New website, hurdles writing books, plans for the future, and more

New website, hurdles writing books, plans for the future, and more

NEW WEBSITE:

My old website was based on a very old template that made the website unstable and unsecured. So much so that it was hacked several times in the past few months. Nothing that big of a deal since it was hacked by automated bots looking for flaws in the code of WordPress themes and from there on accessed Wordpress posts and were able to change the content. So I was seeing certain posts deleted and the title and content were like “hacked by…”. But since WP has a backup for all articles I was able to quickly and easily revert back all articles. So I had to take the time these days to update my website. Now is all brand new, secure, and more interesting. It is mainly my personal place where I can share stuff I do and think, without being dependent on websites like Facebook to do so. People do not realize how FB for example eats their lives, their creations, their time. Why would I post the stuff I make, my thoughts, on a website that’s owned by a company that cares mostly (if not entirely) to make money and therefore changes its rules of how it operates more often and weirder than quantum particles change states. I don’t want to rely on sharing my thoughts and creations on a website that can say: “Tio, friend, you are not allowed to post these things!”. I don’t need the daddy facebook to tell me what I’m allowed to think and create. FB banned my account 2 times so far because I posted content that IT, the God-FB, found offensive. So from now on I’ll post on my blog then share on FB because unfortunately most people are on FB…I’ll try to make this automated so when I post on my blog it goes on FB, because I don’t use FBb at all, I manage all my FB accounts and pages via HootSuite.

I also added a live chat on my site, so if people want to get in touch with me quicker they can do that via the chat. If it gets too spammy for me I’ll close it or limit it somehow. Let’s see how it goes. – the chat didn’t work properly so I closed it for now.

Anyways, from now on I’ll post here new videos I make with my drone, other kinds of videos, my thoughts on various topics, photos I make, and stuff like that. It’s my place, my home, and you are all invited in 🙂

 

HURDLES WRITING BOOKS:

In February last year I started to write the TROM book on language. Prior to that it took me around 1-2 months to finish up a lecture on language that was the start of researching for this series. Now is May 2017 and it’s been 1 year and around 3 months since I am working on this book. Frustrating, amazing, what!?, interesting, wtf!, and so forth. In essence, I worked on this series for more than a year and I still haven’t finished it since I still have to write the last part of it (part 5) that can also take at least 1 month to finish up. This can be frustrating for people to know that a project like TROM may release a full book, on a particular subject, every year and a half (so long!), but this is not the entire story. You see in this 1 year and some months I’ve been through a lot of changes and struggles. I broke up from TVP and had to move everything to TROM, basically rebuilding tromsite.com. I had health problems that made me unable to work for about 3 months. I started TROM Video Series that took lots of time to kickstart and then I helped with it along the way and I am still doing that. I also had several issues with my laptop: some keyboard keys stopped working and that makes writing super difficult; 8gb out of my 12gb RAM memory got toasted and I had to buy new ones and wait for them to arrive before doing any work; I had to rebuild my personal website, work on two other websites to make some more money because TROM money is lower and lower; and overall I was busy with transitioning to TROM from TVPM and dealing with some medical issues (going to hospital, feeling sick, etc.); I also worked on two other big articles and prepared them for when I’ll be able to focus on them 100%.

But there is a more important reason: this book is a monster and the subject is super complex. I think that you can’t choose any other subject that’s more difficult than language. People don’t see how much stuff I read/watch and write that I have to ditch later on when I find out it is irrelevant and I followed a misleading path that I now have to ditch entirely. They see the end result. They also don’t see me designing these books (improving images quality, making some images, testing multiple designs, editing videos for these books, and lots more). Basically, it is a TONNE of work.

I am also battling with motivation. Here’s why: if you look at any creative stuff happening online (blogs, vlogs, people writing articles or making interesting videos, or making games and stuff like that) you’ll see that most of these people, if they are somewhat successful (attract views and support), have a peak of creativity in the first 1-3 years (or less) where they push like crazy and work like nuts. After that they usually experience a deep fall and they produce less stuff, less often. Look at any blogger you followed or youtube channel – in the beginning they were making stuff like nuts, lots of articles, lots of videos, then they started to release rarer and rarer. That’s understandable because you are going to burn yourself out in the first years if you approach things like this. I’ve seen this happening with everyone I followed online. But there are two important things: first is that IF these people attract a big following and support (financial for example) in those first crazy years then they can ‘retire’ a bit afterward, doing less stuff yet still having the support from their followers, and the reach. Things get easier for these folks because of their huge following and support gained in the first years. They may release 1 video a month or 1 article a month or rarer, yet still have a lot of financial support and reach because of the ‘nuts’ past where they worked like crazy to reach this point. These are the people who succeed. The second scenario is when you push like crazy in the first years YET you don’t reach many people, therefore less support, and since you burned yourself out you can’t keep yourself afloat anymore. You produce less stuff and therefore you reach even fewer people, meaning less support (motivational support or financial support), so you may feel like you do stuff for nothing (has no value) + since you don’t have enough financial support you can’t keep on doing what you’ve been doing. Those are the people who push like the rest, yet they don’t succeed.

What happened to me: in 2010 I started working for one full year alone to make TROM documentary. Each day, no breaks, lots of stress, so much work. Prior to this I also had a blog where I was writing (lots of work) + a funny video series that I made for about 3 years (another “lots of work”). None brought me any financial support. Then in 2011 I worked again to remake TROM – same hurdles, same daily work. So around 2 years of daily intense work that followed 3-4 years of quite hard work (but not daily). Next 1-2 year(s) I worked less but still worked on helping TVP with some stuff and kickstarting their TVPMagazine project + creating VideoNeat. It wasn’t a daily work, but still quite a lot. The support thus far was almost 0 in terms of money, so it was not sustainable, but in terms of views it was somewhat increasing. I got the reach, I didn’t get the support. So overall 4-5 years of hard work with a good reach but almost no financial support. Then “boom” – we’ve got financial support for TVPMagazine to work one year, then to work another year (almost two years). But in this time I kinda burned myself. I was a bit burned because of the work before this, but now I felt a bit more forced to produce stuff since people were donating money for this work. I worked 3-4 years like nuts for TVPM. Each day, 10-12 hours, writing tonnes of articles and about very hard-to-write-about-subjects. I built TVPM website and quizzes and lots other tools, tried to help TVP with lots of other stuff like re-organizing their video/audio materials, rebuilding their website several times, managing their social networks, and more. I was unstoppable. I worked so much that I felt like burning out the few people who worked alongside me. But because I finally had my own life due to the financial support we’ve got: so now I could pay a rent, be able to buy food for myself, and so on, I felt super motivated to push myself so much. I knew that I worked a tonne in the past without any financial support, so now that I had a financial support it motivated me so much to keep the work going because I was able to be financially independent and focus 100% on what I loved doing. But I was getting so little financial support that if I needed medicine or some clothes I could go bankrupt. It was at the limit and it was not growing. So that started to sink in more and more, and I started to realize that I need more financial support to be able to keep my work flowing. Then the TVP breakup followed and the stress that accumulated to me over time + the burnout, and that lead to a huge drop in my motivation or ability to keep that kind of work going.

Since the breakup from TVP the views and financial support substantially got lower. So low I had to move with my parents because I could not afford to live on my own. My own place, my own life, that I hardly managed to make for myself by working so hard vanished in one month. With my health issues that I struggled for months, and this situation with TVP, I felt super difficult to motivate myself again to push it hard like before.

For example because of stress and hard work (little sleep, not eating well or too much, and so on) I developed a skin rash on my face that now made me so sensitive to stress (dermatitis). If before I could handle stress like a champion :), now I can’t anymore. If I get stressed a bit (not able to release more stuff or do new projects, and so on) my face turns red and itchy and painful and there is no treatment out there to cure this. So the only way to not get myself ‘hurt’ is to not stress myself. This sucks but it is also kinda forcing me to stress less. To understand what stresses me out: I feel like I found a mind blowing way to explain why the world sucks and how to fix it, so I want to scream that. I want for people to know this. It is almost like you found out you are in a computer simulation, and you know that for sure, and of course you want to tell everyone about it. That’s my feeling. Money does not stress or motivate me, they are only a mean that allows me to continue my work. If I get little financial support it stresses me because it makes my life suck and not be able to focus much or better on the “screaming” part.

So right now the financial support is dropping with each month, the reach is dropping with each month, I get a bit stressed because I want to write about so many other things but because I have to think of ways to make some money I can’t focus much on that. One thing people who do not write stuff do not understand is “the peace of mind”. I can write articles like these in a few hours, but TROM books are a different monster – I have to be really calm and relaxed to be able to write about subjects like language, evolution, monetary system, and such. I am telling you this thing is super difficult. Try it for yourself. Write about something like “instinct” or “human behavior” and try to make it as scientific as possible (with good and reliable sources) and explain it in detail. You’ll realize how super difficult it is.

But the difference between me (TROM) and a blogger or a vlogger or most of the internet “creativeness” is that I don’t do TROM because it is my ‘passion’, ‘hobby’, or is ‘cool’ or can bring me money. Not at all. I do it because it has a super important importance. It is about that “living in a computer simulation” kind of feeling. I feel like I need to do this. I just can’t live without doing this. That’s how important this project is in my view.

Therefore recently I had to struggle to motivate myself to finish up the book on language because of the drop in reach and financial support + the complex subject I am writing about. Although I am so motivated to keep on “TROMing” (to quote a friend 🙂 ), it surely is demotivating seeing how unstable the situation is with TROM from a financial perspective. It surely worries me that with so little money I’ll have to take some radical decisions or else I just can’t make a life on this planet for myself.

Someone seeing me struggling with this said these days: “I suggest you just finish up the language book the way you can and move to something else” – because this someone heard me saying that I want to move to other subjects as well, but I said: “I’m not writing this stuff for the sake of writing something. If I can’t provide some super important information through what I’m doing I prefer not doing it at all. I am not going to just write something and finish up the language book. I am going to finish it up in a way that is super relevant and makes a lot of sense. If that takes 4 months then that’s how it will be. Else makes no sense.” – quite a long quote :)).

The point is: TROM is losing reach, is losing financial support. IT also is about super complex subjects that take a tonne of time to write about so that makes people less interested in it (nowadays people want stuff to pour out like a heavy rain – breakthroughs, BreakingNews, breakdance!?) :). So TROM is more likely to go further down in reach and support, and that in turns will make me (us) less able to produce important stuff. Sucks! BUT!

 

PLANS FOR THE FUTURE:

I am lucky that I live in a very small, quiet, and awesome town and area in the North of Spain. Here’s me on the beach struggling with some breakdance moves :)):

Here I am in a city that’s on a rock. So awesome, can’t believe the landscape (I’ll post a video from the drone on my website soon):

Me on top of a castle that’s on top of a mountain near where I live:

And it is super important that I live in such a place because it costs me nothing to live my life here. Meaning that when I go out it costs me zero money to go to the beach, to the mountain, with the bike, for a walk, and so on. It only costs me money for the car’s fuel, but that’s all. Of course it costs the rent, food, stuff like that, what I meant is that it does not cost me money to go out and in such places that I love. So I get a serious dose of relaxedness because of where I live. When I go out, I go out. Never had FB or Twitter or WhatsApp, or anything like that on my phone. Only a handful of people can contact me and I get no notifications from apps or messages. No one can bother me while I’m out, so I am away from all the stress :).

This is super important for me!

It is true that I can’t afford to eat out (maybe 3-4 times a year I can); it is true that I can’t buy pretty much anything except food, some clothes from time to time, and basic stuff; it is true I have no money to travel anywhere. But fortunately, I don’t need to because of the area I live in. There are so many nature landscapes here that are unbelievable. I like this kind of calm life.

This allows me to compensate for the lack of TROM support. With the money I get from TROM right now, I would not be able to afford to work on it if I were to live in other parts of the world where you need to pay even for going from point A to point B. Any city bigger than 10,000 people would kill me financially and mentally because where would I go to relax? To a bar? Between the concrete jungle?

So because I don’t need much money for now, then I can still make it with what I get from TROM. But is not sustainable for sure since I have to be financially dependent even in this area. This is not good at all. Also, I don’t want you to think that TROM causes me stress. Mainly it is an issue with the money and reach. Money to allow me to continue to do this important work (in my view), and reach is just a bit upsetting because we need people to be aware of such information and I’ve been doing all I can to reach more people (made books, videos, quizzes, a curated news and videos  system, and lots more). I am also a bit stressed whilst working on super complex subjects like Language because it is super hard to understand and write about them, and it stresses me out when I can’t work that much as I would like to, or when I can’t figure something out about that subject. This stress is a good stress though because it is my battle with understanding the complex world we live in ;).

 

Ok. So. I am now done with most issues I had in the past including my health (all good now, feeling great). And so I’ll be able to try and push again this project and my plan is to focus on video, on TROM Series. We make long videos, some longer than documentaries, and I want to release more and quicker. We will push TROM Series and our youtube channel, and TROM ebooks will have to relax so that I can focus on making them super great but do not rush with them. TROM Series more and quicker, TROM ebooks less and more detailed (like we did so far). I may also work on weekends some ‘part-time’ jobs this summer so that’ll affect how much time I can dedicate for TROM, but if I focus on videos primarily then that is many times easier to make than books. So that won’t be an issue. I can basically make these videos if I say: “I’ll start in 3 hours and work 4 hours on them”. Something I can’t say about TROM books – I can only work on the books when I am really into that. Can’t force it.

I’ve been pushing like crazy for about 5-6 years, and that’s way longer than I’ve seen most people push with their projects, so perhaps there is something special about what I’m pushing for. But videos reach more people and the feedback we get for them is great. I also love making videos and love working with Sebastian to make them. Great guy. But we need to support my and Sebastian’s work or else how can we spend time on this?

I’ve learned though to accept the situation that TROM is largely unknown and the only reason this upsets me is that I want for people to know about the subjects we talk about: how trade is the source of most issues today, what solutions there are to overcome this, and so forth. If I were to see others more popular out there pushing this worldview then I’ll be super happy and not ‘upset’ about TROM’s reach. Hell yeah I would contact them and offer to team up with them. TVP and TZM may seem to be doing just that but in my view they are not. They focus on money money money as the source of problems too much, and they are kinda non-cooperative from my experience + kinda sprinkled with pseudoscience (maybe not from them necessarily, but from many of their supporters). So I just can’t see an organization/movement to point out that trade creates most of today’s issues and how to seriously think about relevant ways to tackle that.

 

I know blogs that get 13,000 dollars a month on Patreon and their websites look hacked, their subjects very opinionated. If I had that money I would help at least 4 people and we would do tonnes of projects. Here’s a brief on what I would love doing (just in my mind right now):

  • make a weekly video show with the best news of the week; news based on our TROM news, not BS news and exaggerated ones that you see on social networks.
  • take great articles from the web and transform them into videos; there are amazing articles written by people that would end up as amazing videos; this could lead us to all kinds of interesting collaborations with groups of people that we can’t reach with TROM ever.
  • create a search engine that can search everything that’s free and open source online: 3D models for 3D printers, videos, images, songs, even free places where you can crash for a night or find free food; a free search engine 🙂
  • I would also like to buy some stuff like a better laptop for myself because my laptop is old and not working too well; I would love to have a big monitor and a great keyboard so I can design/write better and more comfortable for me.
  • and lots more stuff + I would financially help others that work in the same direction

 

Here’s the thing: I am not obsessed with making stuff for TROM for the sake of doing that.I do this because there are so many important subjects to talk about. I have a list of 92 possible future subjects – figure that out :D. And at least 3-4 articles/books in the making on top of the last part of language that I am working on right now. Plus I want to work on a fictional book about how a future saner trade-free society might look like. So I have a tonne of ideas and I will try to start working on them. Will see how the money thing will work out and what I can afford to spend my time on.

And just so those who donate/donated know: I’ll never in my life forget that there are people like you out there who helped me out for so long. There are people who donated over the years hundreds or thousands of euros – that’s just hard to process considering they could have done any other thing with that money.

Oh and btw, I will try to make more “my perspective” videos and “4 things that amaze me” posts. I wish I had more arms and heads because I want to do so much.

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Mandurugo
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Mandurugo

Thanks for the update! I’m in a similar financial situation, so I can relate to the difficulties you describe, and I hope that more of those who have money can discover your work and improve that for you, as I think your message needs to become widespread, and being able to survive and keep creating your content despite the drawbacks of our current society is the only way that will happen. I try to spread your stuff wherever I can, and I’ll continue to do so, but I’m afraid my reach is not very great either. Nevertheless, I look forward… Read more »

Fernando
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Fernando

Great job Tio, take your time, meditate, and suddenly will you realize that the universe is speeding things up.