Today, we live in the age of social media. We are connected with one another over several digital mediums. Some social platforms make it easy to follow influencers while some are good at keeping in touch with family and old high school friends.
How would you define each social media platform? I have given this a lot of thought and based on my past several years of personal experience with each one of them, here is my take on the big four social media platforms in as few words as possible.
Facebook connects you with people you already know.
Twitter helps you connect with people you don’t know yet.
Instagram connects you with a community where you are constantly inspired to be your best self.
YouTube is the largest TV network for millennials by millennials.
Social Media Explained
Facebook is similar to Family. You don’t get to choose much. It comes in full package, with joy and stress, laughter and gossip, warmth and judgment.
Twitter is similar to college life. You have several groups of friends tied via common interests, goals or classes. You constantly make new friends and drop those who are not best for you. Like college life, Twitter is full of activism, politics, technology, and various hobbies.
Instagram is like being single and looking for romantic partners. There is no time and space for long BS or silly jokes. You constantly seek to self-improve. You are made jealous of others accomplishments, great shape, looks, popularity, and lifestyle. In return, you try to do your best and as a result, at the end of the day, you also get better. Instagram makes you date-ready.
YouTube is nothing less than the largest TV network on the planet. There are billions of shows in every possible genre and any length imaginable. This TV network is not only for consuming entertainment and music or finding food recipes or how-to-tutorials but also a platform which allows anyone to become a film producer and creator. YouTube allows its users to play with their creativity and experiment. Best of all, it also pays you money to do your thing.
Privacy is dead. Privacy has already lost the battle. There will be no privacy in the future.
The future of instant media powered by Artificial Intelligence will make it impossible to hide your successes or failures.
What do I mean? In this era of intelligent platforms, which knows a lot about us, any noise you make, will be sent far and wide.
Everyone you have ever known (including people who may have blocked you) will hear the cheering noise of your success. (Or, the pitiful cries of your embarrassing failures.)
This should act as a reminder for all of us to do our best, to be our best, and to aim for the best. Because in the near future, whatever you do, whatever you become, will be most likely known by everyone.
No Privacy In Future
Imagine the world in 2050. This is a world where your actions, your thoughts, your impulses are continuously calculated, analyzed, and studied. And the grand irony of this situation is not that this invasion of personal privacy is through hacking or force but by either ignorance or voluntary action.
Humans by nature seek the path of least resistance. If we have learned anything from our history, it is humans will voluntarily give up their rights and privacy in exchange for having less labor. (For example, letting Facebook maintain your user credentials and passwords than creating a new account with new and secure passwords.)
There will be not much difference between a Robo-Citizen and a Human (or a pet). At first, we won’t notice the difference but slowly, slowly as the grave reality of our predicament will be realized, we will try to fight back for our lost privacy! But alas, it will be too late then.
Corporations will rule most of us and few world-class Artificial Intelligence software will, in turn, run these corporate decisions. At some point, the globalized multi-national corporate world will switch from direct human management to algorithm-driven, data-driven analytics and decision.
Again, even the big and powerful corporations won’t notice this change at first but by the time they will do, they will have no choice but to live and die by these algorithms because not following the command of these AI algorithms will mean getting financially destroyed by your global competitors.
I understand you may think this future prediction is incorrect and unnecessarily dark and negative. But, the sad truth is this “dark and negative future” is already here, just not fully distributed and fully executed.
On the positive side, we all can decide to do something about it. The most important of all, we should not give up our personal privacy in exchange for reducing some manual human work. We should not give up our privacy in the name of latest apps.
Privacy is a human right and like any rights, you have to defend it (or else it will be taken away).
Let me know what your thoughts are on the internet and digital privacy issue? Are you concerned or you don’t care about personal privacy at all? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
How to crush it on the social media? Today’s customers and fans expect every brand to be on the socials. And most brands are. We are. But, how do our fans judge us? What are the criteria that determine which pages, personalities, or accounts get followed or which brands are cooler?
I have found that there are three critical criteria.
What’s the first thing you notice when you stumble upon a brand’s social page? The number of followers it has? Right! Why do we look at this number and why is it important? It’s important because we unconsciously judge a brand by its existing social reach and authority. The bigger it is, the more trust it has.
If a million people follow a particular t-shirt company, then their t-shirts must be good. So we must also follow them to see what they have got and how can it benefit me! A big follower count matters! It demonstrates dominance and most people want to cheer for the winning player!
Soon after when are back to the reality and the flashing light of big numbers fade into the background, we look for who else is excited to be part of this brand’s community? What’s their story? Who all are commenting and what are they saying? Or, am I the only one excited here until I move on to the next one.
If a brand page has half-a-million followers but no one is talking in the comments, and no one is sharing, then something is wrong. Either the brand doesn’t care about its community or the community doesn’t care about the brand. Either way, it’s just a bunch of inactive people clumped together without their consent or awareness. May be they were bought! May be they were trapped by false advertisements or giveaways! Who knows, but, this brand doesn’t look trustworthy!
Immediately your mind will go, “may be they [these fans] were bought! May be they were trapped by false advertisements or giveaways! Who knows, but, this brand doesn’t look trustworthy!”
So, as a brand, you need constant engagement to sell your story to a new prospect and to keep the current ones engaged! What could be better than to make your community part of your brand’s story? Think about it!
Advertisement vs. Entertainment
Ok, yes, I like these fan pages but that doesn’t mean my existence is for the consumption of their products. We need fun. More of it. The last criteria that we use to filter who to follow and who to unfollow is by how much advertisement they push upon us vs. how much valuable information or entertainment they share that engages me. It’s all about the value add!
What benefit am I getting by following this brand? Are they inspiring me? Do they have solutions or answers to my problems or questions? Are they affordable? Are they high quality and better than their competitors? Lastly, do they care about me as a human being or are they treating us as a marketplace for their damn marketing!?
Lastly, do they care about me as a human being or are they treating us as a marketplace for their dumb marketing!? As a brand, you must answer to these and make sure you are positioned in the best possible way!
Treat your fans with respect and love! If you truly care for them, then show it to them by sharing your best content, information, videos, Infographics, etc. for FREE! Then, go for selling and even then keep it to a minimum! Let your fans come to you for a purchase. You want to pull them with your story, not push them through excessive marketing!
“Last spring, Forrester analyzed more than 3 million user interactions with more than 2,500 brand posts on seven social networks.
Unfortunately those brands achieved less than a 0.1 percent engagement rate on six out of the seven platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. Instagram posts, however, generated a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21 percent. That means the app delivered brands 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. Let’s look at a real life example of this difference.
This week, Red Bull posted a photo of Lindsey Vonn on both Facebook and Instagram. Currently, the brand’s 45 million Facebook fans had liked the photo just about 20,000 times, while its 2.2 million Instagram followers had liked the photo nearly 70,000 times.”
So what does this mean? Seven social platforms analyzed. It means, Vine, Periscope, and Snapchat included. Your effort should be more on Instagram than other social media. Instagram for writers or artists means: 1. Make good art consistently (which many of us love to do). Write, record audio, music, paint, draw, sing, dance, talk, whatever you do 2. Turn your art into poems, quotes, pictures, videos 3. Post them (in fact, post more frequently 4x/day) 4. Cut videos, audio, music into 15 sec or less frame & post as videos or slideshows 5. Engage with comments and other users 6. Reply to relevant DMs 7. DM other Instagram users and build a team/network of friends 8. Collaborate and do S4S (shout for shout) 9. Unofficially advertise on Instagram through other big accounts 10. Officially advertise on Instagram through Facebook
Currently, many of us are not doing a lot of these steps in our Instagram marketing and outreach. What do you think? Can you suggest some game plan on how someone can become more efficient in using Instagram without spending more time? Read my detailed post on Instagram:
1. Post Regularly: Whether it is an old post or something small (and interesting), post regularly. You can think of recycling here. If you have 500 posts on your Instagram, that means, you can recycle easily at the rate of 1 old post per day. That’s huge. It basically means, if you simply repost your old posts, you can literally continue to do so for one year at the rate of 1 post per day.
2. Theme: You can create a simple background theme for each of your writing we post. This strategy is widely adopted by most of the users with more than 30k followers.
3. Data & Science: Remember, according to one study done with 30 featured images on Instagram out of 8 million total, Curalate found:
Bright and high light generates 24% more likes than darker images.
Images with plenty of background white space generate 29% more likes than those with minimal space.
Images featuring blue as the dominant color generate 24% more likes than images that are predominantly red.
A single dominant color generates 17% more likes than images with multiple dominant colors.
High levels of texture generate 79% more likes. (Think about this one!)
The point here is not to copy these strategies but to test it out for your content and your audience. Try and test different things. And then stick with the winning strategy.
Comment below! What do you think? What would you like me to cover next?
Earlier this year, I deleted most of the irreverent videos from The Naked Soul YouTube as I want to take Naked Soul more towards the literary, self-help, and podcast domain.
Build A Successful YouTube Brand
This is what happened in the past 12 months and what I learned from it.
1. My Naked Soul subscriber count went up from 1200 to 1682. My watch time went up by 182,000 minutes monthly and 62,000 views monthly from 30,000 views/100,000 minutes in the past.
On the flip side, my earning went down from $100 monthly to $66 despite doubling my views. Why? Maybe AdWords is becoming competitive. This is bad news for every Youtuber, by the way.
2. By using custom thumbnails, I was able to grow my Fitness YouTube by 700% in just past 3 weeks. (See picture attached with my notes).
3. By uploading videos consistently, I was able to increase the view time for my Travel channel. (screenshot attached)
YouTube Video Marketing
1. When I did not use custom thumbnails, our total Fit Couple YouTube view was 50 for the first 3 months (Jan – Mar). After I created and upload custom thumbnails for each video, my views went up to 350 in just past 2-3 weeks. That is almost 700% growth.
2. Fit Couple Goals uses custom thumbnails on all of the videos. 12 subs and 350 views, 10 likes, no dislike, videos getting added to several dozen playlists — all good signs. Mainly because of catchy titles and thumbnail.
3. My Travel channel does not effectively uses the thumbnail technique (not yet) and therefore is suffering view counts and click-thru-rate (CTR) despite having more subscribers and total # of videos. 23 subscribers and only 400 views. Also notice, only 5 likes and less videos in playlists. Why? I guess, not having catchy title and video cover (i.e video thumbnail).
4. It takes time and creativity to write a good catchy video title, descriptive description, meta tags to maximize the video’s SEO and finally, a nice catchy thumbnail is the icing on the top. This is essential for YouTube success.
5. From my notes on the screenshot, you can see how adding a lot of new videos helped The Art of Travel to gain average watch time, total views, and total view time. So, that’s a good thing.
6. On the other hand, more interestingly, Fit Couple Goals did not add as many new videos but see the spike in total views after I uploaded custom thumbnails for each video. See the above screenshot for details.
Your YouTube Brand
What does this all mean? I have something interesting to share with you all (in my next post) but first I would like to hear your thoughts and opinions. What do you think is the future of YouTube videos vs. Facebook video? YouTube like revenue sharing with users or Facebook like total control over revenue from advertisements.
Facebook sells advertisements to its users and keeps 100% of the revenue. Due to low organic reach FB is no longer the first choice for entrepreneurs or new advertisers. On the other hand, YouTube has been sharing revenue with content creators and has finally turned a good profit.
Also, what about Vine and Instagram? Snapchat? Periscope? All of these platforms allows the users to broadcast and post videos of various length. Should you and your brand be on all of these platforms? My first response to this is “Yes!”
But is it that simple? Or is it even needed of you to be everywhere with your video content.
These and other questions similar to the ones I have pointed above is currently being brewed in my mind’s lab. Check out back in few weeks for part 2 of this interesting discussion. For now, bombard me with your comments!
For whatever reasons (unknown to me or anyone), in January, the Quora community decided to vote me as a Top Quora Writer 2016. They have invited me to come to a Top Writers meetup in Mountain View, California at Quora HQ in June.
Earlier, I was excited about this meetup and my California visit but now I am passing on the free food and socializing opportunity.
Being Purposeful in Life
I have realized one secret about “purpose in life” from this experience. When we are young and we want to achieve something, we often get sidetracked by our early trophies. Often, the journey is long and hard, and we give in to temptations of feel-good, to feel important.
I am not saying one should not enjoy small victories. What I am saying is one should not “focus” on the celebration of the achievement of small goals. “Focus” should be always on your primary vision.
For example, traveling from Boston to California just to feel good to get inside the Quora HQ is self-puffing and not really in line with my end goal. If it was local, I would love to attend. But me thinking about making this long journey indicates that earlier I was taking myself way too seriously.
To me, I was important. But to the world at large, I am just a small piece. I have my place and I have my mission. Without contributing much I cannot (and should not) expect life to give back to me.
If life is generous to you, celebrate it. It’s good, have fun, go with the natural flow of life. (But, spending valuable resource such as time and money to feel good about yourself and to receive what life is giving you is not always a wise step. In fact, it would be self-centered rather than altruistic or honest.)
Top Quora Writer
The title of Top Writer 2016 is cool but it is practically useless to me and my fellow citizens of this world. What I need to focus on is solving problems that only I can solve. Each of us has unique talents and life-experiences that is best suited for tackling some unique problem (personal or larger). We should celebrate our small achievements but should not lose track of our original vision.
I am not coming to California. I would rather answer few more questions on Quora in the meanwhile. And maybe write a new blog here on The Naked Soul Blog.
If you are on Quora, you can follow me here. If you have not heard of Quora, it’s basically an online question and answer website with a beautiful, user-friendly interface. Quora aggregates questions and answers on various topics. It’s a fun place to learn something new and interesting and to ask your questions.
Let me know what you think when it comes to finding and following one’s purpose and mission in life? What is yours? Comment below.
Platform building is a long and difficult process. Where and how to best spend your time, energy, and money for the best possible outcome is a neverending quest for most of the independent artists, authors, and musicians.
In this blog, I will share my best tips and tools to make your strategy successful.
A. Idea Incubation & Content Creation
1. Write original content (books)
– Take pictures, make videos, learn
– Create content (video making)
– Create content (writing)
– Create email list
– Create content (talking & recording)
– Create content for SM
– Post content
B. Marketing and Promotion
3. Social Media (Share content)
4. Email Your List
5. Broadcast your podcast
6. Speaking Engagements
7. Attend Industry & Networking Events
8. Book tours and book signing
Promote Your Brand The Right Way
Prioritize in terms of revenue generation or monetization capabilities.
1. Speaking engagement > income from speaking fee
2. Podcast (or Talk Show) > income from advertisement
3. Books > income from book sales
4. YouTube > income from advertisement
5. Blog > income from advertisement
6. Social Media > income from traffic volume, shoutouts, endorsements, & brand awareness
7. Products or White label Products > income from product sales
8. Affiliate programs > income from commission
9. Online courses > income from fee
### Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of deep souls, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!
Do you need help in platform building? I provide online mentorship and one-on-one coaching. Or, if you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment and I would love to read it.
Can you imagine how much money do these kids make with millions of views on their videos? A lot of them make over $10,000 each month. Some make over $30,000 a month.
The point is not to join the YouTube wagon but to create multiple funnels of income.
You may be a techie, or you may be creative.
You may have books in you. You may have CDs and music in you. You may have documentaries and films in you. These are all various funnels for income.
You have social media.
You can be a consultant.
You have a job.
You can become a teacher.
You can drive Uber part-time for a limited time to make some cash. You can do Airbnb and rent your rented house.
You can invest that cash (say $1000) in a Roth IRA or IRA and then start investing $200 or whichever amount you wish until retirement.
You can create your own investments with Vanguard IRA or start a simple savings account. You can invest in Stocks or Real Estate or both.
It always amazes me to find out how people complain about being poor when all they may need is Uber + Airbnb + few consulting gigs. You don’t even need an employer. You can be your own boss.
And, if you already have a decent paying job, what are you waiting for? You are in lucky 20%.
To make money, you got to first make money so that the money you make can later make money for you!
All you have to say is “I can do that, too.” Then do it.
Learn to use every talent you have to create income. That’s the right mindset. You can also create simple gigs on Fiverr and build revenue, create simple video webinars on Udemy and Skillshare.
If you have something to share that adds value, you have an opportunity. (As the popular saying goes, if you are good at something, you should probably charge for it.)
You just have to take one step each day.
365 days it is.
I want to see where I’ll be in 365 days from now! I am interested in measuring my own progress in 365 days from today.
Do you accept this challenge? If yes, tweet to me or comment with hashtag #365Days.
Involve your friends and make it a fun challenge.
Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email address now and be part of this tight-knit community of lovers, readers, writers, adventures and other people just like yourself. I send great contents directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!
What are you doing to make $100,000 in next 365 days? What other creative ways one can use to make some extra cash? Share your pro-tips if something is working for you. It may help others. (The first 10 commenters are always my favorite.)
Instagram has seen a humongous growth in recent years. With this explosive user growth, we also see the rise in posts related to literary nature. Quotations and poetry, in particular, are very popular on this relatively young social media platform.
Interview With Writer Robert M. Drake
There are a lot of accounts which posts poems, quotations and short pieces of writing. Amidst this jungle of writers, one name that comes to the forefront is @rmdrk. Behind this hugely popular username (@rmdrk) is actually a Miami based young street artist and writer, Robert M. Drake.
Robert has recently published his third book “Beautiful Chaos“ through lulu.com. His work is being read by over a million people (across the world) on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. His book is already on top third position on Amazon.com in American Poetry category.
I must admit, that it was an honor to interview the man who is not only both successful and highly creative but someone who is being followed by some of the hottest celebrities of our time. Naturally, it sparks a curiosity to meet and know more about this man!
It is impossible to find out the complete list of celebrities who follow him but the man and writer Robert M. Drake is followed by Khloe Kardashian (American reality TV star), Kendall Jenner (American reality TV star and fashion model), Kylie Jenner (American reality TV star), Sophia Bush (American actress and activist), and Shay Mitchell (Canadian actress and model).
There is little to no doubt that thousands of young and aspiring writers want to know more about Robert. This is where this interview idea came to my mind. I knew I wanted to know more about him. Well, it is my pleasure and honor to introduce Robert to all of you.
Currently, I do not have a favorite place. There used to be a spot in a south beach called Van Dykes. It was a restaurant/bar/jazz lounge. It was fresh. I would kick it there several times a month. Good food, good people, good music and good drinks.
Do you like living in Miami? If you were to relocate, where would be that?
Probably San Francisco. I love it there. I feel unreal when I am there.
Do you have any pets? If yes, what are their names?
I have a Dog named Stewie. He is a rescue dog. When I was ready to adopt a dog I went to a local shelter. I remember seeing Stewie and his sister. I liked him a lot. He was very friendly but unfortunately, I did not take him.
A whole week passed and I still thought about him. I felt bad that I did not adopt him. I went back about a week later and his sister was gone but he was still in the shelter. I immediately adopted him and the rest is history.
He is very kind and lovely. Sometimes I feel for him because he cannot speak. I can see a lot of emotion in his eyes. It saddens me.
So Robert, do you write full-time?
Yes, I do, and I am very fortunate to be able to write full-time. I have put in a lot of sweat and blood into writing. Not a lot of people know that I have been writing since 1994. I have written numerous stories.
I have a 650-page book coming out called “A Brilliant Madness.” It a collection of five short stories I have written from circa 2003 to 2007. I am also working on “Gravity”, a novel.
Robert, let’s talk about Spirituality a little bit. Do you believe in God? Life after death?
I am not sure what I believe in. I feel things that I do know of. I have seen things that I do know of. I have a lot of questions regarding the entire religious spectrum. I have had very lucid dreams and experiences that question the ideals of Divinity.
I would like to say “No”, I do not, but something deep inside me tells me to believe and to keep searching. I am not sure what is it but there is something that does not want to eradicate my entire belief in God.
Maybe after all this is a human flaw, to believe that we can only define ourselves until we cannot and then there is a “God” to finish defining whatever it was you could not.
I do believe in life after death. My brother just passed in late August and we have spoken a few times.
Robert, on your Etsy store you mention that you are a sculptor and painter as well. Were you creative since childhood? Do you plan on exhibiting your work in the future?
When I was a child my parents were very poor. They did not have the money to buy me toys. In fact, I would only receive a gift during Christmas time. There were many instances where my father would buy me clay (because it was very cheap) instead of action figures or play guns, etc.
This was the only way I would lose myself. I would use whatever was around me and play. With the clay, I would sculpt action figures and play. When I was outside, I would pick up sticks and play. I was highly imaginative back then. It stillÂ amazes me to see how children use their imagination to getaway.
Imagination is a powerful thing. Some of us keep it and nurture it as we grow and some of us forget we have it.
I paint a lot of things. I do a lot of street art. It is everywhere in Miami and in other cities across the USA. No, I do not exhibit or plan on exhibiting my works. I like my artwork to stay in the streets. It belongs there and I would never want my work to be represented in a gallery. (I have turned down so many requests).
My artwork is free and it is forÂ everyone and it will always be. I would hate for my work to be owned and kept away from everyone who has yet experienced it.
With over 1M+ followers, you are a celebrity on Instagram. Tell us what does it feels like?
It is not real. I am not a celebrity. My work is shared by millions of people but nothing has really changed in my life. I still have the same life and I still live in a shitty apartment. Nothing has changed.
My writing only lives in the digital. It is not realÂ but what is realÂ is the feeling and hope my work gives to people and for that I am grateful. I am very blessed to be in a position where my thoughts and feelings influence a lot of people and that alone is enough to make me feel like my life is worth more than what is it right now.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
No. I believe in lust at first sight. I think that makes more sense to me. The illusion of love at first sight is not real.
Robert M. Drake on Writing
Tell us something about your upcoming novel “Gravity”?
Gravity is a novel that I have been writing since 2013. I do not want to mention too much about it at this time but I can tell you one thing: when you read it, you will lose track of time.
You will feel like you are dying only to reborn within every word. You will see yourself in the characters of the story and you will learn how to fall in love with something other than a person (human being).
The story is a reflection of our spirit and I have been chosen to write such a story. It is beautifully tragic in such a way that EVERYONE will be able to relate to it. This is why it is called Gravity, the attraction/force one we will never be able to break free of.
Can you talk about people or books you have read that have inspired you to embark on your own writing career?
Can you talk about that one defining the moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
I wrote a story called “The Balcony” back in 1999. It was about a girl who jumped off a balcony because she felt so alone and she felt like no one could help her. As morbidly awful as that sounds it actually made the people I showed it to cry.
I knew whatever it was I had in me was special. After that when I was in college, I remember a lot of my professors telling me that I should be a writer. I never stopped writing. It was in my blood and I became obsessed with the idea of writing. Not because I thought it was “cool” but because I felt like I wanted to tell stories; stories that I thought I would like to read as a reader.
I want to capture something and I know I have still not captured what it is that I am trying to capture. If that makes any sense. I would probably feel this way until I die because I am always evolving and what I am trying to define is also evolving. There will never be an end to my work/research. I will never be done.
In your opinion, what is the most difficult part of the writing process?
Trying to write when you do not feel like writing. And that’s all, really it is.
What advice would you give to budding authors?
Write what you know and do not write what others are writing. I understand there are certain things and emotions we all feel and go through. But if you are happy, do not write about hurting. I believe it is best to express what you are feeling at the moment. This way, the expression remains raw and fresh.
I am not saying you cannot write about something you went through last year because you can. But I believe it is best to write about whatever it is that is current. It keeps your feelings relevant to the “now” instead of waiting to write about whatever it is you want to write later.
I would also suggest to keep writing even if you express yourself poorly or if you do not like what you are writing. Keep writing. Do not compare yourself to other writers/authors because none are alike. It will only bring you down.
Also, the more renowned you get, the more recognition you will receive. There will be a lot of love but with praise and love comes hatred. For me, it fuels me to become better. I love it!
I love it when someone tells me my work is terrible. Thank you, I want to write better. I want to write deeper, and I will. I am not going anywhere. So, all of you who judge my work negatively and hate it, thank you. Keep hating; it makes me and my writing better.
Does your poetry carry a particular message or do you write for pleasure?
I do not write poetry. At least to me, I never saw them as “poems”. I write stories; that is all I have ever wanted to do. I do carry a message in my stories and the world has yet to see all that I can do.
These social media “thoughts and messages” are about 5% of what I want to do. I believe, if I play my cards right then I will leave a very powerful message behind when I pass away. I can assure you that.
All the mentions of “her” and “she” in your poems… are there particular people you write about?
They are characters in my stories. And, yes each character is always inspired by someone I know. So yes in a way it is.
What challenges have you had to face in your writing career?
My greatest challenge was probably to get my writing out in front of my readers. It has been a blessing that I have used Social Media to stretch out my thoughts and stories to millions of people.
It is a beautiful thing that I am not enslaved by a publishing company and restricted. I want to show people to not be afraid to fail, and live your dreams. I want to show people that failure is bound to happen but you can succeed. Be free and do what you love. No excuses.
Can someone make living from writing? What advice would you give to struggling artists out there?
Do not sell yourself to a company. Do not let them buy you by offering you a little something you can probably do yourself. You can make money of any product; you just need to present it properly. This is the way the world works. If you are an artist and you want to make a living off your art then study and learn about marketing. It is an entirely different world and a world that might seem too vast to grasp.
This is why a lot of people sign contracts and all. They do not want to deal with the marketing part of their endeavor. But then you are selling your art for a small piece of the cake. Companies will rob you blind and rob you of your work. Do not be a slave. Be your own boss and find the motivation to become so.
Any near term personal goals or long term ambitions?
To live, at least long enough to write a few novels. My brother recently passed away. I know I do not have all the time in the world. My goal is to live a little longer.
Where do you think you will be after 25 years?
I cannot see that far into the future. I am sorry.
Robert M. Drake: Just for Fun
What is your favorite English word?
What is your least favorite word?
Can you talk about a fan encounter that completely took you by surprise?
One time I was doing street art and a bunch of people came up to me because they saw what I was doing and it caught their interest. When they saw what I had put up they freaked out, and then I freaked out. I do not know how I feel about being exposed. This is why I like to remain in the shadows.
If a film is made on you, who would play your role?
I am not sure. I do not watch too much TV or movies. I do not own a TV and I have not had cable since 2012. I’m not into TV or movies; I don’t know a lot of actors so I feel like I cannot answer this properly. I’m sorry.
So you might know that Khloe Kardashian and several other Celebrities follow you on Instagram. Have you met Khloe in person?
Khloe is fresh. I love her and that is all I want to mention about that.
Do you like going to the zoo?
I have not been in a long time. But it is okay.
What do you do when not writing or painting?
Drinking. Sometimes I have to live a little to remove the heaviness pilling up from the inside.
On what do you spend the most: clothes, accessories, perfumes, underwear, food, etc.?
I do not spend much money. I was poor all my life. I guess in a way I am not attached to anything materialistic but if I must say I do like spending on other people. It makes me feel good about myself.
What were your friend’s and family’s reactions to your success? Were they surprised, appreciative, happy? Tell us a little more about it?
No one actually knows. I do not like telling too much about my work to the people I am close. It might change people and I like to protect the very few people I have left. I do not let any new person in my life; that is all.
Do you have a nickname?
My friends call me Bobby.
I hope you enjoyed this interview with R.M. Drake as much as I did preparing and putting it out. Since you are already here, let me tell you a secret. You can subscribe to the Naked Soul letters (see top right of the page) to receive exclusive contents, informative posts and fun-entertaining articles.
Also, please tell me, who would you want me to interview next? Please comment below. Do not forget to follow Robert @rmdrk and Naked Soul @naked_soul_poems on Instagram.