New Year’s Resolution

Last year was chaotic. I rushed through two books while consuming all kinds of content related to entrepreneurship, productivity, and self improvement. And while I was busy trying to force my life to turn on a dime, I got addicted to distraction, and I came to hate the trappings of the modern world. 

Technology, consumerism, politics, the utter stupidity and destructiveness of online mobs . . . each of these forms of social cancer somehow took on personal importance for me. Looking at it as objectively as I can, it’s clear to me that my personal situation, and to a lesser extent, the pandemic, has a lot to do with it. 

Another part of the cynical picture that has been my inner life is my ambition for New Bayou Books. The tag line for the business is “kick starting a revolution in Louisiana literature.” I’ll be the first to admit that it’s a little bit . . . I don’t know, cheesy. But it happens to be true. When I finished my first book and started looking into publishing it, I discovered that there’s a vacuum of modern, Louisiana literature out there. 

I believe in the cause of New Bayou Books, but there’s only so much I can do from a laptop in Belgium. I’ve made moves to facilitate the dream, and even though they have not all had the desired effect, everything I’ve done has at least resulted in some learning. 

And part of that learning is that there’s only so much I can do from where I am, with the tools I currently have. Another lesson learned is that I don’t understand or much like operating in the modern world of social media, woke politics, and the virtues supposedly signaled by the random capitalization of colors. 

I am a slow learner, so it took a while for it all to sink in. But I got it now. And for me, the lesson is this: if I’m going to succeed as a writer and a businessman, it’s going to have to be on my terms. I’m too old and too grumpy to do anything less. 

So I’m going to make some changes this year. From here on out, I’ll be on a strict information diet. The idea is to generally live a more analog life. 

Now, I don’t exactly mean I’m going to revert to making phone calls on a landline and corresponding by mail . . . but I am going to spend a lot more time reading books in hard copy, listening to music, breathing deeply, and doing one thing at a time. I don’t know if this new strategy will alter the fate of New Bayou Books, but I have a strong feeling that it will at least make for a more pleasant 2022. 

Happy New Year. May Peace (of mind) be with you. 

Published by New Bayou Books

JR Reed started New Bayou Books to spark a revolution in Louisiana literature. The goal of the company is simple: to great writers out of the shadows to carry on the Louisiana literary tradition.

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