I’ve discovered that, for me, it’s unsustainable to blog daily for personal reasons. It’s not that I don’t want to write, but my standard of quality isn’t scalable with a daily cadence with higher priorities in my life.
… And that’s okay.
There’s a pressure bloggers have to publish content so frequently to keep up with full publishing outfits. I know I can’t pump out content as quick as the likes of TechCrunch, BuzzFeed or other high-volume publishers. The reality is that to achieve those levels of publishing, they must have multiple writers or (more likely ‘and’) lower the quality to keep up.
I lower my standards for no one.
The spirit of my #60DOB commitment was to have a total of 60 entries in two months. If you considered my declaration carefully, it would mean August 9 is my sixtieth day. While I’m not thrilled I didn’t accomplish this goal, I sure made a valiant attempt at publishing free content for your enjoyment and education. I am proud that I did publish substantially more than I ever have before.
You might be wondering why I made this commitment. My employer, Infusionsoft, kicked off an awesome campaign, Own Your Summer, to help entrepreneurs with tools, tips and resources for them to literally take ownership of their summer instead of putting off their family vacation and being a slave to their business. Our company had a company event celebrating the launch of this campaign and employees had declared one commitment on a piece of paper. I wrote, “Blog once everyday.” It was something I am good at and it’s something that I enjoy, so I thought if I wrote every day, I’d feel great for doing it.
With this renewed commitment to personal blogging, I discovered a few things about my publishing style. Again, this was all for fun and recreation – not for clients or my employer. It was for me. What I didn’t account for was weekends, which is really the time I use for non-technology related tasks and personal priorities. I also didn’t account for the days where I have been mentally fatigued, which as of lately, I have been more challenged than usual at work. In other words, there were more days over the past month or so that I truly felt like anything I’d publish wouldn’t be my very best.
And that inertia held me back. It could be due to my drive to be perfect, even though perfection never truly exists. There’s always a different way to present a topic. There will always be a typo that goes unaddressed. There will always be an extra point I wanted to make, but didn’t include.
Putting the time and quality of my work aside, the weight of breaking a commitment weighed on me. It was completely antithetical to kick a commitment down the road trusting I would somehow make up for it with a day of nonstop writing – it was the fantasy I told myself. I could have done it, but I would have to make major sacrifices to do it.
I decided to go out on a limb and help out a friend, DJ Waldow, with rebuilding his WordPress site. Without getting too much into it now, I’ll say that it needed some TLC to get it to the healthy state that it is today. I plan on sharing my process and what I was thinking when I blew the dust off his WordPress instance and molding it into shape to serve his needs. I’ll share more on that later. This consumed a great deal of time (that I volunteered for), which also pulled me away from writing.
And all in this process, a wonderful woman entered my life. In a different light, one might conclude that she doesn’t compliment my lifestyle since I wasn’t able to follow through on a hobby, skill and passion that I love – writing. But, I don’t buy that. I decisively chose to put my social media updates, work and blogging on hold so I can be physically and mentally present during our time together. I do not regret for one moment of placing my full attention on her and ultimately, us, for many nights and weekends.
Thinking about my past relationships, I decided that for this one, I’d do it right. That is, I’d present my very best self. Previously, I would disrespect my partner by embracing them while holding my phone in the other hand scrolling through Tweets. Not only did I dislike it when I became the ignored, it was selfish for me to do the same. Since then, I decided I would be intentional with the people who matter most in my life. And let’s be serious for a moment, it’s not like I won’t be blogging regularly. I will be posting more often, and maybe with even about more interesting experiences. Nevertheless, when I formed a powerful relationship, it was critical to remain mentally and physically present.
In life, you have to make executive decisions to tend to the priorities that matter. She matters a lot to me. So, while this commitment was on my mind, I feel like I’ve learned a little bit more about myself in the process. Instead of sharing mindless drivel (I can only write so well at 2:30AM), I decided to limit my publishing and focus on what matters in my life. Besides, who would consciously date a guy who puts ranting on trivial matters in his personal blog above them?
Even though I passed my self-imposed “deadline” on my #60DOB, I will follow through on the intent of it. I authored 18 posts. That means I have 42 more to publish. In those 18 posts, I felt great about them. These are posts that I’d feel proud to have thousands of people reading. I poured a ton of energy into them. If I tracked my time, I’d estimate that I spent at least three hours on each of them. Authoring great content ain’t easy. It takes time. It takes good time to unpack these complex ideas in my head, selecting the ideal images, adding links, enduring the arduous editing process all before hitting the big blue Publish button. For my remaining 42 posts, I won’t lower the bar of quality, either.
And by no means am I deflecting responsibility in this. I own it. And in fact, I am actually content that I did break it so I could examine why I feel the way I do. Rather, I’m using this space to share that I discovered more about myself.
The takeaway here is to focus on what matters most in your life, invest in it and don’t neglect it due to tertiary commitments. Don’t regret anything. Be confident in your decisions and why you make them. And when in doubt, always kiss the girl.
This post is a part of my 60 days of blogging. Read more about #60DOB.
Photo Credit: StudioTempura