Last updated on November 7th, 2014 at 01:02 am
“Aiyyo, I’m slippin’, I’m fallin’, I can’t get up
Aiyyo, I’m slippin’, I’m fallin’, I can’t get up
Aiyyo, I’m slippin’, I’m fallin’, I gots to get up
Get back on my feet so I can tear **** up.”
— DMX, “Slippin'”, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood (1998)
Sometimes you need to take a real honest look at yourself.
As 2014 ends, I’m sitting on a stack of ideas, my backpack a few notebooks deep weighing more than the weight of their pages — it’s the weight of their potential that holds me down.
I’m older now, feeling my way through a young person’s game. My bones creak, I don’t bounce back like I used to — a younger generation came into the blogosphere, leaving us 30-something bloggers feeling like yesterday’s news. They run Vine. They run YouTube. With so many channels I’ve never considered, seeing content go from 30-minute blog reads to 3-minutes YouTube videos — when Vines are seconds long but rack in millions of views, you know things done changed!
While I’m still loyal to the Twitter and Facebook audiences I’ve grown over time, these platforms are past their prime. Zach Bussey compared Twitter’s rise and fall to a zombie apocalypse, everyone’s Moms got themselves Facebook accounts — the end is nigh and content creators need to ask themselves some questions: what do they want to gain? Why do they still blog? Will they change to keep up with the times, or are there other things they should do with their time?
And that last question’s exactly what I’m trying to answer every day I’m on the grind.
The Push for Perfection: Why Delayed Gratification Isn’t Always Amazing
“I told you that I was nothin’ to sleep on
So I’ve been gettin’ it in while you slept.”
— Rich Kidd, “Don’t Sleep On Me”, We On Some Rich Kidd ****, Volume 4: The Boiling Point (2010)
I spend too many nights staring at my monitor, trying to find my groove.
Unlike many bloggers, I choose quality over quantity, aiming for amazing content — not struggling to keep relevant. I fit my sponsored opportunities into my life’s stories — not yearn for brand attention by sacrificing authenticity. I’ve put time in and honed my voice to tell great stories… I won’t sell myself short, putting anything less than my best out with every post!
But that thinking can also freeze you where you stand — a perfection obsession can hinder growth, your ideas trapped within withering away rather than grow to amazing projects if you’d only trusted others to help you see how you could make them real.
So do you produce what you can right now, hoping it grows over time into the content you’ve always dreamed of… or do you take your time, sculpting your ideas to perfection so you can get it right the first time?
25 Reasons Your Blog is BLAH!!! & 31 Things I Know Now That I’m 31 — My White Whales
I hoped to make waves in the blogosphere with two blog series — 25 Reasons Your Blog is BLAH!!!, a scrutinizing look at why blogging’s dying and no blogger will succeed if they continue the status quo; and 31 Things I Know Now That I’m 31, lessons that both shaped me over time and may hopefully help others better their lives.
Despite how busy I’ve become, I didn’t just pack up and stop hustling on these ideas — I literally work on them every day, looking for the right words to give them life. But it’s precarious — the longer I work them, the bigger they grow: 25 Reasons started as a list of blogging DOs and DON’Ts, but I soon found I had a lot more to say!
Blogging itself is easy — you write some words, add some photos and call it a wrap when you hit “Publish”. But if you want to make something of yourself, that’s when the pressure’s on to produce, and if you can’t take the heat, you better find something else — because plenty of bloggers would cook in your kitchen!
And I’m not ready to hang my apron up just yet.
Blogging Might Die, But I’m Looking to Live On.
“It’s probably one of the easier and more lucrative blogging niches to get into because at the core it just means ‘life’. If I blog about dinner I had, well I might be a food blogger… but if I blog about the dinner I had, and the shirt I wore, and the new sunglasses I just bought – then I’m a lifestyle blogger. Basically it’s the general labourer of the blogger world. The Jack of All Trades, but Master of None… [the] problem though is that most lifestyle blog posts I find infinitely boring to write and worse than that to read. The utter vanillaness of [most] lifestyle bloggers makes them unbearable.”
I’ve learned a lot in my journey through the #BloggerLife so far — that I need to waste less time chatting on social media and more time creating content of value; that you’ll be yesterday’s news all too soon if you focus on the wrong things; and maybe most importantly, that even when a creative rut tries to hold you back, you don’t quit, kvetch and achieve nothing — you change your paradigms. You try something different and grow in a new direction. You do whatever’s needed to get over yourself and move forward with your life, breathing new life into your work to really make it shine!
Casey the Blogger’s not dead — far from it — but blogging just doesn’t cut it anymore. Blogging opened the door to other paths like photography and social media strategy — paths I’ll walk until I do more podcasting, videography and illustration. And though I don’t know what comes after that, this isn’t a fly-by-night operation — Oprah took 25 years to take her brand from the Oprah Winfrey Show to her own network, so why rush?
The point is this — when you feel like your life needs a change, go with your gut. I’ve wandered so deep into the blogosphere that other parts of Casey Palmer fell to ruin, and I need to start them from scratch before even approaching building tools that can change the world. All of this needs to mean something. One day I want to look back on the long nights and the slow progress, knowing I made my mark on the world.
But that day’s a long ways away, and these text files, sketches and notebooks lousy with scribbled ideas won’t vanish on their own. It’s time to get back to the grind, spending time with family, rediscovering myself, and defining my future yet to come. It’s time to find the people who’ll help me transform my ideas into tangible tools.
It’s time for Casey Palmer to create content so riveting, it leaves the blogosphere speechless.
It’s time to take what I’ve learned from my path so far to cut through the obstacles and make myself a new one. Building a legacy’s an endless marathon, not a race you win overnight. I’ve got some brand new kicks and a bottle full of Gatorade.
Let’s do this.