Well hello blog, it’s been a long time.
I haven’t been sure what to do with you. I haven’t really known what direction to take you in for a while. I even considered deleting everything and starting over. You see, I had this idea that I wanted to turn my blog into a business. And I was told that to have successful money making blog, it had to have a “niche”. I suppose that’s just another way of saying it has to have a purpose that is immediately clear and useful to other people.
And I had to be honest with myself. In the Limelight doesn’t really have that. Because it is above all else a personal blog. That’s what it started as, and that’s all it was ever intended to be. I had to stop, and really think about why this blog exists. It took a long time. Finally it dawned on me:
I’m not famous, so I made this blog.
That is why this blog exists.
It’s my outlet for self-expression. My attempts to shoehorn it into a category have been foolhardy. It’s not a personal development blog, though it does contain personal development articles. It’s not a photo blog, though it does contain my photos. It’s certainly not a business blog, or a finance blog, though I’ve written about those topics too. This blog has no “niche”, no target demographic, It’s just one big fat ego trip for yours truly. And realizing that has been immensely liberating.
You see, I have been cheating myself, and the readers I do have, by trying to (and failing) to focus this blog on a specific topic and make it about other people when it’s really about me. I have not written about things I otherwise might have written about because they didn’t fit the “theme”.
And I like writing. I like it a lot. I don’t think I am the most eloquent writer in the world, but I’d like to think I am at least somewhat competent. More importantly, I am an opinionated bastard who very rarely lacks for something to say. It’s really time I started saying it.
I came to realize this after becoming involved in a heated battle of words and wit (not wits, as I don’t mind saying I was the only one in possession of any) on Twitter. I realized just how impossible it is on that medium to express your views and get your points across with any nuance or clarity. It’s frustrating, to tell you the truth. Twitter is a fantastic tool, and I enjoy it very much, but as a tool for self-expression or intelligent discourse, it is severely lacking.
It was after reflecting on that episode, and a couple of other less explosive ones that followed in the days after that I realized that I was absolutely desperate for an outlet, and that Twitter just wasn’t cutting it. I was coming across like a hot-headed asshole, and while I am most definitely hot-headed, I am not an asshole. But that’s what happens when you try to cram complex thoughts and observations into 140 characters or less.
I realized I needed to start blogging again. This time unconstrained by arbitrary and unnecessary “focus”.
I almost did something really stupid…
In my quest to make this blog into something it was never meant to be, I almost made a colossally stupid mistake.
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I almost deleted the entire thing.
Seriously. Faced with the incredibly overwhelming task of revamping this blog and clearing out the “dead wood” that didn’t “belong” I almost gave up and just deleted everything with a mind to starting over from scratch. Not only that but I had plans to do the same thing to all of my tweets, and my Facebook profile. Blame it on an unpleasant combination of OCD and plain ol’ fashioned perfectionism, but I just couldn’t get past the fact that there are a lot of articles on here that I am not really proud of anymore. The reasons varied, some I just thought weren’t written very well, some expressed opinions I have since changed my mind about, or at least evolved. But mostly they just didn’t fit with my self-imposed need to give the blog a theme.
I did end up deleting a few articles, but luckily I was unable to follow through in the majority of cases, and when I casually mentioned that I had considered deleting a couple of my more popular posts, I had people beg me not to. That felt kind of good actually. I also noticed something: the most popular posts on this blog are not the ones I wrote while trying to fit a “niche”, but the ones in which I simply expressed my thoughts on things that were important to me.
Deleting any of this posts would have been a huge mistake. While I may no longer feel pride in things I wrote years ago, they are still a part of my story. And even if I were to delete them, this is the internet, things live forever anyway.
It’s freedom baby, yeahhhh!
Upon realizing that this blog was never truly meant to fill a niche, I knew I had to get rid of the tag-line. It had been “Create. Live. Inspire.” The extended version was, “Create the Live you want, Live it, and Inspire others to do the same”. An admirable goal to be sure, but as a tag-line is left me stuck only able to write positive articles about being creative, inspiring and making your life better. To be frankly honest, I just don’t have the juice in me to be saccharine sweet and positive all the time.
Sometimes I am grumpy. Sometimes I am angry. Sometimes I just want to rant.
And yes, sometimes I am happy and positive and inspiring, but I feel good having given myself the freedom to not be that all the time.
Perhaps the biggest realization I have had about myself is that I am truly an artist and entertainer at heart. That is what I enjoy, that it was I was born for. It’s not the first time I have realized this, I just have a habit of forgetting it.
With that in mind, the only real product I have to sell you is myself. I know that’s not much. I’ve been a pretty successful under achiever over the years. But it’s all I’ve got.
And to be honest, I feel pretty good about that.