Last updated on January 29th, 2024 at 07:31 pm
I’ve wanted to change the game for a while, but find my mind running in circles when I try to think of something new. I love creating, sure, but sometimes I create without soul—because I’m “supposed” to. I hate it. I’m not a pawn. I’m not a writer who follows orders, doing the bare minimum or copying and pasting just to hit a quota. When I create, I want it to mean something. I want to go back and look at my work some years from now, knowing I left a bit of myself in my content with readers still checking it out because it means something to them. I knew I wouldn’t get there singing the same old song—I had to look at my ideas with a fresh set of eyes, pouring everything within into something that’d stand out from my peers.
I hear that if I want to be a PR-friendly blogger, there’re three things to never talk about—race, religion and politics. I’ve never really gotten stirred up about politics, and while I’m at church every Sunday, my ministry’s best done through intimate conversation than the internet’s cold landscape. But I’m shocked that I haven’t tackled race before now.
It’s not like there’s a lot of bloggers of colour in the Great White North. Though it’s hard to believe if you live in Toronto, where literally every other person is a visible minority, there aren’t a whole lot of us in Canada, relatively-speaking. Making up little more than 20% of the population in the last census, it leaves few of us around to tell stories from our viewpoints. The Canadian blogosphere’s shrinking as it is, but all things considered, even if we’re a force of 100,000 strong, with 95% of blogs abandoned by those not determined enough to grow them1, we’re left with 5,000 bloggers who have anything to say.
Then, with demographics holding true, that’s 1,000 people of colour actively trying to share their stories. If the 2.9% of the Canadian population that’s Black translates to a mere 145 Black bloggers who are putting words to their experiences for the world to see… it leaves you with a sense of responsibility to share your insights—even if it’s not the most popular choice.
That in mind, in late January I came up with Tales from the 2.9—a way to showcase other Canadian content creators who look like I do in a world where I fear people don’t know that we exist. With the time I’ve invested in the #BloggerLife so far, I’m not naïve enough to think it’ll catch on from the start. Still, lifetime achievement awards aren’t given to the people who give up after their first mistake—this is but the first step in a very long journey ahead. The world needs more things it hasn’t seen before—even when everyone wants to tell you it’s already seen everything under the sun.
The Best Content is Often Not the Easiest to Write.
I sat and tried to write a post from the soul, but nothing was coming—my second son’s birth changed my world. My new priorities are making sure my family comes out stronger for it. I tried explaining that I wasn’t here to apologize for my absence from the #BloggerLife—that few bloggers out there juggle a growing family, blog and a full-time job… but I’m not one to whine, and a pity party does nothing to push me forward.
Constantly looking behind me, I was wearing myself out, trying to make sense of a mish-mash of thoughts getting me nowhere. I had to look ahead at the fresh new ideas, figuring out where the half-formed thoughts from my past would fit best—if I wanted to keep growing, the ideas from the Casey who once was would need to grow up with me.
So, I hope you’re ready for the month ahead—too many Februarys came and went without looking at a part of me that’s so prominent yet so often left unmentioned. If I want to create a brand I can proudly show to my kids when they’re older; I can’t focus on the fluffy topics alone—I have to stand for something more, and this first attempt at really examining my life as a Black man is but scratching the surface of a much larger story I know is waiting to be told!
That said, thank you for your patience. It took me a bit to wake up and start looking at what the future might have in store instead of muddying my mind with clutter that confused me. There’s so much out there one can write about—it’s time I stop limiting myself and take a few chances; the only thing worse would be forever wondering what would’ve happened because I didn’t.
Thanks for reading, tout le monde, and let’s all expect great things from the times ahead!
Until the next, I remain,
- “According to a 2008 survey by Technorati, which runs a search engine for blogs, only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days. That translates to 95 percent of blogs being essentially abandoned, left to lie fallow on the Web, where they become public remnants of a dream—or at least an ambition—unfulfilled.”
— Quenquajune, Douglas, “Blogs Falling in an Empty Forest”, The New York Times, June 5, 2009 ↩︎