I’m writing this in the first moment I’ve had in a while to just sit down and write what’s been trapped in my head. Though the blog’s been at the forefront of my mind despite everything that’s swallowed my time, it’s been just out of reach, the thoughts that make up my posts not coming together like they should to keep me pressing forward.
But I won’t stop — I can’t stop — I have to do better than the bloggers who’ll write content indiscriminately, always searching for material that’ll fill their post quotas instead of crafting the words that’ll speak to their souls. I’ve gotta do better than those who see blogging as little more than a business, never bothering to put more into their work than the copy from their clients and the blanks they fill on the content templates they hold dear. The hordes of those unable to see past the next post, trying so hard to prove how good they are, they fail to realize their actions will eventually rend them irrelevant as the world moves on to something better.
I need to do better because I refuse to settle for “good enough”.
With 2015 drawing to a close, I struggle to wrap my content up so I can move on to 2016 with a clear mind and a clean plate — the creative void I’ve been thrashing about of late’s been weighing me down, the routine, the spreadsheets and everything else dulling my mind to the point where blogging just didn’t feel possible.
It’s sometimes hard to ignore the naysayers — that parenthood and a full-time gig are as good as it gets, allowing little more time than what’s needed to flop on the couch each night with a beer in hand and something mindless on the screen. That social media’s upper reaches aren’t meant for men like me — that I’m not young, hot or single enough to matter in this world. That I’ve done nothing but waste my time, writing stories that perhaps didn’t matter to anyone save myself.
Sometimes it feels like it’d be so easy to give up, living a life that most would be proud to have, wanting for nothing with a roof over my head, food on the table, and a family who loves me for the man I am.
But I would want — I’d thirst for a world I hadn’t yet seen, knowing that the feats I’d accomplished through blogging thus far merely paled to what was possible by staying the path for the long run. It’s not a hunger I control, but more of an ache I’ve learned to feed… and with a taste of a world created of my own merits on my tongue, leading a life less complicated’s not something I’m willing to do without a fight.
And in a world that’d sooner see my fall than to build something beautiful despite some staggering odds, the only thing I plan to do is be better, since the alternative would make me sick.
When I raise my sons, I’ll raise them to believe in themselves… but belief alone isn’t often enough. What I’d been missing — for far too long now — is a sense of purpose; something to keep me hungrily improving, strong enough to tackle the next obstacle ahead. I fell into a dangerous pattern, buying well into my hype, forgetting just how much of a world I’d yet to experience, too high on myself to see farther than the little I could touch with my two hands.
But today is a new day, and sitting on my laurels while the world continues evolving around me would prove… unwise.
“I need to separate myself to stand out…
I need a better way to take your fans now!”
— Kendrick Lamar, “The Heart, Pt. 3” (2012)
Somewhere along the line, mediocrity became the new standard. Nothing’s built to last anymore — it’s all about immediate gratification and the throwaway content that’ll satisfy that short-term need. But much like junk food, it won’t fill you up for long, and soon enough you’re looking for something else to nibble on — something with a little more substance.
My goal is to serve up a meal whenever my pen hits paper, looking to give you content you won’t soon forget, because it was good enough to impact you… if even only a little!
Though there’s plenty on my plate with deadlines for more immediate — and pay days for more lucrative — than the piece you’re reading right now, something inside told me I needed to write this out and find peace with the turmoil that’d been brewing inside so I could return to writing at my best… not struggle to write something good because I’m told to.
For me, it comes down to this — if you’re not struggling to overcome any obstacles in your life, you’re not growing… creative ruts are life’s way of telling you that your same old tricks aren’t cutting it anymore. After time spent getting my mind right, my head’s back where it needs to be, and the time to knock the rest of 2015’s content out of the park is now.
I need to do better, not to prove that I’m the best; not to hit some arbitrary goal that’ll tell me how good a goal I am and massage my self-esteem… but because I can’t accept that any other approach is the right approach for me. I can’t sleep at night knowing I could’ve improved on the things I share with the world, so I don’t.
I grind. I learn. I do better.
If only we all did the same.
Until the next,