Casey Palmer 2020: Growing Up For Once.

January 29, 2020—we’re almost a month into the new year; I wouldn’t be surprised if people thought that I quit 😂

But no, as usual, it’s quite the opposite—I’m working hard to reach the point where I don’t have to work this hard at all.

…let me explain.

Where We Left Off.

We ended 2019 with a post looking back at my last ten years, all the things I learned, and some of the hopes and dreams I had for the decade ahead.

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.

Casey Palmer 2020 - Growing Up For Once. — The Life of Casey the DadHammering 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?

Destroy and Rebuild — or — How to Have Your Digital Cake and Eat it, TOO.

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.”

— Eric Freedlander, “When the Words Weren’t Enough We Had Milk

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.

Anthony Sistilli put it well when he shared his story of mastering StarCraft II on Medium. His take on his journey was this:

“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.

#100HappyDays — Day 16 — Pink Shirt Day — Casey Palmer

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.

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.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: #Chronicle150 — 150 Truly Canadian Stories for its 150th Birthday!!!

What IS #Chronicle150?

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!

PLEASE SEND ALL SUBMISSIONS TO palmer.casey@gmail.com

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 ?

Getting it Write — A Blog Hop on Writing and Why I Do It!

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.

Kelly Leaman BiSC Headshot
Writer. Photographer. Daydreamer. Blogger. Designer. Cat lady. Iowa girl. Jewelry addict. Baker. Recovering perfectionist. Stealer of french fries. Lover of pretty things and geeky humor.

Recently, my friend and fellow BiSC-uit Kelly Leaman of [Insert Clever Title Here] emailed me, seeing if I wanted to join a blog hop on writing. Much like the chain mail of days past, blog hops start with a blogger and an idea, tagging other bloggers to get their thoughts and so on.

In this particular exercise, we answered four questions on writing:

  1. What am I working on?
  2. How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
  3. Why do I write what I do?
  4. How does my writing process work?

Almost 12 years and over 2,000 posts later, I hope these answers give a little insight into why I keep blogging, and the things I’m planning next for my little corner of the Internet.

COMIN’ RIGHT UP: NANOWRIMOvember

“Suddenly, a wild November appeared!”

–no one in the Pokémon game series ever

 

Before I start talking about November, let’s talk Halloween.

When Did Your Inner Children Die?

When did people forget how to have fun? When did anyone worry about whether dressing up was “cool” or not? Seriously — when did you people let your inner children die?

I wore my aforementioned Ghostbusters outfit (sans proton pack, which I haven’t fixed yet) to work, only to discover that I was the only one dressed up.

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!

What I look like on the first day of Movember

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

A badge from the NaNoWriMo site
Can I write a 50,000-word novel in a MONTH? Time will tell…

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!

http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/doomz

Gimme Some Mo!!!

One of the many images that Movember supplies to its Mo Bros and Sistas
When all else fails, trust the Mo.

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…

A mock-up of the ideal moustache I'd want after Movember
I call it… the “Evil Overlord”!!!

…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 towersride 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!

You can find my donation page at http://mobro.co/CaseP

Play Me Off, Keyboard Cat

So while the news might tell you that it’s time to get yourself in Christmas mode (only 53 shopping days left, people!), November is no month to be glossed over!

So while I’m rockin’ the Mo’ and writing fo sho — what the heck will YOU be doing all month?

–case p.