But hoping and dreaming for things isn’t nearly enough to make them happen, so I hunkered down to start laying the groundwork for the future I saw ahead.
Hammering away blindly looking to stumble upon a result isn’t good enough, though—you can only work so hard. There are only so many hours in the day. You run out of steam, life distracts you, and if you’re not creating with an ongoing distribution strategy in mind, it means you’re shooting content off into the internet, never to see it again.
And when you’ve spent the better part of a decade putting well over a thousand posts out into the digital ether, let me tell you—that’s a lot of wasted potential.
But sometimes even the oldest dogs can learn new tricks, and that’s what squirrelled away this last little bit.
That said, though we have a myriad of tools in 2020 to do fantastic work, do we have what it takes to use them?
I know many bloggers who make their reputation in a specific genre based more on their interaction with people via Twitter and at parties than by actually writing blog posts.
A friend who doesn’t fit this scenario at all has a saying… ‘I’m not a blogger I just talk a lot’. What’s strange about that saying is that he best describes the so-called ‘famous bloggers’ more than he describes himself. The dude actually has good content and close to 700 blog posts over nearly five years!
…[Casey] lives the dream family- and job-wise but still finds time to fork out nearly a blog a week. I’m pretty sure he’s Clark Kent by day and the Superman of the blogs by night. But as his quote goes, he obviously feels that the words aren’t enough.”
It’s been half a decade since my buddy Eric wrote these words about me, but they’ve only grown truer over time. The fam’s grown bigger. The job more complex. I’m still churning content on the daily.
But though the hustle’s still real, a lot changes over time—let me tell you a bit about what my #BloggerLife’s like today.
DESTROY | Blogging Ain’t Like It Used To Be.
It’s been a long time since what I do was “just blogging”. I’ve obsessively raised the bar time and time again since the turn of the decade, seeing the brand evolve into something unrecognisable from its beginnings. I swapped consistency out for quality and socialising out for scribing. I needed to see how high I could reach before I closed this chapter of my life.
But this gig ain’t easy.
DESTROY | You Can’t Do the Same Thing Forever and Expect the Same Results.
“Breaking my plateaus felt like rebuilding myself from scratch… [t]here were cracks in my foundation, gaps in my understanding, and a lot of things that needed refining. I had to reinvent the way I played. In order to go higher I had to break it down and rebuild it up again.”
When you stop feeling like you’re growing, it’s time for some serious self-evaluation, and figure out whether you’re doing the things you should be doing.
And Anthony’s right—there are so many of us who’ve been at this since forever, but we haven’t made it big because we haven’t tapped into what makes each of us unique and stand out from the crowd.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As you may have heard, it’s Canada’s sesquicentennial this year—our nation’s turning 150 years old, and it’s kind of a big deal! Canada rarely sees an event that’s both this unifying and uniquely our own, so here at Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad, we’re looking to do something special to mark the occasion!
Which is why from February 1st through June 30th—the 150 days leading up to Canada Day—we’re putting #Chronicle150 together: 150 Truly Canadian Stories for its 150th Birthday! Over these 150 days, we’re looking to showcase a story per day that truly captures the multitude of ways we can spell out what it means to be Canadian! We want new immigrant stories. Multigenerational stories. Any story that truly defines the Canadian experience for you is one we’re looking to share! It’s a lofty, ambitious project, and we’d love for you to be part of an opportunity that doesn’t come ’round every year!
The project will lead in with Tales from the 2.9, celebrating the voices of Black Canadians from coast to coast, and then explore a diverse set of stories from March onward.
#Chronicle150 – What Do I Need?
If you’re interested in participating, we’ll need the following from you:
At least two high-resolution photos of yourself (preferably one landscape for the header image) and any other imagery you’d like to include
A short bio with any website or social media links you’d like to include with your submission
The answers to these questions:
Who are you and what are you all about?
What makes you so Canadian?
If you could distill your world to one story or moment that truly defines what being Canadian means to you, what would it be?
This is Canada today after 150 years. Where would you like to see it go from here on out?
Finally, what’s the one thing you think the rest of the world needs to know about Canada?
So here’s hoping we can all work together to create something memorable, and on Canada Day look back at a 150th birthday gift it can celebrate for 150 more!
Thanks for considering and I hope to hear back from you!
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.
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!
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!
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 ?
In a world where I consider blogging far past its prime as we use photos, audio and video as the clearest ways to communicate a message, I still choose to write. “The writing’s on the wall,” you say, a smugness in your tone as you note the play on words, “You can make so much more money on YouTube!” But that’s not what it’s all about for me — when I write, I treat it like anything else I put together, carefully and methodically, much like I would when working on a detailed art piece, trying to get every little details just so to help my audience truly get inside my head.
Totally uncool. The fact that everyone was so worried about keeping up appearances (or on the other end of the spectrum, didn’t care enough to bother dressing up) that they couldn’t cut loose for a day and have a little fun (or, again on the flip side, are too beaten down by life to bother) really bothers me. Policies? Guidelines? Permission???
Are you kidding me? It’s HALLOWEEN!!!
Anyway. Gives me a lot to think about — the environments I’m in, the people I hang with — but that’s not the point of this post.
NANOWRIMOvember — Where I Grow Facial Hair and Grow Tired of Writing!
Movember Day 1 with a clean-shaven face and head to match!
So we’ve finally reached the final stretch of 2012, where we wonder where the year went, worry about what to get people for Christmas and get fat off of all the holiday parties that tend to go down!
Well, we’re not quite there yet. We still have to make it through November.
November is an anomaly of a month. Not only is it one of the few months without a statutory holiday in Ontario, unlike its cousin named June, there’s very little that we tend to like about it. No hot weather, no looking forward to the summer — just reminders that we’re getting back to layering up and grey — oh so grey — skies above.
But not all is lost in November…
I Got 50K Problems, Being Done Ain’t One
As if I’m not busy enough (because we Torontonians love to be busy), somehow I decided that being part of the National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO for short) would be a good idea this year.
The basic premise: write a 50,000-word novel through the month of November. To put that in perspective:
a good length for a blog post is around 400-500 words
when you’re writing an essay for school, a double-spaced page is about 500 words
So about 100 blogs and/or 20 or so essays over the course of a month on top of regular blog posts and Mansformation.
Not exactly my brightest idea, but no one can ever say I’m unambitious! But fortunately, I’m brimming full of ideas, so stay tuned, amigos!
With Movember comes events, awareness and a solid excuse for guys to grow some wicked awesome beards! I’ll admit that I never got around to participating until this year, but I look forward to seeing what I can come up with after a month! (If my post-Africa pics are any indication, apparently not much.)
I’ve drawn a quick mock-up in good ol’ Photoshop to let you see what my facial hair would look like at the end of Movember in an ideal world…
…but I fear that a beard of awesome won’t be a dream soon realized.
I don’t fight alone against prostate cancer, though — friends like Amanda Blake are throwing events in support of Movember! You can find me at her After Work Drinks Toronto event (or #AWDTO for the hashtag-inclined) on November 8th snapping photos and hanging out with some great company. With a $10 price tag (going right to Movember) to have free beer samples, more fun than you usually ever do and the chance to win some great prizes, I definitely encourage you to show up!
But no Movember blog post would be complete without a little self-promotion! I believe in supporting causes to help humanity improve — I support friends who climb towers, ride bikes and do all sorts of activities through the year in the name of various causes, but I rarely enter the fray myself. So now that I have, I hope that friends can give generously and help contribute to the fight for a better (and prostate cancer-free) future!