It’s all about the hustle.
Everything I have done in my life I went after with this attitude. Landing my (at the time) dream job, going back to school to pursue a different career, and earning stellar grades in college. These were all things that I had my mind set to. I weighed the pro’s and cons, made the best decision for myself, and went after my goals unwaveringly. Once I set my mind to something, I go after it whole-heartedly with a strong belief in myself.
When it comes to starting a blog and pursuing a career as a writer I have taken somewhat of a different approach. I sort of tip-toed into it, making sure it was something I truly wanted to do before taking the time to tackle it full-on. Once I decided to taking blogging more seriously I did several things I thought would help me grow my audience and increase my influence. I joined Facebook groups, upped my instagram game, took online courses about building a business/finding your niche/branding/building a tribe/etc. I work 40 hours a week at my day-job and would spend time after a 10 hour work day pursuing these things, as well as much time on the weekends training, learning, and writing. And you know what?
The hustle wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
I found myself losing interest in writing. I dreaded opening up the computer after a long day at my day-job to work on a blog post. The fun and passion that once motivated me was quickly fading. I was exhausted, grumpy, and frustrated with the lack of progress I was making with growing a following. I decided to seek out some advice in one of the Facebook groups I am a member of, and one of the responses really agitated me. This individual said, “You only work 40 hours a week? You have so much free time. Quit wasting your time on leisure and get s*** done.” Seeing as how the whole purpose of my blog is to encourage others to live simply and find joy in the every day, this response was unhelpful at best. I understand success takes sacrifice and hard work, but I refuse to sacrifice my well-being and personal relationships for financial success.
Now, perhaps I did not give myself enough time. I have heard it said that it takes 5 years for bloggers to “make it” and turn this thing into a career. Of course there are those superstars that take on this endeavor, run with it, and kick butt in much less time. With all my confusion, frustration, and heartache with this biz I decided to take a little break from blogging and re-evaluate what I really wanted to do with my writing, including how much time I was willing to put into it.
I continued with writing in other capacities, such as journaling, but strayed away from my blog. There were times where inspiration struck and I was tempted to open up the computer and write a post. However, I knew I needed this time to step back and think about what I really wanted right now.
With more time to pursue other interests I found more happiness, balance, and inspiration for my writing.
My time outside of work was spent on other things I enjoy such as journaling, reading, exercising, playing with my dog, cooking, starting a garden, and visiting with family and friends. I have a number of different interests, and with less time spent on “the hustle” I was able to pursue them more. This made me feel my days were more balanced, I was more fulfilled overall, and I was even happier at my day job because I felt I had a better work-life balance. Best of all, engaging in things that I truly enjoy provided me with more inspiration for writing.
So for me? Writing is not about the hustle. Writing is about expressing my thoughts and sharing words of encouragement to help others with their journey through life. I still plan on participating in some online groups so that I may stay connected with like-minded individuals, and hopefully communicate my message to those who feel they can relate. Most importantly, I will continue to pray about this. God has never let me down in the past, so I am certain He will not steer me wrong in this area of my life either. I will pray that my words will get to those who need them, and I will allow this to be the measure of my success. This and my level of happiness.
In conclusion, a big thank you to all the hustlers out there!
The day may come when I do decide to get back into “the hustle,” and try to make this writing thing into a money-making endeavor. I certainly am not trying to bash on anyone who does hustle and work hard to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. I admire these people, and often wish I was more like them. Pursuing their dreams fearlessly, unrelentingly, and with complete confidence that they will make this dream happen for themselves. Stories of these folks is what keeps me going. So thank you hustlers for changing the world and giving the rest of us hope. For now, I have decided this is not the season of my life for that. I will continue to write for the sake of doing God’s good work in the world, and praying that my words reach those who need them.