Sooner or later, you’re going to need to sacrifice something for the sake of others. It might be your time, the opportunity to do something you’ve always wanted to do, or maybe something even nearer and dearer to your heart.
Here I sit a little tired and behind by a couple of blog posts. I’m happy with how the year’s turned out so far. I’ve discovered that more people read my daily ramblings than I’d thought, which leaves me thinking about next year.
Devoting time daily to writing hasn’t let much room for me to pursue other things that’re often demanded of the typical blogger — constantly finding new blogs to comment on in order to generate new traffic; constantly working at defining an editorial calendar to keep on top of my game; or trying to develop an impressive marketing strategy to get my ideas out to the world — mostly, all I’ve found time to do is write. Even now, the realization has dawned upon me that if I really want to take a vacation this coming weekend, I’d better get my content sorted out pronto.
But there is a point to all of this: How do you keep a blog up and give it your all when your life asks so much of you?
I wouldn’t for a second dream of sincerely complaining about everything that my life offers to me. I have a wife who loves me. I get to travel. I have a lucrative job that offers attractive benefits. What’s not to love?
But that’s just it — when all this and more take up so much of your time, how do you keep a good blog without starting to sacrifice any of them? How can I compose the massive tomes that I’ve been writing daily without sacrificing the time I need to devote to being a good husband? How do I market a blog throughout the active hours of the day without sacrificing the job which offers me my livelihood? How do I do all of the things in the background to make my blog the very best that it can be without sacrificing being social and eliminating the bonds which help define who I am and the life I lead?
The answer is simple — I can’t.
We can’t be everything to everyone. Believe me, I’ve tried and all it did was scramble my brain and leave me wandering down a path for a very long time to find myself again.
Thus, there is only one answer evident to me — sacrifice the blog itself, or rather, the blog as we know it.
While at this very moment, the blog’s gotten me to a point where the ideas don’t come as quickly as they used to, and frankly it sometimes feels like I’m repeating myself, I know I do love to write.
But when you write this often, what was once a hobby you did for pleasure can quickly become a task that you do because you have to. I’ve heard from a number of people who’ve done their own year-long challenges and they’ve all affirmed that you reach a point where you simply break and want to get it over with.
On the other hand, most bloggers I’ve seen that have a strong following didn’t really find their true voice and purpose until at least 4 or 5 years of consistent blogging.
Here I am looking at where I’ll go next and what I’m willing to sacrifice to do it.
In the end, it’s all about what’s most important to us and how we balance everything else around that. In a world where we often deny ourselves the things that offer us the greatest joys to chase after the things that society says will make us great, this is even more important!
So in my world where I’ve decided that family and friends are important, as they define who we are; religion is important, as it defines why we exist; jobs and money are important, as they supplement what we do; and the things we enjoy doing are important, as they provide us with balance — what else is there to do but put everything else as secondary?
So the sacrifice I’ll make is the choice to live my life and put the aggressive search for fame way back on the back burner. If that’s what God wants for me, then so be it. But maybe He just wants me to blog to help and inspire others. And if that’s all He wants from me, well…
…I’m okay with that too.
–Casey E. Palmer