If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ve been helping me write a book. Helping others isn’t always a conscious act. Readers have help writers. Patrons influence artists. Customers define companies. Citizens vote for politicians. OK, so maybe the analogy has limits. In any case, thanks.
For those who are new to the blog, a reminder of how it started. About twenty years ago I retired at 38. The benefits of a frugal life, spending less than I made, and investing the rest. As I describe on my Amazon Author Page; “I fell into writing by trying to lose weight.” Early retirement made that ‘career’ shift easier. After about ten years and having written four books, friends convinced me to write a book about my style of personal finance. I was hesitant, but evidently I am better than some at describing such concepts simply. By luck, when I moved to Whidbey Island I moved near Vicki Robin, author of Your Money or Your Life. When a bestselling author adds her encouragement, it is tough, and somewhat silly, to say no. So, I said yes to everyone. With a bit of a push I was able to write and publish Dream. Invest. Live. about the same time that she published the second edition of YMOYL (which included me as a soon-to-be-but-couldn’t-be-predicted ironic case study.) Books are static. The basics of personal finance are persistent. Life in today’s economy, however, is more dramatic and dynamic; hence, this blog.
Read back through over ten years of posts, if you dare. It will take a while because the blog now has about ten times more words than the book. The blog also has more readers than the book has buyers. I don’t recommend that marathon endeavour because time is precious, and while I like some of my writing there’s a life to live. I, however, may go back through those posts – and here’s where you have already come in handy.
The working title for the sequel is too long; “From Middle Class to Millionaire to Muddling By”, but it conveys the journey that has been my rollercoaster ride through America’s wealth classes. I haven’t hit the extremes, but I could see them at various times, and met the people living there.
The details of the ride are in this blog, and they’ll be in the book. The blog is necessarily chronological. This year, 2019, should include a personal finance milestone that I’ve waited for before writing the sequel. The way people have read the blog helped determine how the sequel will be written.
As I mentioned recently with the ten year anniversary and the annual analysis, several topics and threads have proved to be interested to enough of you that I intend to include them in the book. In no particular order, and not exclusive, but things that change depending on financial perspective:
- Gig Economy
Maybe not that last one – and yet, maybe. Definitely others.
All of those topics were valid things to discuss in 2008. They’re valid now. And yet, the story for each has changed, partly from technology, but mostly from societal shifts that have yet to stabilize, that may never settle into a new normal.
Each of those topics also look different depending on where you stand or sit. A homeless person can look at a millionaire and wonders why they can’t spare the price of a pair of shoes to help someone buy a sleeping bag or tent. A millionaire can see a homeless person, and also see a seemingly never-ending line of equally needy people that they can’t equally accommodate.
One friend who is frugally comfortable and comfortably frugal was in a simple accident that required months of recuperation. Unfortunately, they couldn’t take a vacation from expenses which meant they couldn’t take a vacation from making an income. And yet, a well-meaning friend suggested they’d recover much more quickly if they ‘only took two weeks off to lay on the beach in Hawaii. To some, two weeks in Hawaii is something that can be done on impulse for cash. For others, taking two days off at home means missing bills and losing health and maybe a house.
Another entrepreneurial friend honestly laughed at the idea of taking two days off every week, even unpaid ones; and then laughed louder when I suggested being paid to take two, three, or even four weeks off every year. And then, I watched their laughter fail when I pointed out that their customers took such a situation for granted – customers who might be upset that the store wasn’t open every day from 9 to 9.
Writers, like many people, deal with deadlines. My personal deadline for the sequel is November, so the book is available for the holidays; but I’m not going to specify the year. Within the next few months I’ll complete the photo essay, Twelve Months at Maxwelton Beach (book six in my Whidbey Series), am writing the first book in a sci-fi series (unless a collaborator finished their book in the same universe first), and am writing and producing an anthology that I won’t describe, yet. All of this in and around my primary role as a real estate broker, and as a consultant for creative people.
Busy? Yes. But, there’s My Rule of 7. Hey, maybe that’s the way I should structure the book, base it on my life management rules that have also been a constant during my rollercoaster ride.
Stay tuned. For now, I have to step away for a client call with friends in Japan. It’s all good, and as writers know, it’s all story (with discretion and liberal use of pronouns, of course.)
Personal writers note: Attitude (optimism, pessimism, depression, expectation) Hey, I had to write it down somewhere and the keyboard is right here. Catch those ideas before they fly away!