This is the question that you should be asking yourself every day when you wake up. It can be an unpleasant question to ask, depending on your point of view, but nothing creates the drive for action so much as urgency. Scarcity is one of the principles of influence, after all. The heroes of the epic tradition understood this. Homer begins both of his epics by invoking the Muses, the offspring of Zeus and Mnemosyne (Memory), to sing about the deeds of his heroes:
Speak, Memory – of the cunning hero, the wanderer, blown off course time and again after he plundered Troy’s scared heights. Speak of all the cities he saw, the minds he grasped, the suffering deep in his heart at sea as he struggled to survive and bring his men home but could not save them, hard as he tried – the fools – destroyed by their own recklessness when they ate the oxen of Hyperion the Sun, and that god snuffed out their day of return. Of these things, speak, Immortal One, and tell the tale once more in our time.
To heroes like Odysseus, this was kleos, their memory heard and celebrated forever. This was proof of their existence. This was how they would be able to transcend their mortal doom – through their names and the deeds behind them.
And it is what you should aim for as well.
You should aim to accomplish such great deeds and works that they will last forever, your name living on to be sung by the Muses of posterity. It is from this that the Masculine Epic gets its name.
The epic is the story that you write for yourself. Your epic is the story that will be told of your life.
It is the quest and the struggle to write an epic story so great as to be worth remembering for eons that is the essence of a masculine character.
Hence the lifestyle of the Masculine Epic.
It’s now been exactly a year since I began writing these pages in my own Masculine Epic, sharing them with all of you, and hearing your own stories told as well. At times like these, it’s best to look back and look forward. What pages have you written for the Muses to sing? What pages do you want to write for them to sing? After any year’s endeavor, you’ll want to ask yourself those questions. Most people just go day to day and don’t bother, which is partly “why no one will remember their names” if you’ll allow a Troy (2004) quote.
As you well know, it’s very difficult to get exposure online since the barrier to entry is so low. When you start a new blog, your first months in particular will be very tough. In my first month (September 2015), the blog only got 645 views. It increased to about 1,000 for October, 1,150 in November, and expanded more rapidly to 1,800 in December. As 2016 began, traffic spiked and has largely plateaued since the Spring, with a massive bump in June.
More important than views, unique visitors steadily grew every month, though dropped off a bit from the high in June. That’s the real metric you want to measure your site growth by.
Starting off is very difficult if you’re not already well-known. Psychologically, the most important thing to focus on is just putting out new content that engages people. Don’t set a benchmark for a certain number of visitors or what not. Your blog is a system, not a goal.
With that in mind, one of the most important things you need to do is acquire some persuasion skills and have a fine-tuned sense of hearing. You must find what people are talking about and then make the right kind of offer by telling them what they want to know and hear. Once you secure the trust of familiarity, you can from there build your personal brand around your fundamental content.
Obviously, the biggest topic of the past 15 or so months has been the election, especially regarding a certain Donald J. Trump. This is where much of my traffic derives from, but not as much as you would expect. Search “Donald Trump 48 Laws of Power” and I’m on the first page. Various reviews of mine are also on the first page (a trick I learned from Thirty Days to X). Some historical posts of mine ranked well, particularly Thutmose III in Google Images, until something happened and it didn’t rank anymore. Shame. Be prepared for that.
My Trump posts are something I’m proud of, obviously. In early October, one of them predicted not only his primary staying power to ultimate victory, but many of the things that would happen on the way there (such as Independent turnout and Democratic re-registrations in order to vote for him). My weekly commentaries have been praised by you, my readers, and I thank you for that.
Ultimately, my work on Donald Trump since last September allowed me to accomplish a monumental milestone – the publication of my first book. I’ve been a writer since I was probably 3 or 4, but had never published a book before. Stumped: How Trump Triumphed is currently the premier book for figuring out the election and the Trump campaign in the realm that matters – the art of persuasion and power. Unlike the typical books that come out during elections, which are written by bloggers for billionaires with an agenda, Stumped doesn’t waste your time with “fact checking” or tell you who you should vote for. It certainly doesn’t operate in the realm of hysteria and hoaxes like the windbags you see on television. Instead, Stumped is an overview of Donald Trump’s persuasion system that will let you know how you can incorporate these tactics into your own life through the Donald Trump case study. Let the windbags hyperventilate. The smart people are watching closely and learning, and that is what Stumped: How Trump Triumphed will help you to do.
But alas, the election is now close at hand. I’ll continue to talk about it for as long as it goes on, of course, but it will soon be time to move on. Wouldn’t that make sense?
I suppose that if Donald Trump wins, I can write some persuasion stuff should it come up, but the fun part is the campaign.
So what’s next?
I’d like to emphasize more of a masculine New York City lifestyle guide. Most of the lifestyle guides in New York City woefully underserve masculine men, particularly young ones, so I see an opportunity to fill the gap. The holidays seem like as good a time as any to start. I’m not entirely sure how it’s going to turn out, but look for posts on this topic.
I’m also going to be shortly releasing another free ebook to all my email subscribers retelling The Art of Seduction in the guise of fictional narrative, as I notice its patterns in play throughout the world of fiction just as in real life. It will be an enjoyable and entertaining experience as a supplement to the original, just like my retelling of The 48 Laws of Power. In the ebook, you’ll find the different types of seducer, the characters that fall for them, and examples of the different tactics in action. By retelling The Art of Seduction in this way, you’ll get a useful cross-reference to witness a case study in action (by looking at the series being highlighted).
Look for that in a month or so.
And speaking of emails, you’ll soon see a post from me about building an impressive list from scratch to hundreds in less than a year. This is what I’ve done over my multiple websites.
As far as grander projects are concerned, the next year is one I’m looking to debut them in at an accelerated pace.
- The barebones manuscript of Year Zero, a history of radical social deconstructivist movements from Ancient Egypt to today’s social justice warriors, is complete. The election sidetracked me from filling it out for the most part, but that’s soon to end. In the meantime, you can preview the second chapter of the book by reading “Akhenaten, History’s First Social Justice Warrior.” I hope to be able to release the book in the first quarter of 2017.
- Learning Science from Superheroes has stalled. Although the subject matter is a lot more lighthearted and engaging than most science or physics books, the topic itself remains science and physics, and I just may not be the best person to write about that stuff. I’ll know soon if it will still be a topic worth pursuing.
- My epic novel, a Homeric sci-fi story of sorts, will likely be released in four parts starting in 2017. I still want some more time to build up a bigger following, though I’m regretful it couldn’t happen now since the story, which I began writing in 2008, is so timely. Regardless, it will be the greatest creative accomplishment of my life when it is released. The ironic thing is that while I still don’t know the title of the story as a whole, I know the titles of the four separate parts of it perfectly.
- I began a companion short story to the epic novel which takes place more or less during the events at the end of the second and the beginning of the third books, just before the story reaches its bloodiest, bitterest, and most critical phase. That’s still in the ether, but will be less difficult to do than some other things.
- There’s also a book (or possibly even a documentary) on Homer and his world floating around in my head, but I only have the vaguest of outlines for it right now. I’d obviously need to grow a lot more before I do any kind of movie, though I do know a filmmaker who’s somewhat well known outside the United States. I met her through a cold approach too. That’s the potential power you get by meeting anyone you fancy. Her latest movie just won an award overseas, so I’m happy for her.
- I’m planning on launching The Kleos Podcast, discussing modern masculinity, True Glory, and the Homeric ideal in the modern age, this fall. I still need to get around the logistics of that though.
- I see a need to fill the vacuum for a political talk show since all the usual ones are terrible. As an example, the talking heads there can’t even recognize an A/B test (Trump’s so-called immigration flip-flopping). Now is obviously the time for that, but my infrastructure may not be in place for such an effort at the moment. The next president is guaranteed to be a constant source of controversy though, so the opportunity will remain ripe.
Obviously, you need to prioritize these or you won’t get any of them done. Year Zero will be the highest priority after the election. A Hillary win would make it more pertinent, so I’m hedged in that way (I hope you are too). My epic novel is already essentially done and polished so I don’t need to spend much time on that. An advertising executive I know wants to take a look at the first of the four parts of the story, so I’m polishing that up as well one final time. The Kleos Podcast won’t take too much to set up, though I still need to make a cohesive plan for a first season of sorts. I don’t want to just stumble into it randomly.
The historical and biographical posts will of course keep coming.
And I’ve sort of figured out Twitter, so I’ll keep building up my following on it, however slowly or quickly (it comes in peaks and valleys). I want to begin an Instagram too to highlight in particular the New York City lifestyle guide (as well as for social proof), but the app is anal about using it from a laptop and my phone is old. I used to hate these mediums, but I now understand their utility and necessity. I also plan to write for Return of Kings some more. Guest posting on successful outlets is one of the best ways to increase your profile, and I haven’t done enough of that.
I want to thank all of you, my friends, very much for helping me to make this blog something that I’d consider a success for its first year, and laying a foundation to build the next one on. That’s all because of you. I’d also like to thank Mike Cernovich personally for directing quite a bit of traffic to this blog.
While the next book in the Masculine Epic is coming, I’ll redirect you back to what I think are the first book’s ten greatest verses (and the reasons why I think they are).
- What is True Glory? (The foundation of the epic itself)
- Do These Things to Overcome Approach Anxiety (A practical system for shy guys to overcome their fears, get out, and approach women)
- Need Some Direction in Life? Find Your Great Work (The means to achieve True Glory)
- Has Donald Trump Run Out of Gas? (Where I correctly and early on predicted Trump’s success and some of the reasons why it would happen)
- To Live Well, It’s Important to Slow Down (To help you get out of your head, control your emotions, and enjoy the moment, especially for judging types)
- The 2016 Popular Revolt: The Trump Train (A post in January accurately outlining the spirit of this election cycle long before the talking heads got wind of it)
- What Will You Do in the Chaos? (In tandem with the spirit of the times, a mindset to have so you can spot opportunities)
- The NYC Rally Donald Trump Was a Lot of Hot Air (My first hands-on journalism post, something I’d like to do more of if the opportunity arises)
- Want to Truly Live Life on Your Terms? Go Full Shitlord (An important thing to remember in order to overcome the source of your social fears)
- How to Control The Mind of Almost Anyone (And Your Own) (My single greatest post on persuasion, in line with the lessons of Scott Adams)
If you have your own list of “greatest posts on the Masculine Epic,” please don’t hesitate to tell me what they are. I’ll put them on a list below!
As always, I remain your comrade on this lifelong search for truth, beauty, and glory.