The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — The State of the #BloggerLife, January 2019 — Janu-WEARY.

We’re a week into 2019, and I’m here drawing up battle plans for the year of content ahead.

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer—A Bustling Era Ahead

With any luck, you’ve had yourselves a very happy new year so far, full of new opportunities and experiences as you reach for everything 2019 has to offer. In my case, I just got The 2019 200 up and running (so I can stop agonising over every aspect of the 3700-word treatise to resolutions every night—you should really check it out), so, with that out of the way, it’s finally time to work on some time-sensitive things that could probably use my attention.

Hasta la Vista, 2018.

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — The State of the #BloggerLife, January 2019 — Janu-WEARY. — Me and the Youngest in 2017The first is to say goodbye to 2018. Officially.

The problem with my world is that there’s rarely enough time to keep the past in the past.

In my quest to do everything—saying “yes” to plenty of things I probably shouldn’t—I somehow forget that one can’t juggle parenting, work and a world of content without sacrificing something in the process.

But I keep trying anyway despite reality, leaving me with some 2018 content left to deal with and a 2019 that’s not sitting around to wait.

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — The State of the #BloggerLife, August 2018 — In the Belly of the Beast

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — The State of the #BloggerLife, August 2018 — In the Belly of the Beast — Casey at JapanQuakeTO
Photo courtesy of Chris Luckhardt.

I told myself that once I made my way through my never-ending pile of paper, I’d get myself a Nintendo Switch with the latest Mario and Zelda games to reward myself for all the hard work. Which is great, because getting months ahead in my content by getting all of this done is the only way I’d find the time to play them.

But if you’re new around these parts, my problem with paper’s not entirely new.

It’s not the paper itself that’s the problem—I’m my most creative when I write things out by hand—but all that creativity leads to a ton of unfinished ideas, piling up to the sky as they await the finishing touches that’ll let me share them with the world! I’ve kept a high standard for my work—easy wins like question posts and blindly following trends isn’t my style… I’m trying to create content that’ll forever outlast me. We’re in a world right now where few want to invest in anything needing more than a few minutes of their time, but I’d rather not sell my soul for the sake of popularity.

There’re bigger prizes at hand.

Keepin’ Up with Case P — The Week that Was… February 25th – March 3rd, 2018

First off, a massive shout-out to Laura Fuentes from MOMables for the inspiration to move my weekly newsletter from everyone’s email to my blog.

Dad 2.0 Summit 2018

In seven years, you can learn some things. I’ve seen great success in growing this brand, but at the same time developed habits that hold me back. Spreading myself too thin to give my all to any one area. Not finding the time to do better with what I’ve already produced rather than always chase after new leads. You reach a point where you understand what will help your growth and strive to make as much of that happen as possible.

And this move’s just that—putting more of my efforts into the digital home I’ve built myself rather than fritter it elsewhere. This weekly write-up will be more connected, more intentional and more focused than ever before. I’ll spend less time thinking about what to write and more spent learning from what I’ve done—that’s what makes for a better story, right?

So without further ado, let’s get it.

The Week That Was… February 25th – March 3rd, 2018

This Week’s Tweets

Alright, so firstly, if you’re not following me on Twitter, I promise you’re missing out. Here are some of my better-performing tweets from this week, designed to make you laugh, think, or lick the flavour off your screen:

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — HAPPY NEW YEAR — Why 2018 Will Be My Most CHALLENGING Year YET.

January 1st.

The time where many rest and recuperate from the holiday season, but for me, it’s the time of the year where I’m putting in work. Between my ambitious year-end wrap-ups (2700 words and counting…); the lists I prepare for the year ahead, and the work I put together for my Tales from the 2.9 Black History Month series, it’s not where you see me at my most relaxed, even with Christmas out of the way. Add a trip to Dad 2.018 and a couple of parenting keynotes in a month’s time, and I think there’ll be plenty to keep me occupied in the “slow season”.

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — HAPPY NEW YEAR — Why 2018 Will Be My Most CHALLENGING Year YET. — Typeset Lettering
Amador Loureiro

In some ways, I did it to myself. Whenever I explain how busy my life is to others, they’re often quick to point out it’s a problem of my creation, putting so much of myself and my time into a blog whose reins I’ve held ever firmly for the past seven years.

But that doesn’t mean I ever intended to do it alone. Even from day one, I sought collaborators out among my family and friends, thinking that things would be simpler if we pooled our resources instead of everyone trying to be top dog and stepping on each other’s toes as our brands grew. I kept trying to make partnerships happen for years, but it never came together.

Some of it was me and the ever-increasing demands in my life keeping me from developing yet another project. Or those who didn’t share my vision or stood convinced they were better off alone when the market was rife with opportunities. Whatever the reasons, the fact is that I have a mountain of work before me today, and as far as I can see right now, I’m the only one who can get it all done.

But I’m far from hopeless. Far from believing I’m the best suited to manage everything on my plate right now, but right now I’m all I’ve got. I’ve got blogs to write, contracts to sign, reports to compile and a brand to develop—what was once just a hobby is now enough to keep a team busy… and you know, maybe it should.

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — The State of the #BloggerLife, October 2017 — Are You There, Casey? It’s Me, Real Life.

And then suddenly, it all came to a stop.

Sometimes Life Gives You Exactly What You Want. And Sometimes… it Has OTHER Plans.

Are You There, Casey? It's Me, Real Life. — A Stoic Casey

2017’s been one heck of a year. Shattering my previous expectations for the #BloggerLife by taking me places—in every sense of the word—and opening doors I wouldn’t even consider approaching, this year raised the bar in ways I never dreamed possible. I thought I’d finally made it.

But with every action comes an equal yet opposite reaction, and September rolled in with some very different plans. New routines with my eldest starting Kindergarten. Kids refusing to sleep through the night. Budget season at the day job kicking my butt in every which direction. I felt like the rest of my life was conspiring to hold my #BloggerLife back, and no matter how hard I tried, I didn’t feel up to the task when asked to put pen to paper.

You know what, though? That changes now. Complaints won’t get me anywhere—I can whine all I want about whatever gets in my way, but it won’t make many of them go away. My to-do list isn’t getting any shorter, and though it’d be all too easy to sit back and sulk because things are too challenging, what exactly does that gain me?

So yeah—it’s time I pick up the pieces (of paper in this case), and make some magic happen. With the few months left in 2017, there’s no better time to tie up loose ends and get a clean slate ready for the year ahead. There’s no shortage of topics to tackle, and the hundreds of posts I’ve yet to write won’t do it themselves.

Thanks for your patience, y’all—let’s see how far we can take this!

Until the next,

–case p.

If You’re Hustlin’ ’til You Drop, SOMETHING’S Gotta STOP.

“Every day I’m hustlin’ (x4)”

— Rick Ross, “Hustlin'”, Port of Miami (2006)

The other night I was typing up a storm in #blkcreatives—by far my favourite Twitter chat right now—when something caught my eye.

That month’s theme was money and money management, which invariably got us talking about how we make money. Black folk are all too familiar with the hustle. We’re raised believing we need to work twice as hard to get half as far as our non-Black peers, but no one discusses the consequences of this thinking when left unchecked.

If You're Hustlin' 'til You Drop, SOMETHING'S Gotta STOP. — Those Father and Son Moments

We’ve never been big on mental health. I sought professional help a few times in my 20s because I just pushed myself too hard. Working hard is important—I don’t have time for those complaining about their lives while doing nothing to change them—but so is finding balance. I’ve spent much of 2017 putting everything I could into growing the brand, but with all the things tugging me in every other possible direction—my family, my job, and my church—I just reached a point where I’d no more to give.

And this sorely affected my writing.

I’m don’t lack things to write—my to-do lists dozens of items deep—but writing is a feeling process. How well you write is completely dependent on how well you feel, so when you’re feeling burnt out, it isn’t doing any favours to anyone.

Something needed to give before it was me who took the hit!

The 2017 100 — It’s Not WHAT You Do, It’s How You DO It.

Unless my life sees some major changes this year, 2017 may mark the last list of 100!

It’s January 13th—I’ve spent nearly two weeks of my new year agonising over 100 items that matter enough to hit a list of goals and aspirations for the year ahead. And that’s a key difference from the lists that came before it.

Before it was a task list—I’d look around at everything that needed doing and jot it down, because my life would obviously be better with them out of the way.

But task lists aren’t inspiring. They’re not motivational. As a creative, that’s like dropping a pile of 100 things I dread on my lap and nagging myself to get ’em done by the year’s end.

Once I realised what I was doing to myself, so much so that I just went through my least successful year yet for my list, I knew I needed to make a change for 2017.

The 2017 100 — It's Not WHAT You Do, It's How You DO It. — New Year, New Perspective

I’m particularly proud of the list I’ve put together for The 2017 100. I didn’t take any shortcuts—I wrote out 100 things that’d help me live the life I’d like to lead and prove instrumental along the path there. Rather than hurriedly scrawl out a list I’d likely ignore ’til December, I wrote one that I’d happily check off, knowing that each accomplishment would take me a step closer to a far better 2018. I feel like I’m finally getting it right this time, and I hope that shines through as you give it a look for yourself!

But that’s enough of my chatter—I’ve already made you wait long enough. Here for your consideration is The 2017 100—because it’s not what you do… it’s how you do it!

Old El Paso Let’s Taco ‘Bout It, Chapter Three — Double the Delicious with Double Layer Tacos!

The holiday season’s a not-so-subtle reminder that my hectic life’s about to get decidedly more so.

I’m a glutton for punishment—despite already having entirely too much on my plate at my 9-5, somehow I thought it a good idea to take the photos for our Halloween party and help choreograph a group dance for a Diwali celebration. And if the Christmas season wasn’t already busy enough, three years ago we were blessed with our elder son in mid-November—one who’s now old enough to know how he’d like to celebrate with parents willing to jump through hoops to make it happen. Any logical adult would put blogging on the backburner so they could handle the rest of their lives, but those adults obviously never met me—the holiday season’s the busiest time for the #BloggerLife, so ain’t no sleep on this side of the city this season!

But we’ve still gotta eat.

Old El Paso Let's Taco 'Bout It, Chapter Three — Double the Delicious with Double Layer Tacos! — Little Palmer is a Party Monster

A Long Kiss Goodnight to Blogging — Why It’s Time to Evolve to the NEXT Best Thing

I hit a point where I didn’t want to write a damn word.

Those who know my #BloggerLife would think me crazy—I’d built a world always filled with adventure, and opportunity was in abundant supply with each passing day. It’s a brand that’s developed over years—one shaping a handsome lifestyle and letting me enjoy freedoms atypical of a Dad with a family to feed and bills to pay.

But in a way, therein lies the problem—I don’t want the same things I wanted back when I started this journey. Once upon a time, it was enough to hit events and write about ’em after, but it took an anime monologue to help me realise why words just weren’t cutting it anymore:

“…you seem to dream of an escape from ordinary life, but life in Tokyo will turn into another ordinary life in about six months or so. And so, if you want something extraordinary, you’ll have to go somewhere else or seek something more underground. But once you’re on the other side… it’ll only take a few days for it to become mundane again.

If you really want to escape an ordinary life, you must constantly evolve.”

— Izaya Orihara, Durarara!!, Episode 12 (2010)

A Long Kiss Goodnight to Blogging — Why It's Time to Evolve to the NEXT Best Thing — Young Casey Wylin Out as Always

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — The State of the #BloggerLife, August 2016: Hustle Game Strong

“You feel the pressure? Man, I know the pressure.”

— Drake, “Views”, Views (2016)

If 2015 was the year with the world as my oyster, indulging in travel and extravagance to keep the brand growing, 2016’s the one that brought me back to Earth, life with two kids completely changing the way I do my hustle.

It’s been one helluva year, though—alongside the new addition to the family, the blog’s been booming with new opportunities, not to mention the full-time job that rarely kept its hours to 9-5. I’ve veered away from my comfort zone with series like Tales from the 2.9, broadening my world in a plethora of ways, and though I didn’t see it coming in January, it was shaping me up to become a very different Casey Palmer by the year’s end.

But the clock’s ticking—though enough bloggers are in denial, thinking the gravy train’s running forever, the #BloggerLife’s only got so much of a shelf life, and soon enough it’ll be time to move on to the next thing.