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.

Papier — An Old School Blogger’s Battle with Perfectionism

It’s the same thing every time—sit down, pull out my stack of paper and rifle through it ’til I find something good to write about. Sometimes I come up short. Sometimes I find a gem. I never quite know what I’ll find, but the one thing I know’s that I’ll always wander back to my palace of paper with hundreds of half-formed thoughts waiting to spring to life!

A Slave to My Machinations — What it Takes to Put Out a Post

I’ll probably never escape my process.

Papier — An Old School Blogger's Battle with Perfectionism — Desk Setup Busy Working
Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

The most significant problem of this empire of paper  I’ve built for myself is that it takes so long to transform ideas into posts that at times it feels like I’m not making progress at all.

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — NaBloPoMo, Day 1 — Why I Do What I Do.

“I feel like most of your posts are apologies for not posting more.”

— a Facebook friend on my last post

The Last 60 Days.

T.G.I.N., y’all—Thank Goodness It’s November!

With another Halloween in the books (and less of a haul than the year before, but hey—I hear transitioning from naps will do that to you), I’m finally free to turn my eyes to the rest of 2017 and what it yet has in store—a perfect time to take one last run at unfinished resolutions and dangling loose ends.

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — NaBloPoMo, Day 1 — Why I Do What I Do. — The Palmer Boys

With sixty days left in the year (not including today), it’d be all too easy to bow out and rest. 2017’s vastly exceeded my expectations in ways I’d never imagined, but it’s not without cost—my triple life’s an unyielding one, but I’d likely give up a thousand nights’ rest if it meant I could continue chasing my ambitions.

I guess you could call me obsessed. With potential, with growth, obsessed with the freakin’ hustle… it’s tiring work, but I’d have it no other way—it’s what I need to do to get where I want to be.

But in this drive to become my best self, some fear I’ve lost my way—that money and opportunity have led me astray, and that the Casey who got me this far’s a memory… but that’s not it at all.

Small But Mighty: My Experience at 2017’s BConnected Conference!

I am small but mighty.

Small But Mighty — My Experience at 2017's BConnected Conference! — My Packing List
When I pack for a blogger conference, I do not mess around!

You wouldn’t know it to look at me on the surface, but I went to 2017’s BConnected Conference feeling kinda down about my brand. I was doing better than ever, yes, but I didn’t feel like I was growing anymore. I had a wealth of contests out, consistently put content out that had people paying attention, and found myself able to do things with my blog I’d have never thought possible. If I were the Casey from five years ago, I’d be living the dream.

But you see a lot on any journey you take, and the year spent getting to this point still had me unsatisfied, feeling like I could still do so much more.

The first day of the BConnected Conference didn’t quite help. There were plenty of amazing things that went down that Saturday, like meeting Elayna Fernandez and her daughters, a family I’d love to keep in touch with, or Dani Gagnon showing me how to find value in Instagram Stories in ways I never really did with Snapchat. But it was Susan Getgood’s talk that stuck with me. The one that said the jump from microinfluencer to mid-tier content creator was having 100,000+ fans and followers.

100,000.

Small But Mighty — My Experience at 2017's BConnected Conference! — My Reaction to Susan Getgood's Mid-Tier Content Creator Description

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!

The 2016 100 Wrap-Up, Part 2: 46 Things I DIDN’T Do But Still Very Much WANT To.

So somewhere in my crazy mind, I’d convinced myself it’d be a good idea to write my wrap-up for The 2016 100 all as one post, because I’m always so curt with my posts, of course. A few days of working on it quickly killed that idea, and here were are with the second part of my wrap-up, covering the things I didn’t get around to in 2016, but still plan to manage this year, as well as my reasons why.

(Note: You will see these in some form in The 2017 100, so you know—don’t be too surprised.)


What I Didn’t Do, But Still Want to Do Next Year

7) Stop biting my nails — Ugh. What I probably need to do first is reduce the amount of stress in my life to get a better chance of dropping this disgusting habit. I had a good run early in the year, but hey. Maybe I’ll have better luck this time!
8) Get rid of the wedding thank you cards I never sent — I don’t think those past thank you’s are getting sent. It’s just… not something I’m doing. Instead, I think I’d love to start sending Christmas letters with some personalisation. I’m not a complete jackass, guys, but there needs to be a point where we agree to move on.
13) Sort out my old TD employee RSP — Any outstanding finances in general, really: part of being an adult is knowing how much your insurance will pay out. What your benefits cover. What’s in your stock portfolio. 2017 Casey Palmer needs a better handle on all this kind of stuff!

The 2016 100 Wrap-Up, Part 2 - 46 Things I DIDN'T Do But Very Much Still WANT To. — A Cluttered Casey Palmer Workspace

14) Consolidate everything down to a single notepad — I mean, you don’t see the magic happening, but my desk and dining room table are plastered with pages of notes as I draft out my posts. Will it happen? Maybe. Do I want it to? Oh heck yes ?

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