The struggle is real, all of them

June 3, 2015

Let me begin by saying Verizon can kiss my ass.

After making the decision earlier this week to set a fixed writing schedule and work for Chris, I was greeted right smack at ‘write the blog’ time with error messages from Verizon. Email is offline. Internet is online. Error messages for sending and receiving email. Email is online. Verizon says I need to open another account. Why? I didn’t change my username or password in the first place, so why am I having to troubleshoot for them…as they refuse to speak with me in any way other than via twitter? For two hours.

I almost threw in the towel on this new ‘schedule’ of mine. Swear words flew. Maybe I should just try this again next week?

But then I thought about a really good article I read on setting systems vs. goals. It basically says that goals, while good to have, can actually discourage you. The end game is usually pretty far away. Instead, create a system (schedule, process); commit to that system and stay in the now with results versus setting yourself up for failure by only looking at the big, desired goal.

Sounds easy enough, right? But what if you’re not sure what your actual goal is?

That’s where my struggle has been. I’ve been an independently employed executive recruiter for 14 years and hadn’t really planned on making a big change. Now what? Instead of getting mired down in finding that one.big.goal., I’m focusing on what doors have opened. Chris needs a baker/dessert idea person and we’ve always tossed around ideas, so even though I don’t have formal training I’m taking on the project. Despite my nerves I’m excited and, truthfully, so grateful to have somewhere to go a few times a week that will allow me to feel (and be) productive. System number one.

And this blog. I wanted to blog again after my stroke. It was important to me to tell my story and be authentic and have a place where my life could be documented, at least to some degree. But it’s been a struggle. I am very conflicted about what a lot of blogs have become: places where people shill products and don’t disclose that if you click on the associated links, they are paid pretty large sums. Not just on the one item that caught your eye, but on anything you buy from the retailer you’re routed to – for up to 30 days after that initial click. It’s like blogging and sharing ideas for fun died, and everything turned into a potential dollar sign. Not that making money is a bad thing in and of itself, but when 95% of all posts on social media are affiliate linked, readers are getting slimed. And really, who’s actually reading anymore anyway?

That’s where I’ve been for the past 6 months or so. Whenever I write something I feel good, even if no one really says anything about it. But all it takes is 5 minutes of seeing that other stuff and I’m ready to scream into a pillow. Somehow reading that article made me rethink my take on this whole thing. If writing is fun for me and it’s something I enjoy, then I should commit to that regardless of what blogging has evolved into, even in part. System number two: committing to write here twice a week, no set topics. Hope you don’t mind pictures of me in a hairnet. #kitchentimes

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  • Reply Nadia June 9, 2015 at 4:00 am

    What a great opportunity! Looking forward to reading about some kitchen adventures 🙂

    I’m with you Carrie (re: the blogs). It keeps happening to me.. I find maybe one or two blogs that I start to genuinely enjoy and all of the sudden they become exactly what you described. It’s like everywhere you turn, that’s all there is. I feel good when I write and I want to keep up with my own blog as well, but much like you’ve said, I’ve felt uninspired lately. I think we just have to keep on looking within us and try hard not to be affected by all the affiliate links (grrr). Anyways.. best of luck on the new gig! 🙂

    • Reply This Free Bird June 9, 2015 at 11:39 pm

      I’d read your blog, Nadia, because you write stuff. I have no fault with outfits or people telling me where they buy things, provided I don’t feel like I’m being coerced to click. That’s where I just fade out (personally). I guess it all depends on what the purpose of the blog is, right? I’m old school. I just want to hear about what’s going on/what someone thinks. And as for the kitchen? So far, so good. Some wicked pie baking taking place. Thanks!!

  • Reply lena June 3, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    I couldn’t agree more that reading blogs lately has felt like an exercise in avoiding stealth marketing. I have always loved your voice and your story, and I’m always delighted to spend time with you here.

    • Reply This Free Bird June 9, 2015 at 11:35 pm

      You’re one of the bloggers I still read too, Lena. We’re like OG now, before affiliate links were a thing. 🙂

  • Reply Kelly June 3, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    I love it ALL.

  • Reply Jen June 3, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Yay for more writing! I can’t wait because I really enjoy your blog. It is one of 2-3 that I read, because like you said, blogging has generally become something awful. And desserts…I hope you’ll share a few recipes! This is all great stuff and I love what you said about developing systems vs goals. I 100% agree but I’ve never really heard it phrased that way and it really makes an excellent point. Looking forward to what’s next for you!! Thx for sharing!

    • Reply This Free Bird June 9, 2015 at 11:34 pm

      Thanks Jen! I’m looking forward to getting back into writing on more of a regular basis here. That systems vs. goals article was really good. I hadn’t heard it phrased that way before either, but it makes so much sense. Now re: the kitchen – I’m getting the hang of it! Will most def share some recipes here when I can and hopefully not burn anything. Haha!

  • Reply Priscila Peters June 3, 2015 at 6:01 am

    How exciting!! Dessert idea person, cool. And, I really like your writing, you should always write.

    • Reply This Free Bird June 3, 2015 at 7:10 am

      Thank you, Priscila. I really enjoy writing, so your praise means a lot. I’m hoping to plug in here more consistently, even if they’re just fun/short posts here and there. As for the desserts – totally new territory for me in the commercial sense, but Chris will teach me the tricks of scaling up and how to work the fancy ovens. Hahaha!!

  • Reply Cass June 3, 2015 at 5:29 am

    This is amazing so excited for you can’t wait to see & hear all the deserts you come up with !!!! WOOHOO hopefully lots of Cheesecake , Chocolate & Peanut Butter Yum

    • Reply This Free Bird June 3, 2015 at 7:07 am

      Thank you, CP! I’m nervous but looking forward to trying some things out. I’m obsessed with pastry at the moment, but you know my love of the cheesecake. GLUG. Can’t wait for you to visit 🙂

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