Everyone is out to make a buck. Jews call someone who is always working on a profitable business transaction “an operator.” An operator is someone who actually turns crap into money all the time, has connections and uses them, is always “on.” An operator is always working it, all the time a salesman, a negotiator, a businessman, a wananbe Horatio Alger. I just never had it in me to be that kind of person, who seems to be in people’s faces too much for my taste. That’s probably why “The Call to Shakabaz” hasn’t sold a million copies, why only about six people read my blog, why I have 2 blogs and a website and don’t make money off them. I get quite a bit of junk email now from people who want me to sell their products off my blogs. I’m not willing to bombard my six readers with that garbage.
Yesterday I discovered (in an e-zine that I get about writing awards and contests) a grant available to writers to “develop” a blog. Up to $30,000. Whoa. At first, I thought I should apply for money to free up time to do more with my recipe blog. But then, I realized that “developing” a blog means monetizing it and spending hours and hours on the internet at other blogs and sites talking to people I don’t know and don’t care about just because they can send business to my blog. Not interested. We watched a grade B sci-fi movie the other night called “Surrogates” about a world in which people stayed at home and sent surrogate robotic versions of themselves out into the world. The main character pines away for a real experience like kissing his wife again in the flesh. Internet Land is kind of like that. Not the real thing. As for me, I still like the feel of newsprint on my fingers, still want to prop a book up on my lap in bed (could never read off a Kindle or iPad, too much like reading a computer screen, get too much of that at work), still look forward to a Shabbat dinner with friends. Can’t monetize that, but sure can enjoy it.