I’ve been struggling a bit, as of late. It didn’t use to be this way. It started off as a casual thing. A “once in a while” kind of deal. But it’s starting to slowly creep up on me and take over.
I find myself doing it much, much more. Honestly, it’s to the point where it’s frequent, throughout the day. It’s made me tired. I’m writing less. I feel worn out and I’m starting to hurt.
I’m trying to put my writing first. I honestly just closed my laptop for the night, ashamed of the amount of time I’d wasted today with my addictions. I opened it up 30 seconds later and started typing this blog.
I’m starting to feel like that Guns ‘N Roses song. I feel like I get the meaning of it now more than I ever have. I feel like I’m an addict.
“I used ta do a little but a little wouldn’t do
So the little got more and more
I just keep tryin’ ta get a little better
Said a little better than before”
Mr. Brownstone, Guns ‘N Roses
Alcohol? Naw. Weed? You can’t be addicted to weed. Heroin? Get the hell out of here, never touched junk or anything similar. No. My addiction is twofold, but none of these things.
Nobody told me how easy it is to become intoxicated with minor success. I’m still relatively new to being a professional writer. Content writing is paying the bills, but blogging is a joy. It’s my creative outlet. It’s my way to have a voice in a big, noisy world.
Making that voice reach more and more people daily is exciting. Medium is where it all began back in December 2021. I was told I should start blogging for a bit to build a portfolio of work. I’d need that, to be hired for content writing work.
So I did. I got to work typing about anything interesting or funny that came to mind. It was fun and basic. Very pure. Somewhat unpolished. But it sure was fun.
I got the first content writing job I applied to. I switched gears from blogging to doing as much content writing as possible. The learning curve wasn’t too difficult, and I cranked out articles for numerous companies. It got somewhat boring quickly, though.
I am very money-motivated. I think that serves me well as a self-employed person. I’ve worked for myself since 2003. That has helped keep me motivated and focused to show up daily and start typing away.
However, I also need to have fun. I’m a fun-loving person. I’ve always been the class clown, that guy who could always make the ladies laugh, the life of the party. Humor is my thing. I decided I needed to get back to blogging to some degree, as content writing was becoming the dominating force in my time spent writing daily.
Imagine my surprise when I went back to blogging and realized it had been almost a MONTH since I’d posted my last blog. I immediately cranked one out. Then another the next day. The writing was fun again. I set a goal to blog almost every day of March, and I did.
That led to a month’s earnings of $29. My first profit since joining Medium. Soon after, my biggest blog yet took off in a big way. It has made me over $300 in April so far. This was further motivation to keep blogging and to find new places to post my blogs. This was how the first part of my addiction started.
I’ve always been proficient in marketing. I signed up for four more sites to post my blogs. I did quite a bit of reading and research as to which blog sites were the best to use. Some were great at growing an audience. Some are easier to earn income with. Others offer more creative control regarding the look of your blog. There was a lot of information to process.
I also started researching publications. I learned that you could gain a lot of added exposure to your work if you become a writer for some of the larger publications with a lot of subscribers.
I’ve applied and been accepted to be a writer for a number of them so far and plan to submit my writing to them. I’m curious how it will affect my number of views and reads. I’m guessing it will be a positive influence, from what I’m reading in articles about publications.
It’s carried over to my social media sites, as well. Adding more and more people to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others. I added about 400 other writers just in the last hour or so on Twitter. The more followers I have on social media, the more likely they’ll read my blogs. And possibly retweet or share the ones they enjoy.
I’m also checking job sites like Indeed and LinkedIn for new writing jobs numerous times throughout each day. I’ve applied to a number of them. While I do enjoy the blog side of writing more than the content writing, I’m always pushing for new opportunities to write about topics I enjoy more than others. And trying to push for better per/word rates.
Marketing has never been a difficult thing for me to do. I’m confident in the writing I do and feel it could be entertaining or beneficial to others on any platform, publication, or company looking for writing talent. But marketing daily is definitely taking up time I could be producing more writing. And then there’s my second addiction:
Statistics might just be even more addicting and time-consuming for me than marketing. I’ve found myself checking and re-checking stats on so many writing-related things. Stats are not something new to me. It’s easy to see how that addiction crept back into my life.
I’ve been a lifelong sports fan. I read and memorized so many stats from the baseball cards in my collection. I even read card values in the price guide I subscribed to, which would increase and decrease monthly based on player performances during the season. This fascination with numbers and how they relate to my interests evidently has never left me.
It’s not even the earnings aspect that’s my major focus. I’m constantly checking my view, reads, and other numbers related to my pieces on all of the platforms I’m using. I also check my number of followers on social media and the analytics for my posts on them as well. It’s a time-consuming thing, to say the least.
Part of me is proud of myself for being so wrapped up in all these areas. I’m more motivated daily about writing than anything else I’ve done for a living in a long time. It’s far more rewarding and personally fulfilling that selling real estate or cleaning carpets, my two other businesses I did prior to becoming a professional writer.
I know that being addicted to marketing and statistics is taking away from my time spent writing. The number one piece of advice I hear and read about constantly is to just keep writing. I need to take that to heart and do better.
I’m going to have to find balance in my daily routine and figure out a way to focus more on my writing. I need to stop worrying about how slowly or quickly I’m progressing toward my goals. That’s easier said than done for a marketing and stats-oriented guy like myself, but I’ll have to commit to it. I feel I need to before my addictions take control and ruin my writing life.