What do you want most? I do not want to be looked at, I want to be seen.

Do what you love.

It always brings a smile to my face when someone is doing something they love. It is different for everyone. Someone I work with loves to cook, and you see a smile spread across their face as they describe their art in the kitchen. Someone else, might love to go for a run each day, it clears their head and grounds them. For another it might be getting dirt under their fingernails in their garden, or curling up in the bath or bed with a good book. 

We are not moving but Chris still loves checking out the new houses that are on the market. Redfin is one of the websites he frequents. Sometimes it is to find out that another home that is smaller and older is selling for more than we purchased ours for, meaning good news to our property values. Other times he finds an idea we can use for our house, by exploring the photos from a house that is for sale. It could be the way someone has landscaped their yard, or decorated a room, or the finishing touches with paint or fixtures that gets him inspired. I love his excitement and interest, especially when we have decided we are not moving for a long time. 

We all have things we love, and some are out in the open and some might be secret. I cleared it with Chris so he is okay that I have shared his Redfin addiction. I have a list of things (outside of work of course) that I love. A good hard run (with a good book), a good cup of coffee (with a good book), exploring new places and the trickle effect of new inspiration that is the result of new ideas. So many things that I love. Being there for a good friend, breakthrough moments, amazing food that is good for you (versus crap food that is bad for you). Snuggles in a bed that you never want to leave.

Chris has other things he loves, but I often see a grin form on his face and a “Hey, I want to show you this house.” We geek out, we think about house prices, and we explore how a cool room could transpose in our place. House nerds? Maybe. But, we love it. Chris is a foodie, a design buff, and is looking at the latest growler, the newest Kickstarter hip campaign, or the latest “Uncrate” find. We like new things, we love amazing food, and we always want to try something different (well most of the time).

What are those normal, or maybe strange things you do, that make you happy each day?

Quirky or Kickstarter?

Kickstarter has made a name for itself as a site that gives new businesses a chance. With a good idea and marketing plan, and a stellar video, many, many individuals have found their dreams have come true because of the likes of Kickstarter. If you have not heard of Kickstarter, it’s a website that allows individuals to have their creative projects independently funded. From a film, photography trip, to a new product. Backers then decide if they want to fund the project, and the creator comes up with price points and different offers that backers would receive for their funds. The project has a time limit and the amount of money the creator needs to raise has to be funded 100% for the project to go forward.

Recently while looking online for a case for my iPhone, I came across: Quirky. The name of the site first caught my eye, and then as I started to dig deeper, I realized it was a Kickstarter-esque website. Rather than having backers, the site lets you submit your idea, and others that visit the site can vote for your idea. There is a time limit. Every Thursday you can watch live as Quirky votes on what idea they will begin to develop. The individual with the original idea is involved in the entire process, and once the product is ready you get to sell it on their site.

Quirky allows your inventions to come to life, with the help of others who may just have the expertise to make something happen. They have a variety of categories, from kitchen items, to play, to travel, to electronics. When you look at the detail of the product, you will find who invented the product, where they are from, how many ideas they have had, how many votes they received, how long it took to develop the product, and how many units they have sold. That is transparency!

One invention I thought was clever was the Broom Groomer. It has almost like a comb attached, so that when you use the broom to pull the dust into the dust pan it gets all the remnants off the end of the broom. Clever. Or the Brim toilet brush. I have been trying to find a brush that gets in the hard to clean spots in a toilet.

I am going to head back to quirky.com and see what other inventions inspire me.

Pubslush – A Writing Kickstarter Site

Pubslush – (love the name) for this Kickstarter type company – for writers. Here is a bit of background on Pubslush. It is a brilliant idea and if it is as successful as Kickstarter we will see lots of new published material. The idea is that a writer can post an excerpt of ten excerpt pages, a summary, and pitch of their work. Pubslush users can support the work, and if 1,000 users back the work, then Publslush will publish the book. For each book sold, one book is donated to kids worldwide who do not have access to books.

We see many authors who self-publish, but this is backed and financially supported by fans, or Pubslush enthusiasts who are intrigued and interested by the content of a book excerpt. AND a kid somewhere else in the world receives a book. A stellar idea. What will this mean for future writers and for publishers? I look forward to watching how it unfolds.

DailyCandy had the following to say about Pubslush:

“A novel idea that beats the fame game is Pubslush, a new Kickstarter-esque social publishing platform that lets people submit, endorse, and fund fiction and nonfiction works based on excerpts. Forget sappy confessionals: Next great American memoirs include Janna Leyde’s He Never Liked Cake, which tells her story of relearning to love her father after a traumatic brain injury changed his character, and Bethany Parks’s Flipping Chairs, a tale wrought with wry humor of time spent in Kenya and triumph over breast cancer. Tomes need 1,000 supporters to be published, and you get charged only if that goal is met. Embracing the one-for-one trend (a la Tomsand Warby Parker), Pubslush donates a book to a child in need for every one sold.

Bravo to that.”

This article from Mashable, titled: “Pubslush Is Like Kickstarter for Authors” explains that Pubslush guarantees an audience before a book is ever published. Much like what Seth Godin did and wrote about on his blog here. I love the Internet world of supporters to a creative idea. It creates opportunity to so many that may not have a way to be seen or found.

I best get started on the beginning of my book, and have Pubslush advocates decide if it is worthy of finishing.