Sometimes starting a blog post is a struggle. I slip into old high school essay writing tropes. 1. Start with a quote. 2. Relate that quote to the topic at hand. 3. etc. Or my favorite trick is to ‘go meta’ and start talking about the essay within the essay. It is ‘shocking’ and ‘breaks the barrier between the writer and the reader’ or something like that. Guess which method I chose for this blog post?
“The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing.” – Isaac Asimov
To say that I’ve been struggling is an understatement. I lack a focus in my life. I don’t know why I’m working beyond trying to pay rent, buy food, and keep the electricity on. When life comes down to just that, to living to survive, there has to be a strong internal reason to survive. What’s the point of tomorrow if tomorrow is the same as today? Even more horrific, what if tomorrow is worse than today?
I have no career to speak of. The two time I had a savings/retirement plan, I was laid off from work and needed to cash out those plans to survive. I have no relationship – that’s an entirely different mixed up commitment phobic part of my personality but it brings to the point that wife and children aren’t a factor in my life. I can’t pull a Homer Simpson and do work I hate out of love for my children.
One of the lamest bits of advice a person like me can receive is follow my passion. Do what you love and everything else will sort itself out. Of course this is untrue. Landlords and the student loan people won’t wait while a passion project starts offering tangible rewards.
I recently mentioned on Facebook that I’m stalled on what to do with this blog. I could let it languish but a whole bunch of recent studies and post by people with blogs have convinced me slightly a blog is a way to get long-term employment. Or something. I wasn’t quite clear on it but enough people have written it to make me think it is true. Which brings me to what the blog should be about. No one in their right mind wants to read a blog about me. I’m not that interesting. I’m not exactly ‘vanilla pudding’ boring but I’m ‘tapioca pudding’ boring. There’s some texture there but not much else. I also have a rule about blogs. The minute the author of a blog starts writing about the blog itself, the blog is doomed. I hope I break that curse.
I have a list of interests that don’t neatly fit together: digital marketing, writing, social media, creativity, and geek culture. I once wanted the blog to focus on creativity and use that as an excuse to post creative writing, recipes, and other bits of flotsam and jetsam of my mind. The problem with that type of blog is at some point I have to pretend I am an expert or at least spend all day reading what legitimate experts are saying about creativity and not actually being creative myself.
I could focus on digital marketing but I’d get bored real quick. Doing it as a day job and then writing more about it at night sounds stultifying to me, even if it meant I’d get more work. Writing about writing is also a fool’s quest. I’ve been published twice – both times in small literary webzines. I have writing credits but they aren’t noteworthy enough to be credible when telling other people how to write. I only have one bit of advice for writers – a writer writes and if you want to be a writer, take your craft seriously. There, I’ve said all that I can say about writing. I could easily create 125 variations on that theme and keep posting it over and over. It would not make me happy, though and would still fall short of the book On Writing by Stephen King.
A friend, in response to the Facebook post, mentioned he thought a blog focused on a person finding his passion would be interesting. We aren’t born knowing what we want from life. The things we think we want as a child may not be what we actually want as an adult. Sometimes we pursue something, get it, and realize it wasn’t worth the pursuit. I liked the idea of turning the blog into an exploration of passions. It is a framework from which to hang all my interests. I can write about insights I have in digital marketing. I can create posts commenting on effective/ineffective social media marketing campaigns. I can write about games, playing games, creating games, writing for games, and everything in between. I can write about making videos, podcasting, and being an independent content producer. I can write about content marketing, content creation, content curation, and audience engagement. With this framework, if tomorrow I want to start exploring lion taming, I can tack that on as well because this blog is about my journey towards my passion. It is about my search for the one thing in my life I want to focus on, whatever that turns out to be.
What to expect in the future?
Really more of the same. I am going to write pieces about roleplaying games which probably guarantees I won’t get the next job I apply for. I am going to write pieces about digital marketing which will sound like I’m pandering to get a job. I’m going to write about my adventures in cooking, my adventures in travel, my adventures in getting my life in order, and my adventures in trying to find stable full-time employment. I’m going to have so many adventures!
I’ll wrap this post up by directly referencing the quote by Isaac Asimov I used in the opening to make it seem like this was a coherent well-thought out blog post and not some bit of deranged rambling. I’m not an expert about anything. I know very little in the grand scheme of the world. There are book editors working for publishing companies writing blogs about getting published. There are published authors with blog posts discussing the process of writing. There are data scientists working with companies focused on how to do SEO writing blog posts discussing search. There are so many social media gurus out there that you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one. Entire companies are devoted to content marketing and they show off their expertise by successfully marketing their content about content marketing. I don’t expect anyone to read my blog in hopes of being told how to do something. I am not a guru. I have no real secrets on how to accomplish anything that will make money. I don’t have any insights into how to live a happy life. The reason to read this blog is to read about the journey of discovery and share in my delight as I find things out for myself.