Open Letter — Mr. Casey E. Palmer, Esq.

An Open Letter to the Brand Who Didn’t Think I Was Good Enough

Let’s be real — when you start worrying over your reputation more than whether you actually like what you’re doing, you’ve got a problem.

Overcommitting myself — as I often do — I was hustling away, preparing validation test cases and user grant templates for the 9-5, where I’m rolling out a major project management tool with my understaffed team; and toiling through my 5-9, editing photos, writing thoughts and scraping my metaphorical nails against the looming writer’s block you face when you’ve got too much on your plate.

So when I got an invite to a major event that would see me out-of-town for a bit, I was honoured. Validated that someone was noticing all the work I was putting into my craft, wanting more of what I could offer on something bigger than the things I was already doing.

I remember proudly telling family and friends how impressed I was that despite major life changes, hard work and grind could win out against being at every event, sharing every hashtag or any of the various things we bloggers do in excess to get noticed.

Which is why when the offer got pulled from the table without follow-up, explanation or any further communication whatsoever, I decided it was time to make a change.

On That Grind

Open Letter — On The Grind

2014′s been a good year — I’ve been settling into my fatherhood role; I’ve written my ass off like I used to back in the day; and despite the moments of self-doubt, feeling like I’ve given all I can and that my best days are possibly behind me, things sometimes happen that slap me in the face, reminding me I’ve a ways to go before the world can understand what I’m really capable of.

Since I started taking blogging seriously, I’ve worked hard at it, investing countless nights making it better. My closer friends see the data I analyze and the notebooks filled with blog ideas as I work to pour my passion into the words filling your screen. I read on Web technologies voraciously, always wondering what more I can do to make my blog as excellent as possible. A week doesn’t go by where I haven’t swapped ideas and strategies with others, thinking that when we improve as a whole, everyone wins.

But perhaps all that isn’t good enough. Perhaps the world’s a little too “what have you done for me lately”, and if you’re not shoving content down your audience’s gullet every time they come up for air, you’re doing blogging wrong. Perhaps we delude ourselves into thinking our audiences will appreciate the time and scrutiny that goes into a piece, preferring to see a great post weekly rather than mediocre ones hourly.

And if that’s the way it works, I’ve been barking up the tree too loudly for too long.

It’s time to make a change.

It’s Okay, I Still Love Me.

This is where I make a stand. This is where I remember I already have a 9-5, and should always remember who owns this space, using it for the things that make me tick — not to fit someone else’s agenda. This is where I realize that one day I’ll need to tell my son what I really stand for, and if I let a brand decree how I should feel about myself, then I’m living my life completely wrong.

Open Letter — I'm Kind of a Big Deal

So it’s okay if you have better things to do than tell me I didn’t make the cut — I get it; we’re all busy people. It’s cool if you’re looking for bigger numbers, someone without children who’s omnipresent and juggling three events a night. It’s even cool if you want someone with a certain “look” who’ll pull in audiences from across the globe.

I get it — I really do — but while it’s not the straw that broke the camel’s back, this experience has been my introduction to the uglier side of blogging, and what it feels like to be discarded like I don’t matter. I learned it’s not always about who works hardest or even who you know — sometimes, for reasons outside of your control, you’re just not the person they’re looking for.

But you know what you do when you can’t win no matter what you do?

You play a different game.

You can only get so far by blogging in 2014 — blogging’s the crawl before you learn to walk, and I’ve waddled around for far too long.

It’s time for me to take my next steps — thank you for giving me the courage to do so.

Sincere regards,

–case p.

17 thoughts on “An Open Letter to the Brand Who Didn’t Think I Was Good Enough”

  1. There’s an expression in one of the communities I spend time in that I think is applicable to this post. And so far you’ve been doing a great job at sticking to this, but I believe a reminder is justified.

    Whatever you do, DFTBA.
    Don’t Forget To Be Awesome.

    1. Edwin, I appreciate this — you’re right; in the end, we need to be happy with what we put out into the world, and if we can’t do that, attacks from external forces will have SO much more of an impact on us.

      My takeaway from the experience isn’t to hate or think ill towards those I alluded to in this post, but rather to learn from the burn and really just bolster my own self-worth and self-confidence, because I’m certain life will always have lessons like this to teach.

      Thanks for dropping a line, man :) Hopefully we cross paths next month!
      Casey E. Palmer recently posted..I’M NOT DEAD, I’M JUST A DAD: Happy Father’s Day — What IS a Dad???My Profile

    1. Angelique,

      It was a brand-sponsored event away from where I live, and I was told to clear my schedule and send my email for further details, and then… nothing. Dead air. No rescinding, just no communication whatsoever.

      A rescinding, to me, implies that there would be explanation as to why it happened. In this case, they just moved on without telling me a thing.

      Does that help?
      Casey E. Palmer recently posted..Don’t Stop (A Year Since BiSC)My Profile

        1. Heh, while I appreciate it, Angel — I don’t think a boycott’s necessary. This was more a wake-up call that even though I’ve made several strides with my blog over time, it’s no time to ease up and rest on my laurels. If I want to be taken seriously, I need to act serious. So I’ll keep working at my craft, and hopefully it’ll all lead to something amazing down the road :)

          Thanks, as always, for having faith in me, though! I truly appreciate it :)
          Casey E. Palmer recently posted..Why We’re So Impressed By Emma StoneMy Profile

  2. 2 words: fuck ‘em.

    in the 8-9 years i’ve known you, you’ve BEEN handling your shit. no matter what else was happening or how much you’d over-extend yourself, you prioritized things that made you happy. it’s time to go back to that.

    sure, this thing would have been a great opportunity for you, but if they can’t see your worth, fuck ‘em. forreal. you have too much other shit going on (and really, if they are discounting you because you have a family, is that really a group you want to form a partnership with?)

    1. That’s fair enough, Li :) It stung at first. It did. But I’ve gotten an overwhelming amount of support from family and friends who believe in what I do and the merit of my efforts, which have helped more than any opportunity would.

      I feel good after posting this, though. It’s similar to that situation with the 60 Days in Paradise contest, which ended up linking me with some great people and giving me insights on things I didn’t have before.

      Treat everything like a learning experience and you’ll be better for it. That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway :)

      Thanks for the love on this one!
      Casey E. Palmer recently posted..Why We’re So Impressed By Emma StoneMy Profile

  3. Let me tell you a couple things. I know about what the opportunity was. It was presented to me last year as well. I was gung-ho to participate and then something came up at the last minute in which I had to email the person I was corresponding with to say that “I am sooooo sorry, I am honoured to be considered for this, but a work function has popped up that I simply cannot get out of. Best of luck and thanks again for thinking of me”.

    As a PR person, I know that the appropriate thing to do in that instance is to write a person back and say, “Thanks anyways Val! Have a great weekend!” or something of the sort. Two seconds of your time.

    Instead, I heard nothing back from the PR person who sent me the invite. Because that person didn’t give a shit whether it was my body or another body filling the space/bus/whatever. They are PR machines with no sense of the key aspect of the PUBLIC RELATIONS industry which is COMMUNICATIONS and NURTURING RELATIONSHIPS.

    Casey, it’s not that you aren’t good enough. Don’t let some horrid PR lemming tell you otherwise. These brands go with big PR firms who have lost their personal touches and that is what will be their downfall. It has nothing to do with the brand not thinking you are good enough. It has to do with horrible PR. I see more and more big brands hop the fence from massive corporate PR companies to smaller boutique agencies that will handle their brands with the personal touch and care they deserve.

    You, my dear friend, are worthy of any amazing experience and you are certainly more than worthy enough for a courtesy email to let you know that, “unfortunately we’ve didn’t realize how many spaces we had to offer and the other people we presented the opportunity RSVPed first and I am SO sorry about this Casey” or anything.

    I’m going off on a tangent, because it makes me so mad that a stupid company could make you feel like you aren’t worth something. You are one of the most genuine voices on line in Toronto and don’t change.

    All the best,

    Valerie

  4. I’m with Edwin on this one.

    I forget how much of a different beast the Toronto blogging scene is (however, this post reminds me of why I’m glad I’m away from it!) Personally, I think this says more about the brand than it does about you as a blogger. The brands that I work closely with are way more interested in working with people who take the time to craft quality posts, tell stories & engage – as all brands should be! ( & most of these brands are in the adult/sex/health realm & they truly rock at working with bloggers!)

    Anyway, I think you’re awesome & I love this post.
    Simone recently posted..These Shoes Were Made For Wild TimesMy Profile

    1. Hey there, Simone :) I’m always interested in what other blogosphere look like — you should tell me all about what Vancouver’s looks like sometime :)

      I’ve had the opportunity to work with a number of brands lately, and you’re right — they’re just as fickle as people are. It’s been a very different experience working with each and everyone of them, and I need to remember that the only constant in the situation is myself, and I’d do well to remember it! Also, without a niche, it makes it hard to create strong links with brands who focus on certain categories, but I think I’ll just keep doing my thing and we’ll see what happens.

      Thanks for stopping by on this one, Simone — it means a lot :)
      Casey E. Palmer recently posted..WHAT YOU MISSED (Vegas Edition) — BiSC and Vegas, Day by DayMy Profile

  5. Casey, Casey, Casey! My poor little Casey! Listen, dont consume yourself too much with pleasing people because let’s face it, we aren’t people pleasers.

    Just do what feels right for you and the people who are meant to find you will. I don’t think there’s a science to blogging. You write, you promote, they find you. They either like what you say or don’t. The loyal ones will be excited to see your next master piece even if it’s two weeks later. Those are the ones we write for! So rock on dude. You’re awesome!!!!

    XO,
    Ashley

    1. Ha, thank you very much, Ashley :) I think my problem is that I’ve been focusing too much on the writing and not enough on other parts of my life, like photography and drawing. There’s more parts to a story than the words people read on the screen, and I need to chase after knocking all my interests out of the park rather than going in just one direction over and over, trying to exceed one person’s expectations.

      Time to create some awesome, right? :D
      Casey E. Palmer recently posted..DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2014 100, or, Why it’s Good to Share Your GoalsMy Profile

  6. My expereince (that you’ve heard a lot about) with brands and PR companies has been mixed.. I find most major brands still are not sure where “bloggers” fit in their payment model.. and often times, things will start and then fall flat when “numbers meetings” come up.

    You deserve more as a blogger. We all do. Write for you.
    Amanda Blain recently posted..Really Excited for Dying LightMy Profile

    1. Though, Amanda, it makes me wonder — is blogging an industry we should strive to do better in, or simply a stepping stone to bigger things?

      In this post, I said that “blogging is the crawl before you learn to walk”, and I think that’s what we have to prove. With blogs as our platforms, we’re meant to find the things we do best and then rock the heck out of them!

      It’s time for bloggers to be more than mere shadows of traditional media and really start working together to build something substantial. I don’t know what that looks like, but of bloggers start really working together and working to their potential, I’m pretty sure we’d find out!

      Best I can do for now is keep creating the best stuff I can in the hopes that one day it’ll all come together :)

      I’m writing for me — it’s the best thing to do! Thanks for the support!
      Casey E. Palmer recently posted..DO ALL THE THINGS: Monthly Wrap-Up — Do As You MayMy Profile

  7. Hey Case!
    So, let’s start with – “I’m sad you weren’t selected”. It’s happened to me in the past as well. It sometimes makes you wonder but, here’s the truth:
    1) You are awesome and kind and amazing as a blogger. Someone with real integrity.
    2) Regardless of what happened whether the client decided on more traditional media types, or decided on choosing writers from larger online publications – there should have been an email letting you know.
    3) You must know there are people who are pushing for you – people (like me), who consider your content to be high quality, content that has a story and is relatable, and content that reaches many. Those people (and I), will continue to push for you when we think you’re a match or fit for new programs.

    and lastly
    4) I suppose at this point you’ve noticed how many people understand, have been there and care. Don’t be discouraged.

    Longest comment I’ve ever laid on you blog. If you doubt what I say, take a look at all the other comments left by people who know you.

    You’re awesome. Keep building. Keep pushing forward.

    C.
    Christine Pantazis recently posted..Cadillac CTS – 3 day Test drive – Klout PerksMy Profile

    1. Thanks for this, Christine — I really appreciate it :)

      Like I mentioned in our conversation earlier, you’re hit with doubt sometimes, wondering if you’re doing the right things or whether it all counts for something.

      But then I post something like this, and the outpouring of support and positivity helps a lot.

      From this, I’ve learned that I’ve not yet reached the end of my path — I still have a long way to do before I’m satisfied. Whether that’s learning to do what I already do even better, experimenting with new things to achieve my goals or learning more about the parts of my world I’ve yet to understand, there’s things I need to do to keep pushing to new heights :)

      I think there’s a lot I’ve yet to discover and share with the people who care to listen, so hey. I won’t give up just yet!

      Thanks for everything so far, CP — I know there’s a lot our there in the world for people like us; just gotta keep working at it, right?
      Casey E. Palmer recently posted..I’M NOT DEAD, I’M JUST A DAD: Happy Father’s Day — What IS a Dad???My Profile

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