No Expectations

There’s this cocktail of self-confidence and ADD that creates a cosmic chemical reaction where I’m able to do something at a very high level for a very short amount of time.

It’s that whole principle of enduring to the end that seems to elude me.

I’m getting better. I make decisions more judiciously than I have in the past while still trying to listen to that voice of passion. If passion had a voice it would be Barry White. It’s just so sultry. In a matter of minutes my conscious, level-headed, logical self can be magically whisked away to a place I never imagined myself. It’s a double-edged sword.

On one hand, nothing in life is guaranteed, right? We need to reach for the stars and for everything we hope for in life because tomorrow we might not have another chance to reach. On the other hand, there’s this whole idea of adult responsibility that can really get in the way sometimes.

Having kids changed everything for me

Suddenly I went from being this dude who could play XBOX for four days in a row during midterms and still cram just enough into his brain at the last minute to walk away from the class with a B. Now, not only are my decisions a little heavier than whether or not I should drink one more Red Bull to power through the next level of Call of Duty, but I’m also in a position where I’m making decisions for a family instead of myself. It’s the weirdest thing and it’s the most amazing thing. The future lives of three little boys will be impacted in a big way by my influence and example.

Thinking about that for too long can cause some serious brain cramping.

Nonetheless, I do think about how I can help them the most. For the longest time I’ve considered “financial security” is what will be most valuable to my boys moving forward.

I’ve been wrong.

It turns out that due to our nation’s economy that any form of perceived financial security is exactly that: perceived. It also turns out that my boys would punch each other in the face for the Happy Meal toy they want before they’d bend over to pick up a fifty dollar bill.

Before that enlightenment, however, I figured this whole solopreneur, online marketing, freelance-every-service-you-can-learn-from-a-book, consulting (sigh), [insert buzzword], thing was what I wanted to do to provide financial freedom for my family.

Blogging is not a business (for me)

What I found is that every time I tried to businessify (you know, turn something into a business) a hobby or something that interested me I ended up hating it. Most of the people I worked with in past endeavors were great but I found that there were just enough thorns to make me jaded against people in general. I started to feel like everyone was out to take advantage. Granted that wasn’t always the case, but that didn’t change the way I was feeling. And I really didn’t want to feel that way. At all.

The things I loved about blogging (the community interaction, the ability to share my voice, the site tweaking, and the daily knowledge gains) were being overshadowed by this “need” to make money and be successful. The fatality ended up being my content. It sucked really bad. In the same way that I know when someone is just throwing poop at the wall to see if it sticks, I could tell that people were starting to notice that I was just flinging poo too (weird analogy but let’s roll with it).

It had nothing to do with the writing itself, which is what I tried to blame it on, but it had to do with the voice behind it. I wasn’t saying anything at all because I thought things were supposed to be done a certain way.  My voice was lost because of this expectation that people seem to be held to in the blogging world. A few “authorities” say it has to be done a certain way and we feel like failures if that’s not the way we choose to go about it.

I’m Un-niching

The first step to getting back what I love about blogging is to un-niche. This blog isn’t going to have any focus. It’s going to be ramblings from my life. Sometimes I’ll write 10,000 word articles on how LOL Catz saved the internet and other times I’ll post a YouTube video that made me LOL.

I’m blogging without expectations.

I figure the more freedom I can give myself the more likely I’ll be able to continue following this passion in a way I haven’t been able to with other conquests.

  1. I’m not monetizing this blog.
  2. I won’t be providing any services.
  3. I’m only going to blog when I have something to say. No deadlines.

I’m sure this model makes the blogging experts cringe, but in the words of Young Jeezy, “Imma Do Me” (yes, I just quoted Jeezy).

Check out this post to get a quick introduction of the new site.

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the invite to your new home here in cyberspace! I’m happy to read whatever you write, wherever you write – bacon included or not ;)

  2. says

    That’s the beauty of blogging, and the internet… there is room for everyone, in any format. :)

    So glad you’re not giving it up entirely, I would miss your voice!

  3. says

    I made these same choices a few years ago:

    1) Not monetizing
    2) Not providing services
    3_ I’m only going to blog when I have something to say. No deadlines.

    and – in my case, and most importantly:
    4) Always be positive

    I humbly offer there are compelling benefits to this approach. I look forward to seeing what turns up for you. Happy New Year!

    • ryan says

      Jim! I seriously thought of your blog on multiple occasions when I started going in this new direction. And I love number 4! Happy New Year to you too buddy!

  4. says

    Hmm, I thought I posted a comment earlier but I must have messed it up. Anyway, love love love. A blog without a niche. I have a blog that is all niche-free. I struggled for so long to try to figure out how to define it, and finally gave up. I stopped trying to force posts, just to keep people reading. Because who wants to read that anyway? No more pressure. I love it, and I’m looking forward to reading. Way to go, my friend.

  5. says

    I just sighed a huge sigh of relief…the sense of peace and contentment I got from reading this made me unscrunch my shoulders and take a nice cleansing deep breath. I can’t wait to read more…when you’re ready, of course :-)

  6. says

    Love the philosophy. One thing that always stressed me out about blogging was the feeling having to do it all the time. Sometimes I’m just boring and don’t have a lot to say!

    Looking forward to if and when you post, even about bacon.

  7. says

    LOVE this. People love you because you’re…well…YOU! Not because you monetize, nichify, or anything else. Maybe even because you don’t make those things the end-all, be-all, even. So excited to see what blogging without expectations brings you!

  8. says

    In a word: Dig. Love it.

    The better I get at writing, the less I want to get out of it. Like virtue, writing is a reward unto itself. Honest Whig kind of stuff. I share because I can, not because I seek profit.

    When I had a newspaper column, made money, and got seen — I HATED IT, because they controlled it. Blogging is the new journalism, whether the old journalism wishes to accept it or not. Be naked. Be transparent. Throw it out there. Expect nothing in return. The reward will be stellar.

  9. says

    Welcome to the un-niche blogging world.

    “blog whatcha want whenya want”
    (make sure to say this phrase in your best rappers voice)

    I see you have solved the challenge that I wonder about.

    The challenge for me, is do I want everything on one site or is it better for me to split it into different blogs. I’m still splitting it up for now, because it really is different niche’s for me. Fitness, Technology, & Everything else. When I want to write about eating habits, I’m pretty certain that my technology blog readers don’t want to have anything to do with it.

    My problem, is I then question my writing voice all the time which then causes me to think more and write less.

    Some people that just write all the time. They’re great at it. For me, I want to write when I want to write rather some expert’s schedule of when to write.

    —- Happy new year and new blog!

    totally sidebar question: Is your theme auto-condensing your responsive menu or did you build that function yourself? I’m working on something similar and want to do something like the boston globe did, but instead take a more robust mega menu and whittle it down to a tiny condensed menu.

  10. says

    I just caught wind that you shut down Revive My Blog. Although I am sad to see it go because you seriously helped me in a bind (2x!) I completely understand your need to take a step back. I did the same thing a couple of months ago, and despite losing some readers, I am much happier for it.

  11. says

    Hi Ryan- congratulations on listening to your intuitive yearnings and breaking free in ways that are just-right for you. Love when people do this for all the right reasons. Wishing you all the best…

    Lisa
    IntuitiveBody.com

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