Today I’m thirty-six. I’m thirty-six, and I blog in a world that doesn’t read blogs anymore.
And who can blame it? The written word only does so well at telling a story, with podcasts, videos and photos doing a far better job of filling the details between the lines than we could’ve ever imagined. The world’s changed aplenty from what it was when I started this a decade ago, and the one thing it continually asks me to do is something I still struggle with no matter how many times I work to figure out my ideas—
It’s time to re-think how I deliver my content.
The Biggish Blogger Problem.
I had coffee with a good friend from TELUS the other day, and he gave me some proper perspective on the current lay of the land.
The blog is dead. It’s long past the point of accepting the fact—though long-form content still does remarkably well on Google, we should be rethinking the way that content works in 2019 instead of looking to game the system with the stuff we’ve already got.
We’re in an age where smart assistants are popping up in homes across the country, with preference given to short answers that get to the point rather than meander about like the thousand-word treatises we’ve grown so used to. Stellar video’s not limited to big studios; music’s made at kitchen tables. There’s so much content out there, and the bar’s so high that everyone’s looking for stuff that’ll blow their minds… and that’s what I need to work on next.
Double or Nothing Except a Life Full of Mediocrity?
This birthday I’m doubling down and building up to something new. I’ve learned a lot this year about myself and my relationship with the world. Who I am as a Black man. A father. Why I create so much each day and why I invest as much time in it as I do. It’s had me dive deep into my thoughts in preparation for the years ahead, and I think I’m finally starting to see some progress.
What I probably want this birthday more than anything else is to simplify my life and finally figure out what’s at the root of it all. It’s been a good run as a creator so far, but I can do better, and as I clear out all the clutter that’s kept me so distracted, I think I’ll finally be on my way to making that happen.
But I won’t get there overnight.
Just like it took a decade to get me here, I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes a good chunk of time to take me wherever this path will lead me, but I want to start working smarter instead of harder.
That might mean working at evolving the stuff I’ve already written instead of trying to look for new angles. Or spending more time on the ten per cent I get hung up on at the end of my projects instead of constantly losing my focus with the new ideas that come in. In any case, it’s become painfully clear to me that something’s gotta change, and what better time than today to start doing it?
Happy Birthday to Me, and Now it’s ON TO THE NEXT ONE!
“What more can I say?”
— JAY Z, “What More Can I Say?”, The Black Album (2003)
So it’s my thirty-sixth birthday, I’m a blogger… but perhaps I’m finally ready to not be one anymore.
For the longest time, I mistakenly believed that I’d run out of stories. That I’d said everything I have to say and that it wasn’t worth trying anymore.
But the problem was likely that I focused on the wrong medium, and it was time I start trying new things.
So this birthday, I’m celebrating—and not just because it’s my special day. I’m celebrating the possibilities of what might be ahead if I’m willing to do what it takes to get there!
Thanks, guys, for all the support you’ve shown me so far, and I hope we still have a fun journey ahead of us yet! We’ve gone from the party days of the Twitterverse to welcoming our first son to the world, becoming a Dad Blogger, working with over 150 brands, and finally figuring out what I have to offer with my work. But this year, I’ve learned how to be real—really real—and to stop worrying about the things that may never come to pass.
It’s time to put up or shut up. Go big or go home. It’s my freakin’ birthday, everyone—here’s to many more!
Thanks for reading and until the next,
“THIRTY-SIX” is just the latest post in the series I write every year on my birthday! If you want to see some of the posts from other years, check these links out!