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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Random Post--Update

I have not come check out this blog in a really long time. I'm curious who comes through to check out this blog still. I've gained so many new readers at my other blog and through my new job, but I sort of miss the days blogging on Blogger. These were the grassroots days when I got real busy with my underground career and writing development.

Update? Well, I packed my life up and moved to Madison, WI for a job at Brazen Careerist. I'm doing a job that I've always wanted for a company that I've always wanted to work for. The move was... interesting and far from perfect, but the experience has been great so far. Meeting awesome people and learning from some really smart professionals. I got to travel to Washington D.C. for business and have another role in the company that might allow me to travel even more (I can't wait to move to a big city like NYC, SF, D.C. or Chicago).

So far, my mom has come to visit for Thanksgiving to get away from some insanity that is associated with back home. A week later we had a close call and almost lost my grandmother to a heart attack last week which scared the hell out of me. I broke down last year when she broke her hip and I was convinced this was it. I'm thankful that I'll be seeing her and most-everyone else when I come home for the holidays for a few weeks.

A lot of nostalgia associated with this blog. Would love to re-connect with people who I haven't heard from in a while. If you're reading this, drop a comment or shoot me an email! I want to hear where you're at and how you're doing. I always wanted to move and live all over the country but I never wanted to disconnect with the people that mattered to me. So, yeah :-)

james.r.moreau [at] gmail [dot] com

Thursday, May 14, 2009

JR's Not So Literal Logging Has Moved To Wordpress

See, I knew I wouldn't be able to stay away!

I've decided to use as my blogging host rather than Blogger. Please come by and check out my new pages if you have a minute. I'd love some comments and thoughts if you have a minute!

SEO Copywriting Business Page -
Personal Blog -


JR. Moreau

Friday, May 1, 2009

JR's Not So Literal Logging - Down But Not Out

Hi Readers!

Just wanted to highlight my move to

As many of you know, I've started a copywriting business and need to align my brand a bit. I won't be blogging under this URL anymore as far as I foresee.

I'd love to continue JR's Not So Literal Logging in another capacity, possibly on another host site because I've had a lot of fun blogging about various subjects that I care about.

Please feel free to visit JRM Gets Creative to keep up with my business happenings. If you have any questions on copywriting or would like to talk shop, find me there!

Please feel free to peruse my old entries and stay in touch! I'll be sure to continue my commenting and community interaction as well.

Best Regards,

James (JR) Moreau.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reaction to Average Jyo's People Assessment

Today I want to link to a blog I've recently become a fan of; Average Jyo.

This particular blog post hit such a chord with me. I have a tough time dealing with people who are genuinely disinterested in anything I have to say. I am a people person, much like Jyo describes himself and I feel utterly disapointed when I cannot connect with people no matter how hard I try.

I know this is a fact of life, but it's also something that I dwell on. If I have a blah encounter with a person, I think, did I talk about myself too much? Did I not listen? Maybe both?

Either way, I know that I am a thoughtful conversationalist. I get excited when I talk with people and have something in common with them and I become really eager to share. I've also learned to reign in that eagerness a bit and be sure to have them talk about themselves a bit. It's a huge step towards developing a connection with someone rather than having a one-way interaction.

I hope you get to take the time to enjoy his vlog. Let me know what you think. I found him through Gary Vaynerchuk's recommendation and I'm glad I subscribed to his RSS feed.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I'm Anti-Office Ass

Do you know someone who is over-worked and suffering from office ass? Well I suggest that you ignore work emails over the weekend and get outside. Here's what I did to begin my battle against the evil... dun dun duhhh... OFFICE ASS!

Last Friday a friend mentioned he was going to do some yard-work over the weekend and that he had some raspberry and blueberry trees that needed to get put in the ground. Without deliberating I asked him if he could use some help and he quickly accepted my offer.

The urge to offer my help was something I didn't even think about and it came right out. I'm glad it did. I haven't done yard-work in god-knows how long and the feeling of dirt under my fingernails and blisters on my hand from a pitch-fork felt great. The chance to have honest talk over a bit of labor is also something that I feel like I've missed out on. I love to chat at a coffee shop as much as the next person, but there's something to be said for getting your sweat on while working and talking shop with someone who has a lot of experience and knowledge to offer.

Needless to say, I slept like a baby and got a decent amount of exercise outdoors this weekend rather than toiling away at a gym that I despise. I hope the heat stays and the daylight lasts longer. I'm looking forward to getting outside and conquering the office ass syndrome that so many of my contemporaries face.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Sustainability Revolution Will Have A Silent "R"

I am continually amazed at the number of technological and business innovations happening in Massachusetts. We're just a creative bunch of people who seem to value the environment for the most part. Lots of great colleges around here too, which leaves no shortage for highly trained engineers, scientists, and other types of professionals.

California is getting it poppin' too with renewables as well and share a similar, liberal social and environmental consciousness as Massachusetts (similar high cost of living too!).

Throughout the United States and into Canada, it seems that renewable energy and sustainable industries are popping up even in the most unlikely of places. My best-friend transitions from a side-job in construction into manufacturing and installing thermal solar systems in Nova Scotia. I have to say that I am envious of him as well as I've applied to dozens of entry level solar installation jobs as a way to get out of the office culture I've put myself in. I've been told I'm over-qualified in my educational background and under-experience in my labor skills, yet my friend is in a Ph.D. program for anthropology.

Anyways, I'm thinking that there needs to be more programs highlighting a sharp direction into the sustainability fields of work for people who are interested in the concept and in becoming specialized. You won't get any richer installing solar panels than you would doing plumbing if you're simply looking for a trade, but staying on top of innovative trends and being willing to take risk with your own business or start-ups could be very lucrative it seems.

Now, the question is, do you start-over in a market where sustainable industries haven't taken a hold yet, or do you jump into a busy market such as Massachusetts and California?

I think there is room for improvement and expansion all over.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm Working, I Promise

Stretched thin and strung out. This is the life of JR Moreau. I pick my poison every single day.

Side business is on and poppin'. So happy about it.

I've got a post in the making that is actually pretty good. It's got substance and structure, unlike some other things I've been producing lately. But, hey, we need that money...

Where do I go from here? Well, I won't look back for a while for nostalgic purposes. No, I'll just keep moving forward. I'll bring this blog along with. Haven't quite decided how I want to integrate this into my "brand" but I know I've definitely put too much work and time into this blog to not utilize it.

Anyways, it is gorgeous outside and I busted ass all week. I have a considerable amount of side work to do, but I think I'm going to get in the car and take off somewhere for a little while and enjoy the sun.

Picking a cafe like eenie, meenie, miinie, mo.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Book List Update

A slight update on my reading list:

I finished 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris today. It was a pretty good overall book. The beginning and end were the most useful for what I'm trying to do at this point in my life, which is gain autonomy from the workplace and direct my career more effectively. The middle part went into a long and detailed account of how you can outsource your life to foreign personal assistants for next to no money, which I have some issues with. I'm not going to take a stand and say whether I like that part or not, I'll just say it doesn't apply to me.

Overall, 4-Hour Work Week is worth a read. However, I preferred Career Renegade.

Now I'm reading Immortality by Milan Kundera. I've read Kundera and loved his stuff before. When I studied in Prague I heard all about him. He's a French citizen now but was born in Czechoslovakia, so he's got that mixture of distinct Czech transcendentalism and Parisian swagger. The first ten pages of Immortality are gripping, so I'm really excited to sit down with this book for a few hours and sink my teeth in.

Honorable Mention:
Just got Kick Ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps and Celebrating the Third Place. Looking forward to both of those very much!

You got anything for me? What's new? Read any good books lately?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Young, Successful and Literate

I come across a lot of successful young entrepreneurs, but a local favorite of mine is Dan Schawbel. The guy is absolutely on fire. His following is huge and seems to be constantly growing and his book Me 2.0 is becoming a quick seller. He's really tapping into the atmosphere of this recession and helping people turn their negativity and fear in on itself by giving pro-active tips on how to develop a personal brand online and get hired.

The concept of the personal brand can be an elusive one for people looking for quick returns and tangible results. I have a lot of older friends ask me why I'm involved with so many social network platforms and some even ask me how they can get involved and start benefiting from the amazing pool of resources that exist online.

My response to people who are looking to get involved is always to be as genuine and focused as possible. Another social media genius in Gary Vaynerchuk comes with a great point that people are the keys to social media, so you need to be interested and passionate about people. If you're passionate about what you do, passionate about what others do and passionate about connecting, then suddenly you'll be immersed in an interactive community that has unlimited benefits, most of which haven't even been discovered yet.

Dan Schawbel's book Me 2.0 is out now and I'm going to have to pick a copy up. He spoke nearby at Emerson College in Boston and I didn't get to go listen to him, but he's from nearby to so I'm guessing he'll come around once more. I suggest you find him on Twitter, he's a real asset for social networking and personal branding!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Remote Control Workers

Remote control workers; I'm not talking about couch potatoes, I'm talking about people who have made a conscious decision to shun the out-dated values that force people to abide by an 8 hour work day, tied to a desk. The choice to work remotely is a statement of self-control over one's workload and career path. If you can get the job done well without having obligatory face time on a day to day basis, then why would anyone in their right mind go back to the patriarchal styling of corporate America?

Work from home, work from the cafe, work from your roof top! Just establish your independence. If you like your co-workers, then head to the office a few days a week, but don't coop yourself up into a rat cage repository of the larger rat race.

Sorry if I'm sounding a bit-badass-ish, but I read "Career Renegade" and "4 Hour Work Week" back to back and they totally injected a fresh sense of ambition and determination (a.k.a. Generation Y entitlement) into me. I HIGHLY recommend both books, can't say it enough!

Hope you all have a great weekend :-)

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Tale of Two Cities

Sometimes I get intense urges to move to Boston again. Part of me feel like relocation to a bigger city is just another big ball of stress that I don't need. Other times I get to spend a bit of time in Worcester and enjoy a lot of the city's culture and amenities. Now that it's getting warm Worcester as a city is coming alive from it's long, hilly, and cold winter hibernation. There's not even that much dirty snow anywhere anymore.

Financially I don't see moving back to Boston as an option for the short-term plan. Even the cheapest apartments that I've had in Boston were still at least $100 more a month than where I'm at now and were absolute shit holes.

Part of my impulse to get away is not due to Worcester's charm or lack thereof. It's more a concoction of personal issues that are not subsiding as I'd hoped. I've got lots to do and never feel bored and usually I'm too busy to really need to search around for entertainment, but the fact of the matter is that the place where I rest my head is in close proximity to people I don't much care for.

I picked my poison. There's a chance I may move somewhere else in the city that may cost slightly more, or maybe even back to the city if some awesome opportunity presents itself.

Either way, I really love Worcester and Boston. I'd recommend either of them very highly as places to chill and be cultured.

So, I heard there's a big announcement coming up. Anybody know what it is?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Developing new consumer markets is an interesting concept. I never really trusted finding a demographic, studying their needs and wants and then building something, anything, to sell them.

I much prefer the concept of figuring out good technologies or services that have a sustainable future and good cash-flow projection and molding them to the consumer's needs. It's possibly that I'm a populist, or naive, but I really feel like everyone is a consumer to some degree, especially living in an openly capitalistic society, so why stoke the fires of "need" and create an artificial or psychological demand?

The products I have in mind are supplements that make you happy and give you positive chi, or whatever and those stupid video phones that I've been approached over so many times. I'm a really hard person to sell to. I'd challenge anyone to hustle me. This is because I've gotten hustled before and learned my lesson through good advice and careful examination of the world surrounding me.

Not many people have a keen sense of the world like I do, not to say I'm smarter or better than anyone else. All I mean is that I know a lot of people who really enjoy their television and Hollywood movies and genuinely buy into the hype of what is constantly advertised to them. I may come off as stuck up, no fun or entirely dead to the world because I don't get excited about the third installment of the mind-numbing "2 fast 2 furious" series, but I'll take those labels with a grain of salt.

It makes me sad to see so many people tapped fully into the general media machine, letting themselves become progressively addicted to fabricated products that are basically worthless.

You might accuse me of being a hypocrite, as I am in the copy writing and marketing business. This label could possibly stick except for the fact that I do my job with as much integrity and honesty as possible. Is that even possible? Business, integrity, honesty matched with profitability? Well, yes it is possible. I stand behind what I try to market. Solar panels, wind turbines, educational programs, public safety issues; these are just some of the products and concepts that I rally behind in my business. Is there a need for them? I think so. Can I sleep at night saying that? You bet.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thousand Yard Stare

What's the worst thing that could happen?

What's the best thing that could happen?

What is the cost of inaction?

I think I have answers for all of these questions. Yes, all that is left is fear when you answer these questions. What do you do when fear stares you in the face? You stare right back at it until it backs down.

I've got my thousands yard stare on.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Transitions To and From Self-Employment

Becoming self-employed or shifting one's career goals can be a frightening, yet exhilarating experience. The undeniable comfort associated with a steady paycheck is often clouded by the sheer anxiety experienced when you realize that you're just a number and not really fulfilling whatever potential you thought you once had. Maybe you find work in a smaller company that is closer to what you thought you'd be doing if you ever had the opportunity to own your own business. That's a "dream" job by my definitions.

The question I pose today is: If you quit your job to engage in a semi-lucrative small business such as freelance copywriting (assuming that it is lucrative), are the means of liberating one's self justifiable if you're simply planning on hopping to another even more lucrative (or not) field in a few years?

Do you take huge risk now to do something that you may not choose to do forever?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Making Time to Blog

I have been swamped with freelance work for what's going on a month now. It's finally happening! It's coming from all different directions and all different clients and to be honest, I'm friggin' exhausted and LOVING it. I'm pushing myself to the limits of mental concentration and efficiency and I'm learning so much.

That being said, I'm not having much time to blog. My view numbers have been WAY down since February, which I have sort of expected. I never intended on really monetizing this blog aside from Adsense (which I still say doesn't work unless you've got HUGE traffic numbers).

Anyways, I'm still posting, still writing, still maintaining. Working on an eBook that I'll be posting here when I finish it. Should be a few weeks at least.

Otherwise, please stay tuned for more blog posts on here or elsewhere. Just because JR's Not So Literal Logging isn't popping, doesn't mean I'm not on my grind. I'm going to do a better job of directing my readers to the locations of my other (relevant) work.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Review of "Miles From Nowhere" by Nami Mun

Miles from Nowhere Miles from Nowhere by Nami Mun

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Miles From Nowhere is a grotesque, horrifying, yet at times beautiful depiction of how cold the world can be to a well intentioned but circumstantially funked child who just wants to hold on to a happy moment before it disintegrates or dies.

View all my reviews.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

One Hand Washes The Other That Feeds

I cook quite a bit as most of you know. I really like to cook. I really like to eat too.

I don't clean as often. Definitely don't do it every day. Would like to do it once a week...

Today I cleaned my apartment after taking a 3 week layoff from a full clean. What a pain in the ass! So many combined activities that my roommates and I have neglected.

Moral of the story, try to clean bits and pieces of the apartment more often during the week. There's no point in cooking delicious food and enjoying it every day if you need to spend an entire weekend day deep cleaning everything.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Balance is Better

"Don't moonlight, it ruins your life"

I received a reply on Twitter in response to a question I asked that basically read, "how do you unwind and prepare yourself for a second shift of writing after your day job?"

Some people responded that they exercise. Other people responded that they meditate. One person blatantly said that channeling your energy after having a hectic day was the best way to prepare for doing work after you've finished your day shift, but that he also doesn't recommend doing any work when you go home.

My first instinct to such a reaction is, well it would be nice if I didn't have to freelance and find side jobs, but unfortunately the balance of my finances depends on making extra money here and there to offset unexpected expenses. I am also determined that no matter what happens in my life, no matter where I am or what my personal situation is, I will become the best writer than I can possibly be and I can only do that with constant practice.

Eventually I'd like a job where I plan communications and marketing as well as write and edit for a living. These jobs are hard to come by and are very competitive, but not having a portfolio and some experience behind me will ensure that I never get a chance to have the career of my dreams.

I know I get tired and irritable when I'm working all the time. But have you ever seen the ear to ear smile on my face or the deep sigh of relief I let out when I finish a piece that I've slaved over in the remaining hours of my waking days? If you've seen me that happy after busting my ass to finish a project, you'd probably agree with me that it's worth the trouble.

I'm meaning to read the book "The 4-Hour Work Week." The person who attempted to discourage me from moonlighting mentioned this book as his inspiration for working less. I bought that bought along with "Career Renegade" and haven't been able to get to them yet.

The concept of working less and making more money is great, so hopefully that's what the book is trying to sell. But, if it's basically trying to convince me to cut corners and do some sort of scam-type bullshit that is lucrative so that I can have more free time to go bird-watching or do yoga, he can keep his message.

I'm at a point in my life where work is very important to me. I'm young enough and (what I think to be) enlightened enough where I don't place value in much else besides my relationships and my own self-reliance. I place more weight on the future of what I can build with my career, with my hands and with my mind. Family is important too as well as being able to relax someday. BUT, I want to work. If you offered me the chance, right now, to either retire comfortably or have the dream job I've always wanted and have to bust my ass, I'd chose the dream job and I really mean that.

"I'll lay my boots to rest when I'm impressed. So, I triple knotted 'em and forgot 'em."~Aesop Rock

Monday, March 9, 2009

Happy Movie Endings, Happy Monday and Happy Snowstorms

How was everyone's commute today? Mine was terrible! The daylight savings event completely threw me off and I didn't even bother to check the weather report before I left the house. I don't look forward to the ride home. I'll probably post up at a coffee shop and do some work until I feel it reasonable to hit the trail.

After viewing "Watchmen" over the weekend, I can envision just about anything twisted with a positive, holistic perspective and vice versa. What a movie! I had absolutely no background on the comic book series as I was a dedicated X-Men nerd throughout my childhood. I read a few reviews of "Watchmen" and the general consensus was that it stumbled a few times and was not a perfect movie, but just about anyone with an open mind can appreciate the effort that went into making this film. It was not a CGI display with an empty plot. Maybe the concept of relativity (Einstein) is particularly resonating with me, but "Watchmen" touched a lot of nerves in me. I'm probably going to watch it several more times. To top it all off, the action was intense and graphic. It even made me go "oh my fucking god!" a few times. An arm lock followed by a penetrating bone-break always makes me squirm a little. I walked out feeling pretty exhilarated, trying to remember the last time that a Hollywood made movie provoked such thoughts from me.

On a side note, I'm getting business from various sources and it feels.... GREAT! Economy be damned, I'm going to keep knocking these assignments out of the park. This is MY time.

Hope everyone else had a good weekend!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Desperate for Ad Revenue, Not Readers

The rant begins...

I write this in desperate frustration over the formatting of two of my favorite blogs, Triple Pundit and I know entirely too well that the state of publishing good journalism is getting more and more difficult because of the failing economy and an even more abysmal printing industry, but these websites have some of the poorest layouts I have ever seen.

How do they expect their readers to chose to visit their pages instead of just reading from an RSS Reader when you click through to the original article and you have to sit and think for a minute which part of the page is actually the story you want to read. I've complained about this in public forums before, but if these websites actually want people to visit each article's original page and possibly click on some links, they need to tone down the over-advertisement and use more focused techniques rather than screwing up the entire aesthetic of the page.

I'd say has a much worse layout than Triple Pundit, but either way, neither of them are good. They need to do their content justice and make it stand out more on the page. The articles are usually brilliant and cutting edge, so if they can target their advertising in relation to the topic of the article, I'd bet they'd make even more money than they do from splashing small ads all over the place.

Okay, my rant is done.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Per se

A friend noticed that we were both a couple of lucky sons of bitches. We are lucky for different reasons, of course. Neither of our mothers are bitches-per se. Neither of use are rich either, per se. Neither of us had the prime-time television depicted up-bringing, per se. Per several reasons counted only by ourselves I'm pretty sure that we'd gone farther than the status quo would have normally allowed.

I usually avoid cliches, per se. Per severance packages, graduation caps, loan notes, chemical dependence and clean bodies, I'd count myself among the lucky sons of bitches.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sustainable Economic Development - Not The Next "Love" Movement

When talking to people who drag their feet on sustainability issues for various reasons, I find myself defending the tenets of liberalism and feeling trapped argumentatively trapped. How do you explain to someone who associates "renewable energy" with socialist dogma? How do you surmount someone's intellectual walls after you start talking about scientific breakthroughs and they blurt out "well I like my big SUV!"

I'm a liberal, I'm a "tree hugger" and I like vegetables and organic food, but in no way do any of those traits lessen my commitment to making a living for myself and pushing the limits on my perspectives of how the world works. I think the perspective of the sustainability movement is that the world's society, population and infrastructure have grown exponentially fast since the inception of industrial technology, but we have been fueled off of a limited resource. We a handful of finite sources of energy to fuel our progression and in the process of moving forward, we leave behind poison in the air, in the land and in the bodies of our children for generations to come. We're sophisticate enough to be aware of, and harness natural forces on our planet that are virtually (for all our intents and purposes) limitless in the amount of energy that they produce.

It's time to wake up. We've been burning dead dinosaur remains and fossilized plant matter for almost 200 years and we're getting sicker and less efficient as time goes on. There are some dangers to the human race that are beyond the limits of our intellect to control, but beyond natural disasters, there's no more sense in burning oil and coal than there is in provoking massive wars (somehow they're intertwined).

This is a shift of mind-frame for how people think about living and growing what's around them. Most physical laws indicate that there is a finite limit to absolutely everything, so the concept of sustainably having or doing anything is somewhat deceiving, but the real goal is to be more sustainable and think in terms of building upon and sustaining a level of growth rather than basing our lives and future legacy on something that we all know is going to run out much sooner than later.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The True Life Polish

Shoes get worn, they get dirty and sometimes the user just neglects them all together. Why put a dark, smelly, oily substance on them that makes them streaked and smudged?

Leave the mess to itself for a bit and start to rub and buff the polish into the shoe. Stay out of the shoes for a bit and let them rest. Give them the treatment they've been neglected as you've taken them along on your travels. When it's time to rest and polish a good pair of shoes back up, take time and take care to do it well.

Some people only get one good pair of shoes and most of those people will make those shoes last for a long time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Writer's Christmas

I think I was around 13 when I decided that I was going to write a book. I liked to doodle and draw strange monsters a lot, I enjoyed sports, I really liked music (especially West Coast rap), but I never developed a skill or work ethic to aspire to any of those things on an elite level. I was also quite pre-occupied with winning one of the many reputed scholarships that would pay an entire ride to college's expenses for one good poem, essay or short story. So, I decided I was going to write a good poem, essay AND short story. Only one problem; hand-written pieces were not accepted. So, I decided that I absolutely must have a computer to type out and print all my masterpieces. Christmas time was approaching and I was on a mission.

The reality of the situation was that 12 years ago, computers were still huge pieces of machinery that cost thousands of dollars and I only knew one person who had one in their home. It definitely wasn't in the budget of a single mother to buy her aspiring author any sort of professional machinery to type out his thoughts. So, instead she bought me an electric typewriter, much like the one Raoul Duke uses in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It was amazing! Although the backspace button only worked for a few weeks and the ink ribbon was always getting twisted and smudging and... it doesn't matter! I had pages of my own writing that I could send in for the scholarship contest!

I didn't get that scholarship, or any scholarships for that matter, but it made me feel like a legitimate writer anyhow. This was the definitive moment in my life when I knew I was a writer. Starting on pages, scrapping countless drafts and gnashing my teeth trying to figure out what I wanted to write next; these are some of my fondest childhood memories that slipped my recollection for a long time. It sort of just popped into my head this morning and gave me a really warm feeling. I wanted to share that memory with you.

Do you have any lost or faded childhood memories that suddenly come to you? I'm hoping these start coming back clearer and more often. It feels good!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cake Filled With Content

You've got to give the people what they want, or you've got to convince the people they want what you've got. Straight-up copy just doesn't make people's mouth water. I'm finding that I'm getting quite obsessed with one type of writing at any given moment and neglecting others. All the while I am slowly creeping up to an insurmountable wall where I feel like everything I'm writing is crap.

The solution is to keep writing, no matter which way you go about it and stuff it into some cake so people will want it. Whether they'll buy it or not is an entirely different story, but as long as people read what you're putting down on paper and coming back for more the next day, you're doing alright.

On a side note, I'm becoming well aware of what ROI I am needing from the time I spend writing. It's got to be high! About two years ago I was writing entire 500 word articles for a few bucks. A FEW BUCKS! Maybe like $3 to $6 for quality writing that I spent at least an hour on. In my mind I was paying my dues, but working for pennies is so easy to do because people will never offer to pay you more if you don't ask. Getting what you're worth as a writer is important for financial reasons and also confidence reasons. I'm almost embarrassed to post about how long I was writing for cheap, but it's in the past and with some good judgment and even better advice I'm beyond that.

So, eat up your content cake as well as your *spinach* filled brownies and don't write for less than you're worth!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

On The Road...Again

I won't go into much detail right now, but basically I might have to pack my shit and find another place to live. I've been put into a very uncomfortable position. As a grown man I'm weighing my options of compromise versus confrontation, or simply walking away from this living arrangement that I have grown content with.

... sigh...

Adsense Doesn't Work Anymore

As with most people I know, I haven't made any money using Adsense. I knew that the wave of making good money through Adsense revenue had probably passed at least a few years ago.

So, what works now? I'm trying to figure that out myself. I've read two blogs this week that talk endlessly about how it's nearly impossible for most people to make money off of blogging, yet there are people that do it. Here is the more informative of the two blog posts

Basically what I understand is that there needs to be a unique business model associated with your content and with your blog. If it doesn't solve people's problems, it probably won't make money. Writing entertainment blogs seems to not be the way to go, although I enjoy writing entertainment type posts on JR's Not So Literal Logging.

So this leads me to wonder, how can I solve people's problems? What skills do I have that people would pay for? Well, I've got a lot of those skills to be perfectly honest! The act of brainstorming them will be a new way to shift the paradigm of how I think about making money.

So, I'm going to take my first step in trying a new Ad program called Chitika. It's supposedly much more effective than Adsense these days. We'll see! I'm looking forward to seeing some revenue come in based off of the page views I get.

Let me know what you think about solving people's problems and making money off of it. Also, let me know what you think of the Chitika Ads!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Proliferation of Green Jobs

The sustainability revolution is coming! Where do I stand? Where do you stand? Where do we stand?

A gajillion, million, bazillion dollars are now being circulated throughout the United States of America to help stimulate the economy and create jobs. I'm pulling for the "green" job increases and to be honest, I'm already starting to see a bit of a pick up in the talk and excitement in Massachusetts surrounding sustainable industries. Check out this article in the Boston Globe to see what I'm talking about.

Stimulus expectations run high

So, what kind of green jobs are we talking here? Green construction? Solar panel installers? Wind turbine technicians (or as I call them, trapeze artists)? Green non-profits? Green government contracts? Green street sweepers?

A year ago I was just another environmental enthusiast who wanted nothing more than to see a social and economic transformation to a cleaner, healthier economy and way of living. I wanted quite badly to work in the field of "green" business. I never got an engineering degree, never got an environmental science degree and I never got a business degree. I simply am a good writer who's good with technology and has a very small learning curve. I put myself out there repeatedly and almost, I mean almost got a few really cool jobs for solar and wind power companies. I'm not working in a sustainable industry at the moment, but I find myself in the midst of a revolutionary period, one that I've been waiting for.

Do I still want my professional future to lie in "green" or sustainable business? You bet your pants I do. But I ask, where do I belong? Where can I put my skills to use? Who needs me?

You should ask yourself these questions as well. This will be the biggest economic boom that my generation (Gen Y) will likely ever see in our lifetime. I don't want to call it a bubble. How could infrastructure and renewable energy development cause an economic bubble? It won't. This is our new direction. This will be an economic freight train. Get on or get out of the way!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Rise of Carbon Neutral Cities

Today I'm linking to a column Seth Itzkan and I wrote for The Valley Patriot. It's about the exciting trends in sustainable building practices that will bring us into a cleaner tomorrow.

As always, comments are welcome.


A sustainable future is not something that can only be enjoyed by certain segments of society or by certain parts of the planet. Many "green" innovations have been displayed in beautifully crafted, yet very expensive homes and buildings. The real, holistic purpose of living sustainably is so that everyone can live cleaner, healthier lives and leave the Earth less of a mess for future generations to clean up.

How does a world like this come to fruition? It certainly doesn't happen over night. Most of the world's big cities were developed large in scale and breadth as we know them after the industrial revolution. Over the course of time, cities and towns have grown in order to accommodate huge populations and the demands that come with them. Urban sprawl and suburbia seems to be a poor idea in hind-sight, but certain socioeconomic forces have shaped the urban, suburban and rural landscapes we live in today. Facing those forces with a new, sustainable mentality is what will help us to build greener, healthier living spaces.

What makes a sustainable region? Reducing the collective carbon footprint of a city or town is done in multiple ways. Changing the way a city is laid out or planned can dramatically alter the dynamic of foot traffic as well as the number of internal combustion vehicles used throughout. Changing standards and regulations towards requiring a high level of energy efficiency in all new construction projects is also a way to greatly reduce an areas carbon footprint.

With so many buildings, homes and structures already existing which were built long before efficiency standards were considered, there is the question of whether it is better to retro-fit or to build anew. While both ideas have their benefits, some governments are looking to model future cities after state of the art eco-colonies.

Masdar City, in Abu Dhabi is slated to be the world's first zero-carbon, zero-waste city. Within this walled city, no cars will be allowed and all of the energy used will be in the form of electricity generated by renewable resources such as photovoltaic panels and wind turbines. The goal for Masdar City is to create as much energy as it uses. Current goal is to produce a 130 megawatts through a photovoltaic network and 20 megawatts with wind farms. In all, Masdar City will be host to about 45,000 residents with 60,500 people commuting there daily.

There are also examples of existing cities and towns that are called "transition towns." The use of the word "transition" signifies a conscious, active and collective move towards building a more sustainable community.

This approach has varying aspects to it, including raising awareness of carbon and environmental issues, connecting with local governments and having community defined goals, projects and timelines which would ultimately seek to achieve a carbon neutral city, town or region.

Transition towns are varied in size and culture, with some examples in the United States being Montpelier, Vermont, Boulder, Colorado and Portland, Maine. The Obama-Biden platform was notably pro- environment and many Americans are looking forward to an Obama Administration push towards sustainable economic development. A large part of the platform is a commitment to highly efficient Federal buildings and more stringent standards for all new construction projects. New building efficiency will be 50% more efficient and retro-fitted existing structures will aim to be 25% more efficient. These ambitious, large scale projects are going to require a well trained and motivated workforce, which will hopefully signal a new reassurance of new, green-collar jobs in the near future.

Speaking of his proposed Environmental Agenda, President Obama said, "We cannot afford more of the same timid politics when the future of our planet is at stake. Global warming is not a someday problem, it is now."

Speaking to policy specifics, he said, "It will lay down three thousand miles of transmission lines to every corner of our country. It will save taxpayers $2 billion dollars a year by making 75% of Federal buildings more efficient and it will save American families hundred of dollars by weatherizing 2 million homes."

A city of any size uses massive amounts of power; that this may someday soon be achieved without any carbon output is remarkable.
Policies put fourth by the Obama administration promoting the greening of the built environment are a step in that direction and may provide useful incentives for The Merrimack Valley.

Czech out the actual Column at The Valley Patriot Online.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I've Decided to Become a Millionaire

In the past year I've made millions of dollars and signed countless copies of my book in a tour that spanned the globe twice over. Would you believe me that six months ago I was working at a gas station in downtown Baltimore making $22,000 a year annually and now I'm a MULTI-millionaire internet marketer. Sound unbelievable? I'd have said the same thing in your shoes. Let me show you how I turned my life around to become the biggest selling book writer, the most followed Twitterer and the most charismatic public speaker in the world with my webinar JR's Not So Literal Logging: A Peon's Guide to Generating Money From Thin Air.

I can't promise that you too will become rich, famous, attractive and amazing at every venture you take in life, but if you purchase my JR's Not So Literal Logging webinar series, I will show you the steps that you can take to put your life on a one-way rocket ride to success.

Please leave a comment and you'll be put on my super secret mailing list that will give you back-stage access, pre-sale information, ultra confidential tips, tricks and videos of me having burping contents with the chimpanzee friends I bought with my MILLIONS!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sustainable Spaces

I may not have mentioned Jetson Green before due to my tendency to keep things that I really love private. This website consistently hosts the most inspiring, beautiful and innovative green, sustainably built projects in the world. reading a blog like this is encouraging because it really helps you realize that many places throughout the United States are adapting some form of sustainable building principals in application to their own spaces.

A little over a week ago I visited Alex Cheimets in Arlington where he and his neighbor are living amidst the Massachusetts Superinsulation Project. This project is a great example of what can be done with supplies available to virtually anyone and some applied scientific reasoning to make a relatively old residential home become energy efficient. I will cover this project and compare it to other projects in further detail in the near future.

When not working with existing residential or commercial structures, there is a seemingly blank canvas left for developers, architects and construction workers to build something new and innovative that serves a purpose of livability, functionality and general aesthetic appeal.

A new design that I'm excited over today that I learned about from the folks over at Jetson Green is Dr. Jim's "Really Nice" space. This walkable, sustainable, rentable commercial space just screams downtown renewal, something that my hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts is in sore need of. If developers and city officials were ever able to pair reasonably priced, sustainably built housing and commercial space down where the Worcester Common Fashion Outlets used to be, that could bring an entirely new dynamic to the city's brand.

Match the concept of new development with retro-fitted existing structures and I can foresee an exciting vision for Worcester, Massachusetts and many many other cities and towns like it. This sort of vision will create jobs and be conducive to community involvement. I like the sound of that. Plus it just looks nice!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Start Now, Not Later

Why wait until next month to start kicking out the jambs? I was driving myself up the walls trying to figure out how I was going to make the dough that needed to be made for the month of February. I keep stressing over my business website and setting that up to look "professional."

Scratch that. I got into the swing of focusing too much on making money in one particular discipline. How else can I make money? Writing isn't the only ways. Editing, babysitting, demolition, trade shows, you name it! You can't knock or limit my hustle.

I feel like this is my best effort in putting the last month behind me and really turning the corner towards an exciting 2009. I'm looking to stay positive, stay caring and giving to the people who display the same traits to me and even to some of those who don't.

Not that I'm a bad person, but I feel like I need to be a better person moving forward. Better, stronger, smarter and tougher. More understanding too. More flexible?

We'll see.

On a side note, a picture is probably worth a thousand words and a million memories when you consider the tableau of three Worcesterite males sitting around a semi-furnished apartment drinking wine from Martini glasses and talking about life with the type of vigor that you'd expect from upwardly mobile cats who haven't quite hit their stride. You'd have to be there... with a camera!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Charlie Haden- Jack Black's In-Law

I was driving home from work this winter and heard a sample of this song on NPR. (As corrected by my friend Seth Itzkan, an avid bassist himself)The bassist's name is Charlie Hayden. The son is on vocals. His daughter is married to Jack Black. This song touches me very deeply. I suggest looking up the song "Shenandoah" as well.

Link Love = More Blog Traffic

About a month ago I got an un-welcomed email from stating that I was not being paid per post anymore after earning a dollar per 100 word post every day for about six months. My income from side writing projects has been negligible in the past month due to commitments at my day job so I didn't want to waste time writing on my blog if I wasn't getting paid for it. The link love and community of was nice, but out of spite I wasn't going to be part of another ad-revenue sharing program.

About a week after I stopped posting on my blog, my visitor states for JR's Not So Literal Logging starting going way down. Looking at the source of where a lot of my traffic came from I was surprised to see that people were visiting this very blog from my blog!

What does this tell me? Don't ditch your social media circles on a whim! Keeping a regular blog posting routine at my blog might have possibly kept my visitors engaged and clicking links on my page.

Might I re-start my blog? I'm not sure yet. It was a themed blog about my quest to get back into grad school. Now that Grad School isn't at the forefront of my life anymore, I might chose another topic and start from scratch.

Any thoughts on this? Do you owe your traffic and reputation to social media outlets that seem to be a waste of time otherwise?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Blog Posting Late In The Day - Get Over That Wall

Sometimes I wonder if posting to my blog this late in the day is worth the trouble. It seems like if I don't post to my blog early in the morning when people begin checking their RSS feeds, my posts don't get read and my traffic begins to die down at a steady rate, as it has for the past month.

My traffic stats do not represent my inner beauty! *breathes deeply*

I posted a question on Twitter earlier today that read like this:

JRMoreau: I need to take a different angle at working efficiently at my side business after/before work. My old way isn't effective anymore.

I was busy at work today. Not busy like, too many meetings to go to, or trouble-shooting busy. I simply had piles and piles and piles on top of piles of work that I needed to grind through before days end. I suspect it will be the same tomorrow. This is why I am getting a blog post out before I leave my desk so that I can at least say I did one today. Any momentum is good momentum (except backwards momentum, duh!)

While I won't take work home with me tonight (I'm trying to be disciplined as much as possible), I'm also slipping into the tendency of wanting to relax when I get home. What a foreign concept! Who does that?

All snide sarcasm aside, I started out last year with a wide eyed idea that I'd start a writing business and get it really cranking in 2009. I've had some personal obstacles arise lately, but I'm handling them all well enough.

The true test of an innovative, hard working person is how they face adversity and worse, a perceived lack of motivation. I used the word "perceived" because I don't think motivation ever really wanes, it's the energy to keep running into the same wall at the same speed, from the same angle, day in and day out. It's less a question of motivation than it is a question of feeling refreshed in perspective.

A refreshed perspective is something that everyone needs from time to time. It's tough to get out of bed every day if your perspective is that things cannot change. With great effort, passion and all the good stuff that got you into this mess in the first place, you can bring about change.

I don't like to see my blog go too long without a post. I've gone through several blogs over the last decade and I promised that JR's Not So Literal Logging was going to be the first blog I kept writing in forever.

That same feeling goes towards my writing business. I've had lots of great ideas in the past that I didn't follow through on. This is the first day of the rest of my business owning life. I am tired, behind schedule and dealing with some tough things in life, but things that you build define you better than your hardship.

Get to crackin'!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Blog Writing - You Are What You Eat?

I wonder how much blog content is recycled information that a blog author gets from his or her RSS Reader on any given day? I see a lot of themes and concepts recycled. Sometimes people don't even bother changing the order of the top 5 (or however many) bullets they write on a subject.

It's all gravy, though. I'm guilty (or a participant) in the art of content recycling. Sometimes I have a hard time getting inspired to write a blog post unless I wake up with a bright idea or think of something crazy on the commute to work. I guess this is natural?

There's always the concept of ideating (yes, it's a word). It's basically the slap in the face answer to anyone who tells you that they've got writers blog. You essentially kick start your brain into creative mode by analyzing your surroundings and your immediate needs and building from there with a vast series of customized steps. It's a fairly effective tool, especially for people who get paid for their writing and need to come up with great stuff on a regular basis.

Today I let the ideation take control and wahlah, an ideated blog about ideation. Enjoy!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Where You're From - An Adjective

Do you have any interesting, funny or shameful characteristics about where you're from that immediately get pegged on you when you're out of town?

I've been called Worcesterish (Worcester-ish) and have also been told I've got "Millbury Street etiquette." I think you'd have to be from the city to know what that means, or at least be familiar with the area. I'm not even sure what it means to be honest. I actually call myself "Worcesterish" proudly. It's one of the first adjectives that my friends use to describe me to their friends and it's always an endearing term.

I read a lot of Facebook posts about "you know you're from Boston/Worcester if..." Are any of you from a city or town that isn't considered a "major" city, but rather a working, urban area that has it's very distinct culture from surrounding metropolises?

As always, if I meet you and you ask me where I'm from, it's Worcester, "Wista," but never, ever Boston.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Becoming a Professional = Learning to Walk Before You Fly

As I try new things the older I get, I seek council a lot from people who have been there and done that. Even though I admittedly have a hard time learning from others mistakes, I do enjoy talking a bit about my next potential steps and life and hearing people talk about their trips, falls, bumps, bruises and successes.

Being a Gemini, I have at least two sides to listen to at any given decision making point in my life. I've learned that one of those sides in me is always right. I try not to explicitly ask people exactly what I should do. The roundabout method of questioning is a good way to exercise all possibilities and come to your own conclusions.

Sometimes someone will take it upon themselves and tell you exactly what they think you should do. This can be great, because it shows that one of your actual options is something that others have convictions about. But, it is necessary to be careful of people who try and steer you. It is easy to come across these people in life. They're either individuals who stand to gain from you choosing a certain path and are persuasive irregardless of your circumstances. There are also individuals who are naturally nervous or apprehensive and are averse to risk who would rather you take the path of lesser resistance every time.

Being able to weigh risk, others opinions and still move forward is the true sign of professional maturity. Having others hold your hand the whole way simply won't work. Even though it make feel good to have tons of support, it surely doesn't feel as good as flying under your own power.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Keeping Flexible

In staying flexible, I don't mean bending and twisting before and after exercise. What I mean is maintaining an open mind about what life can bring at any given moment and realizing that you're ability to be passive or active is a choice left entirely up to you.

The emotional, intellectual and physical strains that people go through on any given day can be enormous. The attempt to find fulfillment in a day, or a month or a lifetime can seem all but impossible with the harrowing task of making ends meet financially and meeting as many personal goals as we think we might like to achieve over a course of time.

There has to be more. I'm not speaking in any religious sense, but rather in the sense that we cloud our minds so much with tasks and desires that don't lead us anywhere. Working a day-job, to make money, to buy things, to grow old and then to die. What have we built? What is left when we are gone? Each of us has our own calling and natural abilities that set us free when we embrace them.

My freeing activity is writing. I'd really like to write for a living. Copywriting, creative writing, academic writing, journalism; I love all forms of writing. I feel much more alive after I've written something from the heart. I know there is something in each person that makes them feel the way I do about writing. How long until you side step the massive boulder you're working on getting to the top of that never-ended hill? 10 years? 30 years? 45 years?

Doing what you have to do to survive for however long is your own prerogative. Some people figure out a way to make a living doing something they love. Others need to work different jobs that they don't like for a while until they're absolutely sure that they're meant to be on another path. I think relative to the time-line that is life, it doesn't matter whether it takes us 2 or 20 years to find out what we love to do and actually start doing it. What matters is that we make the change and stay ready to pounce when the opportunity presents itself. Before and after that point, it is a matter of listening, learning and taking as much in to make that beautiful moment where your life changes count for everything it's worth.

This post is dedicated to two completely un-related friends of mine, Neil D. and Julie Roads. Neil's talk on Mankind's Search for Harmony through Architecture and Julie's eBook called How to Become a Successful Copywriter both have inspired a ton of thought encouragement in myself and many others, I'm sure.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Working Out in Pairs

Venturing away from my common subjects, I wanted to talk about something that has been fresh on my mind with Spring slowly, but steadily approaching; fitness! I have had various levels of personal fitness over my life time. Some years weren't so great, other years were phenomenal. As of now I'm relatively fit, but not athletic by any means. When it got cold and I stopped riding my bike, my average hours of exercise per week went way down. I also find myself going on long walks and to the gym a bit less due to work and weather constraints.

All excuses aside, I must say that I do miss working out with friends like I used to in college. It seems like no matter where I lived, whether it was in Prague or one of the dozen or so apartments I lived in in Boston, I always seemed to have interesting roommates who valued fitness in their own lives. I took to thai kickboxing quite fondly thanks to one roommate, I got my first flat "four-pack" stomach with another roommate who probably did 1000 crunches a day and I took to road biking after living with people who really enjoyed mountain biking.

My next adventure? Well, there is a rock climbing gym going up in Worcester. I've always wanted to try rock climbing and up until 4 years ago, I thought I'd never be able to because I couldn't do a pull up. Now that I'm strong enough to do a few pull ups, I'm really looking forward to tying a rope around my waist and scaling some funky studded walls. I kind of want someone to do this with so I can share a mutual interest. I am able to do things solo, but do enjoy a slightly competitive bit of company with things like this.

What are your opinions of rock climbing? What are some of the things I can expect? I'm kind of excited! I might try it at the YMCA where my sister works too, but if I like it, I'm going to join the one noted below:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Working Alternative Hours

When's the last time you left work when it was light out? The summertime? Do you justify it by noting daylight savings time? Or, are you working much longer hours than normal and not really taking the full benefit of what a flexible work schedule can offer?

Some jobs can be subject to unfair, tyrannical rules and procedures that make like miserable for pretty much everyone involved. Showing up to the office no later than 8PM Monday through Friday and working late whenever needed isn't exactly my idea of a good work-life balance. I can be counted as somewhat hypocritical in this regard because I do, after all, work much, much, much more that 40 billable hours per week, but I also do my best to make my essential knowledge and work ethic work for me by working alternative hours whenever possible.

If you're going to be on call, or asked to put in lots of extra hours on a regular basis, you should definitely consider asking for a schedule that suites your needs a bit better. Most jobs have the capability to allow their employees to work remotely. Many managers simply don't let their employees work from home because they feel it is taboo and bad for team morale and productivity. Most studies on working from home have proven that theory to be wrong.

Having a healthy work-life balance is essential to your personal and professional progression in life. There's no real reason, aside from an inflexible culture that you cannot have a flexible working schedule that allows you to work remotely or have alternative hours if you're putting in the hard work and time needed to get the job done.

Finding smart, reliable, hard working employees is hard, keeping them happy shouldn't have to be.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Personal and Professional Health

I want to follow up on Steph's post on my last post Managing Time at Work. She made an excellent point about staying on top of one's health, both mental and physical while pushing the limits on what you can get done every day over a sustained period of time.

I get rather busy during certain times of the year and very rarely, if ever do I take vacations. The "balance" that Steph talks about is what I cling to. Not ever having much money for travel, I take advantage of any hospitality that is offered my way and also take the spontaneous PTO day or two when I feel I cannot face another day of work.

I eat pretty well too. Although I'm not always going to the gym on a regular basis, I do keep myself strong with lots of push ups and crunches and I'm always seeking a balanced diet. My friends always turn their nose at my picky organic filled pantry and refrigerator, but they always show up when I'm cooking and invite them.

It's strange, I'm never really "ahead" financially, but as I take small, tangible steps to get ahead professionally, physically and mentally, it all adds up to a better holistic life. I think everyone is a little bit of a control freak. Having a 9 to 5 you ultimately surrender control to a great amount of your life, so taking back the other hours of your life and using them well is a good way to build up towards something better.

Every little bit counts. What are you doing to get somewhere?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Managing Time At Work

I am relatively good at managing time at work. I manage myself pretty effectively and therefor do well in jobs with minimal supervision. I do, however like to have knowledgeable and helpful supervisors and managers who are there as a resource too, but as far as micro-managing goes, I don't need it.

The past two weeks have been truly an exercise of endurance. With a massively complicated deliverable going out and perfection being our only option in execution, it's been a non-stop deluge of work both on work hours and well outside my regular work hours. Despite a hectic pace and short-deadline, I have still managed my time very well.

I am just wondering what I can do to manage my time better with such a heavy workload compared to the more "regular" hours that I worked in previous months? I don't think that things will slow down or get less crazy and I still need to keep developing my writing and trying to get a client base. I'm truly drained lately when I come home I have almost no creative energy left at night.

More "to-do" lists? More caffeine? Less sleep? More weekend hours? All of the above?

Any full-time freelancers or part-timers have any advice for time management under hectic full-time job conditions?

Monday, January 26, 2009

The "Plight" of the White Male

This past weekend I overheard, but did not participate in, conversations by white males about how hard it is for white males in America and how President Obama is going to make it worse by giving all the jobs to blacks and other minorities.

Growing up in a very blue collar family in a relatively blue collar city, I've heard this argument countless times. Some whites feel slighted and discriminated against because of affirmative action. A lot of them feel that AA is outdated and not relevant anymore because racism doesn't matter these days.

This is a very complicated issue, one which I'm not 100% sure about where I stand on it, but I am positive that when I hear a bunch of employed, white males sitting around talking about how hard they have it because of their skin color, I want to laugh and shake them violently.

I think back to when I grew up in Worcester and went to school in the inner city at a private, albeit extremely diverse catholic school; I worked my ass off and never felt slighted when a person of color got something over me. I think about how some of the kids I knew growing up lived, whether white, black, hispanic, mixed race, asian or whatever... some of us had it harder than others. I'm happy as hell if one of my friends ever got called up for a special program because of their story.

So many "conservatives" talk about pulling yourself up by the boot-straps and making your way no matter what your circumstances. So, I simply pose to them; why didn't you over-perform and get whatever you were going after? Was it impossible? Could you not overcome your circumstances?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My New Cat, Ella Fitzgerald

I went back to the shelter yesterday to finally get a new cat after I had to return my last one. Her name is Ella Fitzgerald and she is 5 years old. She is by far the nicest cat I've ever met. She headbutts and purrs constantly. I'm a big fan, although I'm going to change the locks to my apartment because my mother and sister are plotting to steal her and swap out their weird but lovable cat "Baby Bailey".

Here are some pics for those of you who asked before!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Heads Up To My Followers

I followed a bunch of people in both the "Blogs I'm Following" feature in the blogger dashboard as well in my RSS Feed. The double feed was getting a bit much so I nixed my blog feed on Blogger. So, just an FYI, I am still following everyone who I have always followed, I'm just using a different reader.

Life Coaching the Un-Coachable

Last night a friend told me I should be a life coach because I seem good at inspiring people to take risks in life and chase their dreams. I took this as a compliment, but realized that I couldn't be a life coach for a lot of the same reasons why I probably can't ever be a teacher.

At this point in my life, I have a lot of emotional energy riding on my success as a professional and as a person. I work tirelessly to get what I want and get very angry, nervous anxious and resentful of people, places and things that get in my way. I always acknowledge these emotions and then churn them into some sort of positive energy towards the universe. I'm becoming more centered and fragmented at the same time!

One of the things that would make me unsuccessful at life-coaching and/or teaching is the fact that I cannot deal with people who don't follow up on what they want. I am a pretty good listener and I will listen to, empathize with and comfort someone who is having a tough time in their life. I have to be careful not to be too forceful with what I think they should do, because I know that I hate when people automatically assume they know what I need. Instead, I just ask lots of questions revolving around what someone wants from their life. That's how I figured a lot of things out in my own existence. When you acknowledge obstacles and start focusing on how to get over or around them, you're at least using your mental energy for forward progress instead of just aimless worrying.

I'm pretty sure I'd take it very personally if I invested a lot of professional and emotional energy into giving someone advice and helping them take their first steps and seeing them not follow through. It is something I despise so much in myself when I do it, I wouldn't want to project those feelings onto someone else. I'm always willing to have a good, long talk over coffee or wine and wax philosophic about life, but I definitely try to leave my hopes and investments in whichever person I'm talking to at the table.

I feel like if you just put the positive energy that you've got into the world and don't expect anything back, you'll often not get anything back, which is fine. But every so often, someone or something comes along and surprises you by turning into an amazing butterfly from a cocooned ball of angst and worry. That is probably one of the best feelings in life; seeing someone succeed and get what they truly want.

Seeing people genuinely happy makes me happy. I love to feed off it and put my good vibes out. I just don't know if I could put myself out there for a living and take people by the hand and repeatedly see so many not change their lives. Or maybe the few people that do change make it all worth it? Seems similar to drug rehab or AA. To be honest, a lot of these thoughts are based from those sorts of experiences and people. Hmm....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Books about Career Development (and everything else)

Through my foray into social media about 2 years ago I've met a lot of interesting people with great ideas about career development, personal branding and other nu-age ideas that are relatively cutting edge. I can't believe how many influential business books I've found through recommendations and even directly from authors I've met through social media sites such as and Linkdin.

It is interesting to think about who these books are targeted towards and why. Books such as "The Dip" by Seth Godin or "Me 2.0" by Dan Schawbel don't seem to me like they are targeted towards high school seniors or individuals about to graduate from college. Actually, these books seem best geared towards people who are currently working jobs that they don't find particularly fulfilling and might need a self re-invention. Am I amongst those ranks? Sure am! I love both of these books and many others like them.

I guess you can't really target young people and tell them what's up with the real world. You sort of need to just encourage them to experiment and not be afraid to take chances while they're young and have less on the table to lose.

Developing a persona brand isn't easy for anyone of any age because even though we live in a society of "individuals" (especially Generation Y!), there is still a relative hesitancy to step out into the crowd and be critiqued for who you really are, rather than being associated with a larger group. This is why personal branding is so confusing; what identity should any given individual cling to? Do you make something up that benefits you, or do you explore yourself and cultivate an image that expressed who you really are? Are the two concepts mutually exclusive?

I'm glad that I'm playing to my strengths as so many people, both famous and locally influential, have told me. I think that's the key. Not sure what the full payoff is yet, but I'm already seeing dividends and that's a great motivation to keep going. The soul searching part is tough though.

It's almost like all of these great books are written for people who are too busy to read them. But we do find time to read them. We must!

Do any of you struggle with your personal branding? Have any of you given up on the idea? If so, what alternatives are there? Just letting the chips fall where they may?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pow! Free Book?!?! DOUBLE POW POW!!!

So I read a post on Twitter from Saul Colt that a free business book was being given away by Andy Nulman at

As someone who is starting a business, I feel I could use every bit of relevant advice I can find and being strapped for cash, the cost effective and/or free advice is often the best kind. I'd love to get a free copy of 'POW! Right Between The Eyes."

My address is

James R. Moreau
16 Whipple Street, Unit 3
Worcester, MA 01607

Thanks Andy Nulman!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Speechless After President Obama's Inauguration

As I suspected, I am rather speechless after President Obama's Inauguration speech. I got chills throughout the entire program and was left less of a sentimental feeling that I expected. I felt more determined and hopeful than before. I guess these are the types of feelings that a good leader is supposed to bring out. I am happy to get to work for President Obama and for the rest of America. I'm ready to work with my neighbors and everyone else across the country to wants to see better days ahead for when we are old and into our children's lives.

President Barack Obama has a huge task ahead of him, but today showed overwhelmingly that he was an army of motivated individuals, inspired Americans who are behind him in his vision for a better United States of America.

I suppose I should finally get around to reading his books. I think I'll start with this one.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Co-Working Outside of the Box

Co-Working Outside the Box
by-JR Moreau

What is a business idea that could spread so rapidly in this fading and transitioning economy? Co-Working! Co-working is an idea that is attractive in virtually any part of the world. The ingredients and ideas are simple. You take self-employed entrepreneurs and you take under-utilized commercial space. Bam. That's it.

Sitting at you home office as a freelancer can be productive, but can also be lonely and stifling. The lack of human interaction really gets some people down. These people thrive off of other people's ideas and motivation. They're not looking to chat it up all day and be unproductive, they want to work among their peers and have the ability to collaborate if the opportunity arises.

There's always the coffee shop that you could sit at too. Sometimes the atmosphere can be cool and the coffee is usually good (and expensive), but the crowd and vibes can change quickly. Meeting friends at a coffee shop for conversation is one thing, but bringing a client there unless they specifically ask for that type of setting? Hell no! Especially if there are little kids there.

Co-working is an outlet that is truly ideal for the independent professional who wants all of the benefits of a social setting without the drawback's of a public space. It also provides a more-than-adequate work space with full internet connectivity and basic office supplies and amenities.

Another benefit: COST! The shared cost of renting an existing, under-utilized space is the ability to share the cost with a group of people. This leads to far lower overhead than anyone could ever manage to find in renting their own space. Plus you're given a set, professional atmosphere to bring clients, rather than having to scramble to make sure your home is clean or grabbing a corner at the local coffee house.

The catch? Well, I suppose co-working lacks a corporate culture, a strict dress code and doesn't encourage being punctual, but most self-employed people, in some ways, chose to become entrepreneurs to get away from all of that anyways. The next generation of entrepreneurs will not be suited unless absolutely necessary and will not be bound by a-typical office jobs due to projected responsibility or guilt.

Whether you live in a large city like Chicago or New York, an outlying suburban area or even a rural town, there is a good chance that freelancers and entrepreneurs exist and are looking for a solution to their workspace issues just like you are. You're building community and building your business at the same time.

If you like the idea of this, check out this book based on the concept of the "third place." A very interesting book and theory on community and a general sense of how we can get it back.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Smiling At A Rejection Letter

A month ago I applied for a "professional" blogging position at a local renewable energy corporation. I have a relatively good amount of knowledge regarding renewable energy and sustainable development and felt I was a strong candidate. But, I knew this would be a hot job that a lot of people would compete for. I expected that if I didn't get an interested email back in a short time span, I'd never hear back at all.

But, I am happy to say I got an email back. I wasn't given the position, but it makes me happy that the human resources rep took the time to send this. It shows real quality in a company that treats it's applicants well along with it's employees.

Can anyone else relate to being semi-grateful for a rejection letter?

Here is the email. I debated on posting it, but I think this company and this founder deserve some recognition.

Thank you for applying for the Professional Blogger position. We were overwhelmed with the number of responses and pleased to read through the qualifications of so many talented people. Unfortunately, we could choose only two to be our chief editors and have selected two outstanding candidates to fill the positions. The new blog is now live at URL. As a professional blogger and supporter of renewable energy we hope that you will help make #### #### #### a success by visiting the site, contributing comments, and sharing the blog with your friends. As the blog matures we will be looking for contributing writers so we hope that you will also join the #### #### #### network and become a frequent contributor. Together we will achieve energy independence, one community at a time.

Thank you again for applying for this position and best of luck with your future endeavors.


### ####

Using Social Media For Life

A great article about local small biz social media strategy and success.

I get so excited when I hear people asking questions about how they can use social media to grow their business. Talking to family members about social media and how it relates to growing their business, I've gotten less than enthusiastic responses to how it could help their specific cause, but they see potential in it for others. We're witnessing the democratization of social media in how people are advertised, marketed and related to by corporations and small businesses. Social media can help just about anyone further their cause and get a message out to a lot of people at little monetary cost.

I'm setting a personal goal for myself that I will get my family's sheet mental fabrication and restaurant kitchen hood business to use social media to get their products and services out there. My grandfather and uncle are convinced that what I'm doing isn't a "blue collar" this; whatever that means. Banking, advertising, technology and most other sectors have been around for hundreds or even thousands of years. They are always evolving. Those who are hesitant to change and grow will miss out on major benefits of social media eventually.

As for those who know the power of social media and are aware of how it can affect their business in a positive way, I can help you develop strategies and help you utilize where your particular product and service sits in the industry.

If you're passionate about something to build a business, take risk and put yourself out there, you need your efforts and qualifications articulated accurately and you need that message to be targeted. That's what I'm all about. I get it straight, then I get it out there!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy Thursday, Tomorrow is Friday

My apologies for not posting since Monday! No excuses except for the usual schedule of working late and little energy after 9:00pm. Well maybe I do have an excuse...but I'm not ready to share on here, yet.

What to do about it? Not sure. Don't want to start getting into un-natural sleeping patterns again and I definitely don't want to get back into stimulants to stay awake longer (coffee and occasionally nicotine are my vices, kicking alcohol (for the most part) was hard enough)).

I just matched parenthesis. Can you tell I've been staring at Boolean string searches lately? Imagine if I actually became a techie dude and lost all desire to be "creative" as a writer? I think it'd be time to get checked-in somewhere for a long vacation with Nurse Ratchet.

I'm getting a new cat today at lunch time. I'm also half done with the first time homebuyer program in Worcester. With my lowered interest rates on my loans I'm looking forward to packing some money way and paying down a few of my credit cards so my credit doesn't look so bad when I go to sign an offer.

That's all I've got for now. Just wanted to break the silence and let you all know I'm still typing with my fingers and NOT with my toes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Generation Y's Student Loans

Today I got a letter in the main stating that my student loans were being altered. Not in a bad way though! My interest rate was reduced! I am so pumped that I'll be paying drastically less for as long as this lasts.

Basically the letter states that I understood my interest rate on my private student loan as well as my federal student loan were variable but had a ceiling. I've been seeing my interest rates move higher as the years progressed. As the interest rates reached their ceiling, I get this letter stating they were dropping over 2 percentage points.

Thanks President Obama. I owe you one. Also, thanks Graduate Leverage. Not sure why you've done this, but keep it coming, PLEASE!

Persistance Has An Annual Dividend

Everyone's time is worth money. My grandfather taught me this. We need to spend our time, which equals money, at a job that pays us money. We hope that the net gain will be greater than the time and energy we put into our jobs. Often times, especially early in a career, this is not the case.

Where were you a year ago today? I was frantic, miserable in my jobs and felt like I was without options to improve my situation. I had my nose so close to the grindstone that everything else was a blur and indistinguishable.

Where are you now? I met lots of people in 2008 that helped me tremendously. I discovered and learned how to use Twitter. I also because a born-again writer. More importantly, I feel I have options.

The one thing that hasn't changed from last year to this year, or from any point in my life; persistence. If you put the time in and you continually reassess your goals and see what you could be doing better, then you'll get where you're going. If you never set goals, yet you work your ass of for someone, it's your loss.

Living purposefully is too important. You only live once. Figure out what you want to do, start looking into how it's done and how you can do it and get to work and make it happen. Nothing worthwhile happens overnight.

You can write a response to this in one year, exactly ;-)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Convince Me

I am not a salesperson. I have never held, nor desired a career in any type of sales. However, I am a marketer and a bright one at that.

This morning I pondered on why I'm not so good at verbally convincing others of why something might be a good idea. Granted, people who know me and trust me usually always take me seriously when I start a sentence with "seriously, you need to check this out." Otherwise, to a complete stranger it takes a lot of careful studying and analysis to come up with coherent examples of why something is a good idea and then speak those examples eloquently and confidently enough to elicit a positive reaction.

I've felt damned having an overactive brain and a stammering, stu-stuh, stuttering verbal delivery that gets sidetracked by a well-constructed retort.

But, maybe that's not a bad thing? A Futurist friend of mine explained to me how things that are always on the cusp and not yet mainstream are what excite him the most. That is where all of the meaningful action is. Once an idea is commoditized and pimped, it loses it's real value for thinkers and innovators unless they are deconstructing it to create something better and different.

Standing on the sidelines, I may miss out on some things, but I am also able to observe the status quo and think and build un-obstructedly. Without having to worry too much about how my ideas are percieved by others (at first, at least), I can use free-flowing thought, objective criticism and continually build and innovate, rather than mold my creative process to what is currently popular.

All it takes is that spark. The person obsessed with an idea who focuses and develops it regardless of criticism and disbelief. He or she wanders through the myriad of disheartening comments, but one day an open ear leads to widen eyes and a faster pulse and great interest.

That's the spark, baby.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Are eBooks Just Essays in PDF Format?

This is by no means a post where I try to downplay prolific eBook authors. I personally want to write one and feel it is a good project of lesser scale than a novel to take on during busy times. I look some eBooks, and see a lot of cool designs in the actual file, which grab my attention and make me save it to my desktop for later reading.

But, I usually don't wind up going back to my desk to read an eBook on my desktop. Although I hate newspapers because of their cumbersom handling and small print, I am an old fashioned dude when it comes to books. They're easy to hold for long periods of time and you don't neccesarily need to be in any one place to read them.

Maybe this is an idea shift I have yet to make? eBooks are becoming more popular. I feel I could easily publish more of my shorter fiction and non-fiction in this medium, which actually gives me more mental incentive to write them. As for financial incentive, that's a whole other post I need to write.

I don't want to be a hypocrit. If I'm going to start reading eBooks, how should I start? Should I set asside time to sit down at my home office and read a few pages every day? I already do that on my Google reader! The only difference is there is no refreshing of the page... OR, I could get an Amazon eBook reader The Kindle.

Do any of you like to read eBooks? What about writing them? What are the pro's and cons?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Budgets All Around

I told you all I wasn't going to get too heavy into this resolution stuff in the new year because I don't want to take focus on my day to day operations that are already getting me somewhere. If I need to stop and re-assess, I shall do so as needed, not on January 1st ever year.

Well, I may be breaking my promise a little too early. I'm doing a budget. I've lived on budgets before and they've gotten me out of credit card debt and allowed me to live in Boston on $10.00 an hour as a temp (worst/best days of my life). Since getting and maintaining a full time job for the past 2 years or so, I've stopped budgeting myself and spending/saving off the cuff.

My improv financial life hasn't worked well. I spend too much and save way too little. I have some automatic accounts that collect money each paycheck, but I don't count my 401k as a true reflection of how smart I am financially at age 24.

I want to buy a house or a condo this year. I actually am planning on doing so by the end of the summer barring any life altering events. So, in order to prepare myself and make this happen, I am going to do a budget for myself like I did when I was below the poverty line. We'll see how this works. It may completely warp my view of what kind of life I am leading and how I should live and spend. It may convince me not to buy a home (I sure hope not). But, no matter what happens and what my conclusions are, I need to be honest with myself in 2009 and moving forward. I let the comfort of a steady paycheck make me lazy and sloppy.

Does anyone have any advice for budgeting? I'm going to try and sit down and do it for a couple hours tonight.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

3 Blogs That Make Me Laugh Obnoxiously

I'm serious about my career and my life. Too serious at times. Below is a list of blogs that get a solid, snarky laugh out of me every single time I visit them.

Hipster Runoff:
  • My favorite social commentary on the young, hip and completely fucking clueless. A true ode to ALT-Culture. I've laughed out loud to every post so far. Beware: some nudity and pretty much everything will offend some segment of society.
Queen B Mommy:
  • Picture what one of the pea-brained women from the hills would blog about if suddenly knocked up and married to a wealthy man. This blog doesn't come off as satire at first, which is why it's so good... and scary!
The Economy Isn't Happening:
  • If you come to this page, realize the author has a book and he wants you to buy it. You will be reminded repeatedly. Thank god almost everything he writes is witty, on point and warped. The free download is cool, but if you get a chance, pick up the book with the pooch on the cover, it's worth the $15 bucks.
Please let me know in the comments what low-brow or high-brow humor gets you giggling on a regular basis.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Co-Working, Tweet-Ups and Team-Blogging

Excuse all of the hyphens, but I'm quite interested in what people's opinions of co-working, tweet-ups and team-blogging are. They are all relatively unique concepts, but they also all have similar traits which make them relevant to each other.

  • In any given urban region, I suspect there is a need and desire for co-working spaces where freelancing professionals can go and work will full office anemities without having to pay the crippling overhead costs of their own exclusive office space. A myriad of other positive side-effects would arise from having groups of creative and driven people working independently, but in close social proximity to one another.
  • I am a slave to Twitter, and a glad one at that. I want to host a Tweet-Up in January. I'd love for some input on organizing a Tweet-Up with themes, ideal locations, techniques of promoting it and being a good overall host.
  • I've applied to several websites for blogging jobs recently and haven't gotten offers yet. I'm not sure in what way I've hit the wall, but I feel as a writer I need to work on my packaging, concepts and sense of relevance. I'd like to co-Author a blog with someone. Team-blogging is my idea of coercing myself into a loosely bonded agreement that I'll contribute and push ideas to their limit with another like minded person. I currently don't have any idea who I'd ask, or what the blog topic would be, but I'm quite open to ideas on that as well.
This is my passive-aggressive (or loveable) way of saying that I want to be down. All of these things interest me greatly.

"Community" will be 2009's new "Green." "Smart-Grid" is going to be bit too, but even the damn scientists don't know what the hell it means yet!