Who Can You Trust Online Nowadays? (Or, I Am Not a Russian Twitter Bot)

Almost nine years ago when I quit my job and started my blog, the World Wide Web held more in the way of promise than of foreign agents exploiting social media to antagonize people’s political differences.

Nowadays, it’s pretty tough to not inherently distrust everything that everyone says online.

In fact, all things tech and Internet feel like they’re just about out to destroy us all: scammers and spammers; phishing and robocalls; companies like LinkedIn and Equifax and Yahoo! getting their full databases hacked… And all the while, Russian Twitter bots are trying to stir us up into digital confrontations on issues like gun control.

(Whatever happened to puppy memes and babies biting fingers?)

Yikes. I can’t blame anyone for dodging their inboxes, shutting down social media accounts or thinking that maybe blogging isn’t the insta-gateway into 4-hour workweeks and financial freedom.

Over the last year and a half in particular, I’ve been thinking long and hard from behind my computer screen about how I communicate with you in these newsletters and across my small-but-growing platform as a teacher of writing, self-expression, yoga and self-knowledge.

As a fully self-employed creative, I strive to lead by example, do good in the world and make things that are interesting, valuable, and bring folks like you into a stronger sense of Self.

My only “marketing plan” to speak of is relationships built on trust.

Nine years’ worth of trust later, I’m grateful to have a pretty healthy list of testimonials from clients, students, peers, friends and colleagues from around the world who — even in today’s weird, wild, scary world of Internet deception — go a ways in proving that I am not, in fact, a Russian Twitter bot.

These days, I’m challenging myself to dig deeper to build bridges of trust to souls like you.

(Even in the sometimes-sketchy landscape of today’s Internet.)

There are a few ways that I’ll be offering that to you in the months ahead, in particular. Starting this week, I will be individually reaching out to my newsletter’s most active and loyal readers to offer a 10-minute chat on the phone or by video conference.

Why? No gimmicks, I’d just really like to connect with you, hear the story you’ve been living lately (in so many words), and exchange a little bit of positive energy with you.

You know, like humans do!

(*Mailchimp tells me who is most actively opening, clicking and reading my emails. So, if you don’t happen to hear from me, the best thing you can do is (a) open more newsletters I send you, (b) click around and check out what I’m sharing in those newsletters, or, more directly, (c) respond to this message and just say hi.)

Second, if you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a tear lately creating and sharing more free resources with you as offers of support for the life you’re leading.

Even though I’m starting to sell more products (like my course, Unavoidable Writing) and experiences (like retreats and workshops), I don’t expect you to trade your dollars with a stranger on the Internet without said stranger earning a whole helluva lot of your trust, first.

That’s why, since last year, I’ve created more free stuff like special journaling programs (like My Summer of Writing 2017), published fresh workbooks like Writer’s Block is Dead! 9 Ways to Vanquish Writer’s Block, and invested in dozens of new, free articles of a higher caliber on my blog — individually researched, cited and edited for the best reading experience possible.

I also released a new book last week on Kindle, which was free for the week (if you missed it, it’s still available for $4.99 on Amazon).

That book is called A Portrait in Self-Knowledge: Thoughts at the Intersection of Selfhood and Self-Expression.

You may recall some of those essays, as they were a part of my welcoming emails (called “Missions”) last year (up until recent weeks). My hope is that, by putting more of myself out there on the web and in book form, I can bring more folks like you and I together and we can work with one another, hang out in the world together, and create some beautiful noise.

With that in mind, here is the third and final thing that I want to share with you today:

My business plan for the rest of 2018.

I wanted to share it with you as an offering of invitation to work together. And, it’s really short and simple:

  1. Host or participate in 8 events (including workshops, retreats, conference speaking gigs, etc.). I’ve already got 2 under my belt and a few more in the works, but I’d love help to bring new circles together in different parts of the US/Canada/world.
  2. Work with 30 personal clients (across my two primary client offers, Story Shine and Writer’s Group of Two℠, detailed below).
  3. Sell 100 more spots to my course, Unavoidable Writing, by the end of 2018.

My business plan for the remainder of the year hinges upon keeping channels of trust and communication as open with you as they possibly can be.

Because I really want to work with you, someday, or starting next week.

Maybe you’d like to go on a retreat with me. Or, to turn your old resume into a dynamic new narrative. We could also work together in a private writers’ group (just the two of us). Or you could help me host a live workshop in your hometown.

Unavoidable Writing is currently closed to registration until the spring, and I’m still getting details together for my next retreat, which means that the best way to work with me (soon, or eventually) is through my two primary offerings:

— Writer’s Group of Two: Writer’s Group of Two℠ is my premier mentorship and coaching program for writers and creatives who want a long-term support system and bespoke curriculum for keeping their relationship to writing as vibrant and active as they desire.

Designed to synthesize the creative magic and accountability of a large writers’ group into a dynamic, nimble, extraordinarily supportive personal writing partnership, Writer’s Group of Two℠ includes hands-on writing support and content editing (up to 2,250 words of content per week) and weekly coaching and accountability calls with Dave.

Starts at $156/week. Learn More »


— Story Shine: Story Shine is my premier one-on-one professional writing service: a 30-day ghostwriting incubator that turns your resume or CV into a dynamic, emotional, professional narrative for use as a job application cover letter, LinkedIn profile, About Me page and beyond.

Designed and tested for maximum readability, resonance and memorability, Story Shine turns your professional prowess and personality into a story that elevates your value perception on your behalf — so you can do more of the work you love.

Packages start at $1,500. Learn More »

I’ll be the first to admit something to you…

I’ve selfishly devised my entire professional career to exist around me doing things I love with people who are awesome.

But I understand if our working together may not be a reality for a few months, or even years.

My point is, I’ll be here for you whenever the time is right.

And, I intend to repeatedly earn your trust, each and every time we speak. 

Because although the Internet has really been seeming like a dastardly, deceptive, and altogether distrustful place these days, I know that most of us are doing our damndest to embrace this technology as a vessel for our honest self-expression, personal growth and to leave a legacy of love in the world.

Russian Twitter bots be damned — you and I are still in this together.

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