I really can’t fucking believe that it’s been 6 months since we started this thing. I know, I know- it’s cliche as shit to say “it feels like just yesterday” but whatever, it DOES feel like just yesterday so fuck it. This thing came to life on August 24th, 2019 and it’s been full-speed ahead ever since. Finally diving into pursuing a lifelong dream has been HUGELY rewarding , and every time I hit “Publish” on a new post, review, or interview I’m reminded of that feeling.
Scared to do something like this? I’m CONSTANTLY scared, I just tell my fear to fuck off and power through.
It was FemaleGG and I’s wedding anniversary weekend and we booked ourselves 24 hours at Barnsley Resort. It’s a gorgeous place about 45 minutes to an hour outside of Atlanta and since we don’t get “kid-free” time very often (literally, like MAYBE twice a year for overnights) even just a day/night was enough to decompress and have a blast together.
We started off with a massage so fantastic I felt like I should have bought the guy dinner first and then we did what we do best- we just walked the grounds and TALKED. No devices, no responsibilities, just us. There’s some historical ruins there, and a shitload of trees, and it’s far enough away from the interstate that you can’t hear cars. It’s quiet, peaceful, and no I’m NOT getting paid to say that.
We started off with fancy intentions but true to form, we ended up at the barbecue spot.
We had an excellent lunch at one of the restaurants on-site and then we walked some more. It was around this time that the conversation shifted to how obviously unhappy I’d been with things for a long time. My day job in sales can be absolutely soul-crushing and over the course of almost 6 years it’s definitely wreaked havoc on my heart, my soul, and my spirit. It’s also been just shy of a decade since I had done anything musical besides fucking around on my acoustic so I had been going through all the ups and downs of life with no creative outlet whatsoever.
That’s when my wonderful and “way more amazing than I deserve” wife turned to me and said “You should just start writing”. Five words, that’s all it took for her to once again change my life completely. I’d worked in the music industry, I’d recorded an album I wrote 100% by myself, I’d created a career out of thin air, but I had always wanted to do what would become The Ghost Generation.
My brain is a circus. On LSD. With anxiety. So yeah…not fun.
My brain is a fucking trainwreck 99% of the time. I grew up with crippling low self esteem and abandonment issues, I spent most of my life til I was like 30 seeing how close to the edge I could get without falling to my splattered demise, and the rest was trying to figure out how to be a good husband and father with a brain that actively hates its owner.
I’d written things before, plenty of music and lyrics too, and I thought it was insanely rad that FemaleGG had her own insanely popular music blog before we met too. I had ALWAYS wanted to do something like this but I was always either completely entrenched in writing music OR being treated like a human negativity dumpster by anyone I’d had the displeasure of entering into a “relationship” with so I just put it in that place we all put shit in-the fucking back of my mind.
So all it took was five words. “You should just start writing”. I got choked up with very visceral emotion because it felt like something I needed to hear for a very long time, and I could feel tears starting to well up in my eyes. We talked a little more and then we decided to blow off the fancy-ass dinner reservations we had and go hang out in the beer garden instead. We ate some of the best barbecue ever, talked for hours, and drank until I ended up WAY more drunk than I wanted to.
Shocking? Nope. Get me talkin’ and I’ll do some fucking drinkin’.
Apparently, I did my usual combination of light crying/fear of choking on my own vomit as I lay on the bathroom floor in our room- at like 8:00 PM. (FEMALE GG: Um, let’s be honest, it was more like 7:00 PM) Yep, we went back to our room after the barbecue and drinks and the intention was to order room service dessert, watch The Office in bed, and then properly celebrate our anniversary. You know, with sex.
My body had other plans though, cause I passed the fuck out and woke up in a dark room with some of my clothes still on, thoroughly confused about what exactly had transpired. I’m a few good years away from having super emotional episodes while drunk but I will ALWAYS wake up and assume I’ve caused an argument, or talked some shit, or done something that would make me cringe but I was safe this time! We had fun, I passed out, no worries.
It’s wonderful to wake up and NOT have to apologize to twelve people and the night staff of a Chili’s.
We picked up our kids Sunday morning and when we got home my mind was racing. What would this look like? How do I get started? My brain did what it does and TRIED to stress me out about it. Instead, I just calmed my shit and decided to tackle this shit the next day.
Since a big part of this was going to be talking about life from OUR perspective (people/parents in their 30’s) I had the rad idea to call it “Not Dead Yet” but the fucking domain name was taken. Running with that same concept my brain, almost as if from nowhere, shot out “The Ghost Generation” and I immediately drew the Ghostie logo on a Post-It note. Since I love video games and I knew I’d want to be doing reviews and shit I took a classic concept and tweaked it to fit my idea. A little dead Ghostie with a purple heart ‘cause purple is EVERYTHING.
I got my friend Cindy with Absolute Design to make it a functioning art file, I bought the domain/hosting, and I got to work making the site you see today. Nothing fancy, just clean and easy to read. Everything was in place and I gave myself a few days to sort out my first official post. On August 31st, 2019 the very first post went live on The Ghost Generation and the rest is history. Life changed forever, and all it took were five words.
The thing you’re waiting for might be changing your life forever in the next 5 minutes. Let it.
So where are we now? While we haven’t taken over the world QUITE yet I AM extremely proud of how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time. I’ve gotten to interview some SUPER rad bands, I’ve reviewed a ton of awesome indie games, and I’ve written about things I’m incredibly passionate about. I’ve built some outstanding relationships in the gaming, music, and writing communities, and we’ve had some people tell us that our writing means a lot to them which means WAY more to us than words can effectively convey. I’m also extremely proud that my wife is writing right alongside me and we’re doing this thing together. Between the two of us, I think we paint an accurate picture of what life is like as married parents of two in our 30’s and sometimes I’ll just go to the site and scroll through and feel SO proud of us. I’m not being braggy, rather I’m allowing myself something I’ve struggled with my entire life- being able to feel like I deserve joy. I do, and so do you, and if you’re on the fence about doing something like this yourself just PLEASE hop off that motherfucker and DO IT. You’ll only have regrets if you don’t fucking take a chance on yourself, so don’t let yourself waste any more time. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.
I’ve learned that social media can be a great promotional tool, an excellent way to build a community, and an easy way to have your day completely ruined by people who miss the point of everything. I’ve learned that even when people SAY they’re on board to do an interview they will very frequently just tell you how busy they are ten times and never email you back instead. No worries, plenty of other fish in the sea. I’ve learned that in 2020 it is INCREDIBLY hard to get people to leave social media to ACTUALLY read your shit, but in spite of all the things I just said I keep fucking going. Why? Because this is my dream, and now that it’s finally within my reach nothing is gonna stop me. Period. I might fail, but I’m not giving up, and it’s not easy but fucking NOTHING worth a shit is. You press on, and you keep fucking writing.
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained” isn’t just some cute shit to say.
I sincerely appreciate everyone who follows us on Twitter and Instagram (shout out to the Slack crew too!), Facebook can go fuck itself, and every Like, every retweet, and comment means the world because that means you give a shit-even if just for a minute.
What’s next for us? I’m not entirely sure, which is as exciting as it is scary as shit, but there’s a lot I want to do with this thing. I’d love to stop getting ghosted by interview subjects so we can move into also doing a podcast so we’ll see how that shakes out. Sometime in the foreseeable future we want to do some merch/clothing stuff for the site, and I’d love to work with some established designers on collabs and such too. I’m thinking of finding the right approach to do a Patreon campaign too but for now- we’re just pressing on and trying to build the community because THAT’S when we can start doing this other rad shit.
Spoiler alert: we need your help!
My ultimate goal remains the same, to be able to do The Ghost Generation for a living. It looks like, as FemaleGG has discussed in her “Suck It Debt” series, I’m going to be able to be in the VERY fortunate position to do this full time next year once we pay off our debt, but I’d be a fucking liar if I said I didn’t also need it to bring in an income too. I do, cause as much as I despise the machinations of capitalism, you can’t build a business on IOU’s and good intentions. At this VERY moment I’m just hoping the coronavirus and the U.S. government’s fucking atrocious handling of the situation doesn’t bury ALL our dreams in the next few months so keep your fingers crossed along with me on that one.
So how do we get there? Your support, plain and simple. If you like what you’re reading, subscribe. It’s super easy to do it via the sidebar and you only get an email when a new post goes live or when we have a big announcement to make. It’s minimally annoying for you but it helps US a lot. In order to be able to do all that rad stuff I mentioned above we need a nice healthy subscriber list so trust me when I say every single one is appreciated.
Talk to us! Leave a comment, start a conversation, tell us to fuck off! You’ll do all that shit on Twitter, do it here too! I stand by every single post we’ve ever put up on The Ghost Generation and I think we create extremely compelling content for you guys, so tell us what you think. That interaction makes it look like people give a fuck, which opens the doors for sponsorships, more review opportunities, and more baby steps closer to that big-ass goal. You’d be amazed at the power of a quick subscription and a few well-placed comments. No shit, I shit you not.
Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and even fucking Pinterest! Yep, I made us a Pinterest cause why the FUCK not?! Analytics are king and the more eyes on this shit the better, right? You can do all of those things from our handy-dandy sidebar too, again in keeping with the spirit of making this shit easy for you and as non-annoying as possible.
Spread us around like Nutella. Mmmmmm. Nutella.
Wanna see more? Wanna hear more? Wanna help us DO more? Tell your friends, tell your followers, tell you pets- if they can read or stare at a screen we want them here dammit! You can’t build a community without humans and we’re still a baby- six months is a drop in the bucket, imagine what we can do with ALL the months!
We don’t require much, we just need your eyes, your ears, and a little piece of your hearts. I’m extremely proud of how much this has grown in six months but there’s a massive amount of work to be done. We can do it, we can get there, but we need you to believe in us too.
Can we count on your vote in 2020? Joe Biden might touch you with his creepy old hands but we won’t. We’ll just do rad shit and keep writing, and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you helped make this neurotic, insecure, and foul-mouthed weirdo’s dreams come true. Thanks a ton, Ghosties- it’s been a fucking super-rad six months and I’m looking forward to the next six very much too.
A blog/website where these happily married, 30-something parents of 2 little minions rant, rave, and speak in tongues. Raw, honest, and riddled with profanity. Get on board and let’s make The Ghost Generation awesome together! http://theghostgeneration.com Twitter.com/Gh0stGeneration