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Making Substack the Center of a Writing System

Focusing Distractions with Complexity With all of the options writers and content creators have now, finding the right one for each system sometimes takes experimentation. Flops and failures often come with such brimming efforts of zeal, yet the glimmer of hope remains in pictures of automated simplicity. In the beginning, things were simple; then came the expansion, the maintenance, building, creating, researching, and other such effort and time into what can only be called a writing system. Organizing this complex miasma of disparate platforms, the writer (insert content creator as needed) has become a blogger, marketer, promotor, maintenance tech, and organizing master. The actual writing is pushed to the side. Finding Balance Each writer organizes their system differently according to their needs and abilities. I’ve always admired someone who focuses on one platform and doesn’t get stretched too thin. We can get distracted by constantly expanding and trying new things. What’s neede
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Views are Like Customers to Writers

Writing online entails considering how many impressions, views, visitors/reads, comments, shares, and reactions each article gets. These digital assets symbolize the money made from each article. How many views did that article get — that poem, story, blog post, picture, art piece? The number will determine how much money the article made. While most writers appreciate even one single read, this doesn’t pay much. On the high end, this might bring .02 cents. Usually, around half a cent, or $5 RMP. Different Writing Platforms and Efforts At Medium views don’t turn into a specific amount of money, rather they are merely an indication of possible money — reads are more important at Medium, as they correlate closely with any money made. Each read at Medium this month made me around that .02 cent mark! The reads at Medium might not be from members, so may not make us money. Still, on average, both views and reads equal a certain estimated amount for each Medium writer. At Vocal, they make it

One-Year Review of Writing on NewsBreak

I started writing on NewsBreak around the end of Dec. 2022 with my first published article on Dec. 25 (an unintentional date, but isn’t it fitting). It was about the renewal of the Christmas Valley Golf Course and it has accumulated 129 views up until now. The renewal of the Christmas Valley Golf Course in Eastern Oregon | NewsBreak… Although I started writing in Dec. 2022, I didn’t start making money until February because I had to apply and be approved. This entailed having 100 registered followers, writing ten articles, applying, and waiting around for a month. Here are the details of my journey if interested. Approval Time for NewsBreak Monetization Being a seasonal golf course greenskeeper, I have 4 months in the off-season to write more on NB, writing around 10–20 articles a month. During the other 8 months, writing is just a part-time effort — I usually write 1–2 articles a month. The theme for all of my articles at NewsBreak is #Oregon. Here are my stats for the last 13 months:

Top 10 Ski Resorts in Oregon

With all the snow already here and coming, some will wonder where to go downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, or tubing in Oregon. This list rates ski resorts by their acreage, lifts, trails, and vertical rise (ft. from the base to the peak). There is great information about ski resorts in Oregon online; the data included is from Ski Central , which has current snow reports and other helpful info on its website. #1. Mt. Bachelor: base 6300 ft, vertical 3365 ft, summit 9065 ft, annual snowfall 387 inches, 71 trails, 3685 acreage, 1.5 miles is longest run, regular adult lift ticket $155/day, lifts 13. Mt. Bachelor has grown into a very popular ski resort with the rapid population boom in Central Oregon over the last 50 years. It offers beginning to advanced lifts and all the trails your freezing hands and feet can handle. Mt. Bachelor started in 1958 and had its first chair lift in 1962. The closest city is Bend 21 miles away. #2. Mt. Hood Meadows: base 4523 ft, vertical 277

Why I Stopped Listening to Mainstream Worldly Music

Being the son of two musicians, music plays an important role in my life. I became a musician as well, although not to the level they were. Parents would play on the weekends at evening hotspots in Bend, OR in the early and mid-80s. They would play cover songs from the 70s and 80s, maybe an original here and there. They went on to have respectable careers in music until this day. Here is my mom’s music website: Maxie Kinney Music The Music Journey of a Country Gal from Oregon I started playing the guitar around 21 years old. I played the keyboard and piano when I was younger. Here is my music website in progress: Robbie Newport Music Original Christian Folk Music Storytime I remember a time when I was around 11 years old in a music shop (in the late 80s and early 90s there were mostly cassette tapes for sale) and I had the choice between Bachman Turner Overdrive (BTO) or New Kids on the Block — I chose BTO and have always been proud of that decision. I have good taste for genuine music

New Book Release: Staying Optimistic While Being Realistic

  My 9th book has been published called Staying Optimistic While Being Realistic . It is a collection of 13 society articles from the perspective of a Protestant Christian, middle-aged, married, Oregonian man from Dec. 2022 until Nov. 2023. Essentially, this book is a social analysis of 2023 American culture, society, politics, and Christian faith. With an added introduction and 13 color photos, this book is 80 pages in print and around the same as an eBook. The main theme is society, specifically American society, yet drawing on the general term as a way to explore the complexities and challenges of people in terms of finding the truth of themselves and the reality around them beyond the periphery. I have a B.S. in Human Services, so this is part of my service to fellow humans. Making it easier to digest my writing efforts in hopes readers will find valuable inspiration inside that will direct their course with more stability, reason, peace, and faith in a loving God. Eventually, wit

Opinion: Most communities in Oregon and the US are Republican, yet Democrats are in charge

2022 Oregon Governor Election Photo  Assuming election results are valid in Oregon, which does take a lot of faith these days after the questions about the 2020 US Presidential election arose, Democrat Tina Kotek won the Governor’s race in 2022 by a slim margin over Republican Christine Drazan. The interesting aspect of this win is how many of Oregon’s 36 counties voted Republican vs. Democrat. Looking at the political map, almost the entire state is red with only a few small counties in the northwest having the blue color. Specifically, there were 7 counties that voted Democrat and 29 that voted Republican. The difference is the 7 counties voting blue are the most populous counties, also the counties with the most residents coming from other states – much like Tina Kotek herself, a transplant from Pennsylvania . Tina only won the campaign to be Oregon’s 39th Governor by 66,727 votes over Christine Drazan. Said in another way, the Democrats pulled off another close election with mail-

When are we good enough?

When have we done enough? When is it good enough, and to whom is it good enough for?  This is a question many of us humans struggle with or ponder when we consider the meaning and purpose of our lives. Maybe we don’t consider it deeply enough to understand the underlying motivations, the subconscious drivings that make us never feel satisfied with our accomplishments.  Everyone has accomplished something if they are alive and getting by each day. If we have learned to dress ourselves, brush our teeth, drive a car, or ride a bicycle, then we have done something at least.  As a child, expectations weren’t as high, and we, along with those around us, were generally happy with the small accomplishments that come with growing up. These expectations grow as we get older, sometimes from others close to us and sometimes from ourselves. Many times, it is our own expectations of ourselves that really set the tone for our contentment with our accomplishments. Where do these expectations come from

I will always stand for America

The united states of America is my home, it is where I have my citizenship in the State of Oregon. I left the unites states lower case because that is how it used to be before the federal government became more important than the states that formed it.  There are many reasons to want to leave America, yet the reasons not to are stronger. This is my country too, along with every other citizen. The difference between me and many other citizens is I love the good part about America, the essence of what it is.  Many citizens hate America and are working very hard to change it into something else; what they don’t realize is America is special because of those things they are trying to destroy.  Regardless of the haters, many people like myself still love this country, for what it is at its heart. We don’t want to change it into something that has proven to not work, we want to appreciate and enjoy it for what it is.  With all the wokeness, I’ve struggled to love America, as my perception of

What are the values driving American society?

Where do our values come from anymore? As Americans, we share similar experiences from culture, society, and geography in some measure. Many of us have been here for generations and have a historical connection as well. Even going back to where we came from before we came to America.  Most of us can talk about similar movies, television shows, music, sports, and historical events that shaped our lives.  The Holy Bible used to create the majority of the values in America, yet now I would say the majority of the values come from social media.  Social media has replaced the Holy Bible when it comes to creating the values of American society.  Even the mainstream values before the smartphone and social media on the internet were much better than what we have now.  When we watched a sitcom, a movie, or listened to a song, we learned values such as: being honest caring for family and friends being a productive member of a community helping someone in need staying true to our marriage partner

Journey of an Obscure Writer

Using a writing philosophy that can’t fail. Writing always held a special place in my heart, likely because I was raised by a songwriter mother who encouraged my artistic efforts. I wasn't an avid reader at a young age, yet I like to create things. I remember creating a few role-playing games that no one would really play with me. I created a 9-hole hoola hoop golf course outside our home in the country while living in Tennessee, using Wiffle balls — had the course map to boot. Then, I remember writing my first story or book about three characters going to the big city — I won’t say the name of it because some uncreative hack will steal it before I finally get around to publishing it. Lastly, before I was in high school, I also wrote a few chapters for another book that was going to be a great novel. After all this initial creativity, I started reading fantasy books and other books required from school and found around the home. For instance, I read a Louis L’Amour book and Stephen

What is the oldest city in Oregon?

When learning about the history and culture of Oregon, there’s one area that continues to come up in the conversation. Located in northwestern Clatsop County, the oldest city in Oregon has likely been featured in more famous movies than any other city in the state. This small city is also not far from the oldest golf course in Oregon and west of the Mississippi; interestingly, this city is also the oldest settlement west of the Rocky Mountains too. Have you guessed it yet? The oldest city in Oregon is none other than Astoria , located near the mouth of the Columbia River with close ties to the historical Lewis & Clark Trail, it was first settled by fur trappers in 1811. Although incorporated later in 1856, it was first settled by John Jacob Astor and his American Fur Company which built Fort Astoria. This important fort and the deepwater Port of Astoria were integral to making this area a hub for settlers for many decades to come. Astoria is also only 15 miles from Gearhart Golf Li

Airbnb is causing the rental crisis in Bend, OR and the US

The high cost and low availability of rental homes in Bend, Oregon are worse than in America on average, yet the problem is universal. A Bend Bulletin article written by Suzanne Roig on March 3, explains that the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development predicted Deschutes County would have a 4 percent apartment vacancy rate while the current U.S. vacancy rate is around 6 percent according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Essentially, as bad as the rental market is for tenants in Bend, it is only slightly worse than in the U.S. on average. The main factor this Bend Bulletin article and almost every other article is leaving out is how the global sharing economy companies Airbnb and Verbo are creating this outcome. Anyone can access these sharing economy services through their websites or mobile apps and see for themselves how many short-term rentals are available for rent in Bend and across the country in every single town and city in America. Ultimately, these are potential long-term ren

NewsBreak vs. Medium/30-day Comparison

February was the first month for me being monetized at NewsBreak and the second month for Medium. The results are in and they are drastically different. In this article, I’ll share the details and some thoughts about them. To make this easier with how both of these writing sites show stats, let’s compare the stats from Feb. 4 to March 4, or the last 30 days. NewsBreak Articles: 20 Views: 60k Likes: 1,104 Money made: $440 Medium Articles: 14 Views: 1,734 Claps: 124 Money made: $10.75 ----------------- Although my Medium account goes back to August 2018, I’ve only started seriously writing there since early Dec. 2022 (three months ago). I started writing at NewsBreak in late Dec. 2022. Here are some stats on my overall efforts at these platforms: NewsBreak Followers: 803 Articles: 44 Medium Followers: 417 Articles: 69 -------------- While I’m grateful for any money made on both platforms, the difference is fairly drastic. NewsBreak is a place where you can actually make decent money for

How many Oregonians served and died in the Vietnam War?

The Vietnam War was a conflict that had its beginnings for Americans in 1955 and lasted until the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. The main timeframe of the war was after the Gulf of Tonkin incident in August 1964 until the Paris Peace Accords in January 1973. Detailed stats from the Vietnam Veterans of America website tells us that 2.6 million American military personnel served in the Vietnam War and around 1 to 1.6 million were in combat in some measure. The average age for these soldiers that served was only 19. Out of this number, 57,000 military personnel from Oregon served in the Vietnam War. An Oregon Live article written on May 27, 2017, highlights the Oregon Vietnam Veterans Living Memorial located at Washington Park near the Oregon Zoo in Portland; the memorial was dedicated in 1987 to those who died or are MIA in the Vietnam War, which now includes 818 veterans. The total number of those who died and were MIA in Vietnam is 58,156 American veterans. The total number of wou

10 Famous Movies Filmed in Oregon Part 2

It shouldn’t be too surprising that Oregon with its amazing scenery and diverse natural landscape has been used to make movies for the big screen. Still, with such a relatively small population it is somewhat amazing how many movies have been filmed here over the years. After naming 10 movies in part one , it became apparent there needed to be a part two, as these are just as famous, so here goes from oldest to newest. 1. Paint Your Wagon (1969): Having Clint Eastwood star in a musical isn’t likely, but he did star in this American Western musical in the late 60s and even did his own singing. The film also stars Lee Marvin and Jean Seberg and was directed by Joshua Logan. Most of the movie production happened near Baker City, Oregon, a small city in Eastern Oregon with around 10k residents and at 3451 ft. elevation. The plot centers around a mining camp in the California Golf Rush era in the mid-1800s. 2. Five Easy Pieces (1970): Starring Jack Nicholson, this early 70s drama was filme

The Busy Medium Bee

Buzzing around and making honey.  I love honey. My teeth can’t handle sugar anymore, so honey is my sweet treat, mostly with a peanut butter sandwich.  The analogy of the bee buzzing around, working hard to make honey and the Medium writer staying active on the site to produce views and money is appropriate I think. Bees take time off in the winter in cold locations though.  Unless a person has a massive audience somewhere else they can successfully transfer over to Medium, building a regular audience on the site takes time and a consistent effort.  What I’ve noticed since writing on Medium regularly for the last three months is the time spent reading and interacting with other writers’ work directly correlates with how many views and money you make.   In the last few weeks, I’ve been posting as much as ever, yet have decreased my interaction by about 70%. I’ve noticed my views and interactions have decreased by about the same.  On the one hand, this can be discouraging because we may

10 Famous Movies Filmed in Oregon

“The Beaver State” has been part of some famous movie creations in the last 100 years. Here are ten famous movies filmed in Oregon from the oldest to the newest. 1. The General (1929): The comedic genius and amazing stuntman Buster Keaton starred in this silent black and white film. Part of the movie production was filmed in Cottage Grove, Oregon. The town of about 10k residents today still has a large mural of the film on the side of a downtown building. 2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975): Based on the 1962 novel by Ken Kesey and starring Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito and Christopher Lloyd, this interesting drama/comedy was filmed mostly around Salem, Oregon. It was also filmed around the coastal town of Depoe Bay. The Oregon State Hospital was used in the filming, which was an actual state mental hospital and the one depicted in the novel. 3. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978): This may be the most famous of all the movies, starring John Belushi, Donald Sutherland and ma