When you do something you love and try to make it what you do for a living, you run into some complications. One of the complications I have been facing has been trying to decide what goes in the blog and what I just keep for my own enjoyment.
As a writer, your brain is a stew, filled with all the ingredients the world provides. All the people you have met, all the things you have seen, and every little experiences you have had go into the pot. Even little tidbits of things you don’t consciously remember.
Since I have started writing on the travelogue, I have tried to convey the experiences I have had in a way that relate to other people, or simply tell a story about my adventures, either with myself, or with my kids. There are other adventures I have too, which include my personal life, which are either repetitions of places I have gone or seen, or simply nobody else’s business.
It’s sometimes difficult to find a balance of what to write about in these cases, because when I’m out on a date I’m not going to be documenting things to put on the blog. But sometimes I do share ideas that stem from my good experiences and I figure “Hey, why not share? These could be fun for other people to try!” Because part of getting out more also includes romantic relationships and memories you are making with someone else.
Just because I’m not posting doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing things.
The other things to balance are things like posting content on this site, writing paid blogs for the company I freelance for, and the act of getting out and doing things. Sometimes I forget to take pictures, and am just enjoying the experience, or I have to dedicate my creative thought process to writing about things like mold-resistant shrink-wrap boat covers or S-Clamps for solar panels; sexy stuff like that.
There is also the book I am working on, which often takes a lower priority, not just because it is a big undertaking and often slow-going, but also because I have to really dedicate a lot of time to just that project, exclusive of all the others.
The big difference is as much as I love to write on the travel blog, or my book, neither of those pay anything right now. The paid blogs suppliment my income, as boring and tedious as they are. And the adventures I go on, well, that is negative cash flow. Especially if I don’t write about them, because I’m not even contributing to my personal portfolio for potential assignments.
All of this is somehow worked around being a dad and working full-time at a (soul crushing bureaucratic nightmarescape of a) dayjob.
In other words, as much as I would just love to go places, sometimes I have to just park my butt in the chair and write. Or push through the daily grind until I can go home, fix dinner, help with homework, pick up the house, and collapse in my chair.
Don’t get me started on the days I need to go to the gym, because my body is in a war of attrition with time now.
There is a trick to finding a balance in your life. A lot of people like the safe and simple route of work, eat, beer, TV, sleep, repeat. And not always in that order. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine. Not necessarily all routines are bad, but I tend to think we are only on this planet once, so we might as well enjoy the life we are given.
My girlfriend always tells me, “Your job isn’t going to come to your funeral,” and I like that philosophy. We dedicate 1/3 of our lives at a minimum to a place that would replace us within a few days if we were to keel over, and not give us a second thought. So why not enjoy what the world has to offer?
It’s all about trying to figure out the best mixture of what keeps the electric bill paid, and what keeps the lights on in our souls. I’m still working on it.
For now, there are some things I keep close to the chest, experiences that I drizzle onto my content without divulging the whole experience, because those are mine, and they keep me going. Not everything needs to be on display, in this world of social media where never has a generation with so little of importance to share felt so obligated to share everything. All the time.
I still keep a lot to myself, but I share when I can. There’s a balance in that too.