Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mountain Man

By Pauly
Melbourne, Australia

Whenever I go away on a work assignment, this blog languishes and I focus more on my poker blog. For some reason, I have posted every day here and I only wrote two posts on Tao of Poker since I've been in Australia.

Sometimes the hardest thing in life is disciplining yourself. It's so more appealing to take the easy way out. But I've been pushing myself a lot the last few years... at times harder than ever. The results have been mixed... but on the high end of the spectrum, I have a lot to show for my relentless hard work. Millions of words both seen and unseen in print and online, some here and other places, and sometimes under names you have no idea that I wrote under.

I dropped a few clients who I cranked out content for using pseudonyms. It's hard to pass up free money from someone who wants you to write for them. But it finally came to a point where I had to drop them, and that started happing slowly over the last few months. A buddy of mine write film reviews under a nom de plume and he's been able to make a god living out of that.

So when poker/gambling websites and magazines approached me to write for them and they couldn't pay me my rate - I offered a discount to write under a fake name. If you want Dr. Pauly, you have to pay top dollar. If you want content, any content, and don't have much cash... you get one of several other pen names. The best part about that is... I can write something that's shit and never have to worry about it coming back to me.

Even Nicky or my brother or even Jess (who helps edits a lot of my stuff) had no idea about those extra secretive gigs. I guess most of you had no idea either and I just let that cat out of the bag.

I anticipate some of you who are bored at work will be trying to scour the intertubes for poker websites with content that seems somewhat similar to my writing style. Good luck at that.

With the fake names also comes a slightly different style. That was the fun part was trying to write differently in a genre I have lost passion writing about. But shit, in the end, a paycheck is a paycheck.

Most of my close friends know my original pen name... Tenzin McGrupp. I wrote five novels under that name. I'll never forget the shining moment when I finished my first novel (part of NaNoWriMo in 2002) and I printed up the cover sheet that read... Jack Tripper Stole My Dog... a novel by Tenzin McGrupp.

In addition to the novels, I wrote Truckin' stories for years under that name. It wasn't until I started achieve success and popularity in poker that I shifted from writing from the shadows to revealing my real name. It helped with Truckin' and more people started reading it when I attached my real name and dropped Tenzin McGrupp. Yeah, poor Tenzin got no love, while the my real name drew all the traffic.

A lot of people wondered how I got that pen name. And there was an international story which just happened that is somewhat related, so it inspired me to just write about writing under fake names.

Sir Edmund Hillary died today. It's big news down under since he's a Kiwi. If you don't know who he is, he was the first ever person to climb Mt. Everest and reach the summit, something he did 55 years ago. The second man to do it was his sherpa, a man from Nepal named Tenzing Norgay. For decades, there was controversy over who really was the first man to reach the top of Everest. Some said it was Tenzing Norgay, while others insisted it was Edmund Hillary.

Anyway, I dropped the 'g' from Tenzing and that's how I got Tenzin. And the McGrupp part is a play on my last name inspired by one of my favorite Phish songs... McGrupp And The Watchful Hosemasters.

I always felt that writing is like climbing a mountain and that someday I would reach the top of the mountain. I guess in some regards, I have grown restless and bored in poker, because I reached the summit of that mountain. It's not the biggest mountain in the writing world, but it's the top of one nonetheless. I have my sights set on bigger mountains and I wonder if I'll have enough energy and skill to reach those apexes.

Ah, and just yesterday, I was offered a job to write about sports betting. Although I wasn't looking to take on more freelance clients, at least it's a topic that I'm remotely interested in that's not poker. I may or may not use a pseudonym or perhaps I'll write under my real name. Or maybe, I'll use both?

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