“This is a funny subject, just because none of you even know me. Not yet, anyway. The name’s Casey Palmer, and I’m at one of those pivotal points in my life right now. It’s the last summer before first year of university. Amidst all the limited bursts of fun and trying to save up to cover tuition, my mind has been filled with more thoughts than I’m used to.
Anyway, thanks to anyone who may stumble across this journal, I’m sure it’ll prove to be more interesting in the future, filled with intergalactic thoughts and timespanning opinions, but until then, we’ll have to wait and see, no?”
— Casey Palmer’s first online journal entry, dated August 13, 2002, tagged with “intro” and done while listening to Amerie’s “Need You Tonight”
Several years deep in this journey as a blogger, I’m finally appreciating what things look like through the eyes of bloggers who started this scene almost a decade ago. At times, it feels like I’m rehashing ideas I’ve already put out, trying to keep original despite the wealth of content I’ve already produced. I remember back when I just started with the blog, trying to show I was bigger and badder than anyone else, looking to convince the world why my blog was worth their notice. After years of hustling, 2015 Casey’s got a whole different set of problems, constantly looking for better solutions to handle them.
I mean, after a point, there’s no going back — you can’t invest hours on a piece of content and then suddenly go back to creating how you did in the days where it only took ten minutes. When your first post goes viral, you can’t help but wonder what you can do to duplicate that success, looking to give your audience what they want so you can build a blog bigger than anyone might’ve expected. Your bar goes higher, your expectations increase — there’s less you’re willing to do for the sake of keeping the blog relevant… before you know it, your blog’s become very integral to your life, and you’re hustling the hardest you’ve ever remembered working in your life.
That’s me right now — that’s why I’ve got a notebook with me wherever I go, waiting for the next great idea. That’s why I often choose writing over sleep, knowing I have something great to share with the world if I can just dig deep enough to find whatever it is that I’m looking for.
I see the bloggers out there who remind me of the man I once was — out at parties eight days a week, filling some unknown void with free liquor and samples to take home and try… but life’s gotta be about more than that — our brands as bloggers have to be about more than that — and I plan to do what I can to keep my blog something worth reading.
This is More Than My Blog — It’s My Reminder to Live a Life Worth Writing About!
For anyone who takes their brand even halfway seriously, it’s a huge challenge to develop quality content consistently, struggling to meet the pressure we put on ourselves. But anyone who takes their brand even halfway seriously knows that we don’t have a choice — we’re all more outspoken than ever, filling the digital void with more noise than anything of substance. Our long-form blog now compete with the minimalist messages of Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr; it’s no longer just blogging — you need to be an all-encompassing presence on all fronts, creating amazing stuff whether it’s 140 characters or 40 paragraphs, written word, audio or video. The medium will only ask more of us to stay standing, and only we can decide whether we’ll rise to the challenge.
Behind the scenes here at my blog, I’ve still countless stories to tell, all looking for the right form to do them justice. Though there’s plenty of advertorial sponsored work and giveaways galore to keep things interesting, there’s a heart behind all of it, a heart I can’t ignore if I want to keep creating stuff I believe in.
There are times I write with a point, putting arguments together to convince others of the ideas I’m putting across. At other times, I write whatever’s on my mind — my goals, my challenges, my random thoughts and hare-brained ideas. But sometimes you just need to write to get things off your chest, and when you do it right, you feel a little better for it in the end.
So no matter how you share your stories — on a blog, in a video, in a speech, whatever — make sure you do it well. We’ve all got plenty of tales to tell, and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon… 13 years and 13 days after I started, I’m still tackling them a story at a time, and eventually I’ll finish this journey at my pace.
I just hope you’ll be patient enough to tag along for the ride!
Until the next,