I’ve been blogging for almost three years now. For the first 14 months, I blogged with real focus and efficiency. I knew my purpose: pay off debt and pursue my dreams. Even after paying the debt, I continued to blog, because I was still pursuing my dreams. In 2.5 years, I did both. I mean, I paid off the debt, and I managed to achieve many of the dreams on the list I’d prepared when I first started “dreaming beyond debt.”
As I approach the end of my third year blogging, I’m feeling lost in the endeavor. I can’t quite seem to grasp my message now. My priorities have changed. I did, for a brief moment, think that I was going to turn the blog into a real business. I wanted to teach people how to get out of debt. But, to monetize that, I had to sell things and services…to people already in debt. That doesn’t seem quite right, either.
Instead of force a message or an answer, I have decided to let it simmer while I focus on other things. I believe in the practice of ruthless prioritization, and if I’m honest with myself, I think I may have been using the blog and its possible business applications as a distraction from the last thing on that list of dreams to get accomplished: write a book.
It’s the only item that has not seen progress. And, in a bevy of conversations I’ve had over the last week, when I think about what I want in my life, or how I want my obituary to read, I want to leave a literary legacy of some type. I want “author” to be present in my list of life accomplishments. I realize that it might come from my ego, but it also comes from a long-standing sense of my own identity. It also comes from a well within me where a narrative voice has been trapped for too long.
And, because you can’t do everything at once, I need to make space for what I really find important.
This blog is important to me, though, because of the community it provides. I depend on the personal finance community for support, encouragement, and a sense of direction. So just know that I’m not abandoning the blog forever. I’m simply taking a break. I’m going to FinCon this year with the hope of getting clarity around the blog’s purpose and message. In the month and a half between now and then, I will focus on my literary endeavors.
I could focus on making more money. I could focus on paying down the mortgage. I could focus on getting to financial independence ASAP. But, those seem like “someday” goals. If I postpone pursuing some of these dreams until after I reach financial independence, then my life is going to be unfulfilled and empty at times. Also, those goals are good goals, but they don’t set me on fire like paying off my student loan did.
But the book goal…finally feels red hot.
So, while I’m actively not blogging, I will be sure to touch four things every day: my teaching, my project for a local arts organization, my Welsh language studies, and my creative writing. I will continue to be frugal and read personal finance blogs. I just won’t be producing new content for a while.
And I want to say one more thing: I know I could have just quietly not posted for a few months. But, I wanted to make an announcement because I am doing this in the service of ruthless prioritization and the pursuit of a life’s dream. And isn’t that what personal finance is really about? Spending your money in the service of your life’s dream?
I’ll miss you guys, but I’ll see you at FinCon. Until then, dioch a hwyl. (That’s Welsh for thanks and bye.)