The Sticky Mud of Burning Man and How to Escape Your Own Playa

Eric G Reid
3 min readSep 29, 2023

If you saw any videos from Burning Man 2023, you probably noticed the copious amounts of rain turning the Nevada desert’s dry lakebed into a sticky mud trap. Vehicles were getting completely stuck and swallowed by the clay-like earth. The harder you try to get out, the more engulfed your wheels become.

This got me thinking about times in life when we feel similarly trapped and unable to move forward no matter how hard we try. I call these ruts the “playa” after Burning Man’s unique geological landscape.

In my own life, I felt stuck in the playa when trying to promote my ideas about how the publishing industry no longer served those that wanted to create change in peoples lives to the scientific community. For years, I hustled to get traction but just spun my wheels fruitlessly. The more effort I exerted, the more resistant the field seemed. I lacked credibility and insider status.

Eventually, I discovered some “Dark Horse” strategies that started providing forward momentum. I refocused on helping other “outsider” writers market themselves more effectively. In a surprisingly short time, I went from trapped to becoming a change catalyst.

The path that once seemed like a dead-end is now bustling with progress. My struggles taught me that with the right approach, you can disrupt even the most stubbornly stagnant domains.

So what’s your “playa”? What change-resistant industry are you trying to shake up? Here’s what you can expect if you join me in my Dark Horse program:

Escaping the Playa: 9 Bold Dark Horse Actions

If you feel stuck spinning your wheels against resistant industries and audiences, try these Dark Horse bold actions that can help you gain traction:

1. Find receptive new audiences eager for your ideas

2. Attain easy access to influential people

3. Generate publicity and niche “fame”

4. Feel real forward motion instead of fruitless spinning

5. Be amazed by your new achievements

6. Regain optimism, energy, and joy

7. See tangible results in 30 days from new outreach

8. Silence critics and trolls

9. Make money where before you only lost it

These are audacious steps to take. Trying radical new tactics can help you disrupt orthodoxy and bureaucracy. With the right Dark Horse strategy, you can escape even the stickiest traps and pave a new road to the outcomes you desire.

I realize these are bold promises. This program isn’t for everyone. But if you’re assailing a fortress of bureaucracy and orthodoxy and willing to try radical new tactics, Dark Horse is for you. With the right strategy, you can escape even the stickiest mud traps and pave a new road to the outcomes you desire.

Ready to get unstuck in life? Don’t let your narrative remain just words on a page. Reach out to us at and let’s transform your tale into a living, breathing masterpiece!



Eric G Reid

I'm Eric G. Reid, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Skinny Brown Dog Media. My mission: transform aspiring writers into authors, and help them create an impact