31 October, 2010  |   14 Comments

Time away


When I left for Wisconsin, I hoped to get a perspective on where I should go next with my career.
I hoped to have luxurious hours to sit in a cafe with my notebook and pen, detailing my strengths and weaknesses, emerging with a sound plan to get out of the overwhelmed soul-despair I’ve found myself in since last January.
I hoped to find salvation.

Instead, I spent vacation elbows-deep in diapers, kids, family, catching up, eating, working, eating, working and putting kids into their respective car seats.
It was no different than my regular life.

And although that was frustrating, it was a good reminder.

Life goes on.
It continues.
Changes have to be made incrementally, tucked in the minutes of free time I can now muster.

Big sweeping changes must be internal.
Turning the dial in my chest to point to me.

That said, ten days in the Upper Midwest did clear a little space for me.
Clearly clear.

I’m excited to quit caring about the latest blogging drama of the day.
I’m excited to refuse to put up a media kit.
I’m excited to stop viewing every event with my family as something that must be documented and turned to eyeballs.
I’m excited to pick up brushes and pencils to share my thoughts, and turn that dial away from “MUST MAKE MONEY LIKE THAT LADY THERE…” back around to,

“This is my place to share my life.”

If that doesn’t include monetizable content, that’s awesome.
Monetizable content just stresses me out.
If that doesn’t fling my career to EXPERT or SUPERSTAR or MAVEN, that’s just fine.
If that’s not participating in “THE SOCIAL MEDIA CONVERSATION,” that’s all right by me.

You betcha.

14 thoughts on “Time away

  1. 1
    Addie says:

    Love this post. Never commented before, but love this post…I am soooooooo tired of the “monetize” conversation….sooooooo very tired….and it has to be said that many, many of those who have been “successful” in “monetizing” their blogs have had their writing become boring, boring, boring…not a good trade-off if you ask me…

  2. 2
    Katherine says:

    Yeah, for the last 10 years (!) my blog has been exclusively navel-gazing and ranting. The whole “Blogging as a lifestyle/business/brand” thing just has me scratching my head and shrugging.

    I bet if I cursed less, I’d be taken more seriously, but then I wouldn’t be me.

  3. 3
    Danielle says:

    “Changes have to be made incrementally, tucked in the minutes of free time I can now muster.”

    Holy cow, you’re right. I’m in the midst of some big changes (hoping for them, actually)and with two little kids and everything else. minutes is often all I can find. But I imagine more things can be accomplished in minutes than I had previously thought. Hooray for minutes!

    Looking forward to more navel-gazing and ranting.

  4. 4
    Heather B. says:

    I was telling someone that I removed ads from my personal site last week* to which he replied (sarcastically) “But how will you be able to monetize your brand?!?”

    *I did it because I want to focus less on ‘how much I will make from discussing ennui and/or my love affair with wine’ and more on my passion for politics. So yeah, I feel ya.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Jane Gassner says:

    I so hear you. I’m nodding and saying, yes…yes…me too. There’s a lot of noise out there and it’s too easy to think we all should be making it. When I was writing for magazines, the biggest lesson I learned was that just because I could do an article didn’t mean I should. I need to learn that over and over again now that I’m writing for the net. It’s hard to stay focused and remember what actually means the most to us. For me, it’s writing, always writing.

  7. 7

    Great post! Write about what you love!!! Now I am craving caramels!

  8. 8
    maile says:

    I love this post and can totally relate. The internet makes me feel tangled up and crazy sometimes. It’s easy to become distracted by other people’s paths. So glad you found some time for you. It took me three years into being a parent before I realized that vacations were really the same thing as being at home, only in a different location. With hopefully a few pockets of time to re-create.

  9. 9
    Sara says:

    I can’t tell you how many words in this post caused me to think “Yes,” to say “Yes,” to feel “Yes.”
    I keep thinking that the world will stop for a minute so I can catch my breath, but it doesn’t. I have to take a deep breath and be okay with that. I, for one, love your blogging for what it is.

  10. 10
    Helen Jane says:

    Aw, thanks guys. Let’s tuck it in together.

  11. 11
    Danielle says:

    You are more than welcome to NOT discuss monetizing with me at any point in time. It will be nice to have the company!

  12. 12
    Amanda Brown says:

    Loved every inch of this.

  13. 13
    JenB says:

    I don’t mean to be one of THOSE parents, but you will inch by inch get more time. To paint or write or non monetize. To navel gaze. Important things. I haven’t had ads on the site fir more than a year. It is a combination of freedom of lack of accountability to anyone but myself. Also a few extra bucks is missing, but the lack of accountability to post has left the blog stale. I’m hoping November Nablopomo will help me get the funk, the good groovy kind.

  14. 14
    Meg says:

    You know what I like to read? What you like to write. So I think we’re in agreement then. Hurrah!

    And, “Big sweeping changes must be internal.” I’ve been realizing this. And when you do that work, often the external just follows right along behind, like baby ducks behind the mamma duck. But I wouldn’t worry too much about them. They’ll do their job, you do yours, and we’ll all toddle happily along.

Hooray for replies!