I was over at James Altucher’s blog and wanted to comment on his most recent post, “How to Self-Publish a Bestseller: Publishing 3.0,” and Disqus insisted on using my Google profile of “Grey Wolf”, while I wanted to post as myself (so as to let Altucher know who I was, to build another string in my “network.”) Even after deleting my old Disqus account, and making sure that I was myself in Google, Disqus still insisted on using “Grey Wolf”

So I deleted Grey Wolf. And it saddened me. I understand that my Grey Wolf avatar was decades old, and it was from a time when we skulked around the Internet “anonymously,” while now we, of necessity, must publicize ourselves, our brand, to the world. Call me sentimental.

Anyway, I have a great interest in writing, and possibly publishing a book, so I found Altucher’s recent article very interesting. I guess that is the real reason I started this blog–to build my “brand”. So, out of the closet comes Mike and into the dustbin of history goes Grey Wolf. I shed a tear.

But, while we are on the subject of self-publishing, I should also mention two other sites that I found useful information at. One was “Adventures In Digital Writing, Publishing & Marketing” and another was an article called “Nathan Barry Explains How His Very 1st Book Sold $12k on Day One“. Both offered free guides and both required that you enter an email address, and then confirm by replying to an email, before you could get their self-publishing guide, or tips.

Apparently, I need to whip up some little pamphlet to offer readers and to build a huge base so that I can sell $12k worth of books on day one. Also, I have to have multiple blogs and websites (you remember me mentioning EquitablePrinciples.com, don’t you? ;-) and I have to cross-post articles on more popular websites (such as Grey Wolf ranting about “Creating a Community-Sustaining Economy” over at my.firedoglake.com … at least I am still the “anonymous” Grey Wolf over at MyFireDogLake!)

I feel like such a shill. I remember a friend once saying, “In Europe people have friends, here everyone is a business associate.” That is so damn true. Here in the US we are all becoming “brands” and have to “sell” ourselves and “network” and … Well, you get the idea.

And you probably are getting the idea that I am starting to despise myself, or at least despise what I apparently have to do to survive here in the US. And I just recently graduated from law school and can already envision myself doing one of those damn TV commercials, that I despise, claiming that I can help you out of a legal jam, or that I can increase you business profits.

Altucher has sold a lot of copies of his recent self-published book, “Choose Yourself,” but I really am not sure if I like myself. I like Grey Wolf, and I liked being Grey Wolf, even if it was a flimsy facade that was easily pierced. Altucher, and others, have commented on thinking about your dreams, and what you dreamed of doing when you grew to be an adult, and maybe even chasing that dream. I remember I had read Jack London’s “Call of the Wild” as a child and my biggest dream was always to run off to the Yukon and to leave civilization behind. I had never dreamed of being a lawyer, or networking.

And I have to stop typing now because I can’t stop crying.

RIP, Grey Wolf, I loved you.

X-posted at mikerhys.blogspot.com