On publishing Volume 02: You gotta know when to hold ’em

Hello OCSPLORA Friends, Fans & Curious Onlookers.

OCSPLORA Volume 02 is almost ready to go to the printer and I’m really excited about it. And more than a little terrified too.

For the past three years, since March 2009, I’ve been working on and thinking about OCSPLORA nearly every day.

I’ve read stories about people who started blogs or web startups and, within months, the thing is thriving with thousands of readers, users, or followers.

I get a little discouraged when I read those stories, or when I see my friend Doug film a documentary and grow a world-wide following for it in a year and a half. I’m thrilled for him, but it leaves me feeling that either, A., the original idea for OCSPLORA is not something people are into or are ever going to be into, or B., I’m just not doing it right.

The truth is, it’s a good idea, but it’s a hard idea because it’s such a big idea. And the truth is also that I’ve gotten much more wrong than right during these past three years.

But I think I needed that.

I needed to be schooled in how to start stuff, in how to coordinate with people, in how to stay focused, in how to think long term, in how to keep moving forward even when it feels like nothing’s happening. And I needed to build confidence, to learn what I’m good at and what I’m not and how to compensate.

It’s probably been the most valuable three years of my life, but eventually you have to move on, you have to take a risk, a big risk, and hope you’re man or woman enough to come out alive on the other side.

That’s what Volume 02 is about. Mostly it is just another attempt to make a cool magazine. But in its pages you will find an invitation to become a member of the Octopus Exploration Co. for a year, basically subscribing you to twelve more volumes.

Which means I am committing myself to publishing one volume a month from September 2012 to August 2013, with or without help and whether or not it makes any money or any difference.

Yikes.

But the alternatives are either to give up completely or to continue working on it part time and just hope it will eventually blow up and catch on. Which it might, but can my marriage or my mental health survive the journey? Do I want find out?

More importantly, am I willing to risk being the guy who buried his venture capital in the ground, now that I finally get how valuable and capable I am?

If this is really what I want to do, what’s stopping me from making a big commitment, taking a risk, and giving it everything I’ve got?

And what do I have to lose? Another year? I’ve already put in three. If it’s still going nowhere in another year, I can call it quits with no regrets.

Now, what about you?

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