There’s Gold In Blogging & Other BS…

Turned on iTunes and spent a moment trying to figure out what sort of music ought to accompany my writing.

Stared at almost 10,000 songs and tried to figure out what would set a good tone and help me establish the best rhythm for writing something you’ll not only read but respond to.

Didn’t have time to wonder and worry so I turned on Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution by AC/DC mostly because the bit about noise pollution caught my eye. I don’t know what they were thinking about when they wrote the song, but today, 2015 feels a lot like a time when pollution is an issue.

Not talking about air quality but the trillion tons of noise that assaults our senses from the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep.

Ten thousand push notifications about email, text messages and games are on our smartphones. Flip back to your computer or tablet to surf the net and be hit by ten thousand more.

There’s Gold In Blogging & Other BS….

I didn’t get into this wacky world to write a book, build a brand or get a movie deal.

All I wanted to do was write and it took a while for me to realize that. It was 2004 and I told the Shmata Queen that I was going to start a blog, but I really didn’t know why, it was just a whim.

I am here because blogging was the place I vented and because the Shmata Queen said she thought I was a decent writer and I ought to keep it up.

Not to mention that the BA in Journalism that I had earned but wasn’t using was a reminder that once upon a time I had liked writing.

So I stuck a toe into the blogging waters and found out I liked it. And then I sort of watched the mad gold rush that followed in which people started using the medium to make money.

I never could decide whether I should wade into the crowd and try to claim my own or make snarky comments about the fools who listened to the snake oil peddlers who said it was a simple way to make passive income.

Eventually I figured out I could do both, write sponsored posts, work as a brand ambassador and offer commentary about social media.

Blogging was the gateway to social media, freelance writing and full-time work.

Who knew.

Tastelife/DadbloggingWho knew that blogging would provide me with an opportunity to drive a Ferrari on a race track.

That wasn’t just cool because it gave me the chance to do something I had always wanted to do but because my kids loved that day.

It provided memories they won’t ever forget and the kind of smile every parent wants to see. That alone is worth the price of admission to 11 years of toil at the keyboard.

We tasted life together that day. It wasn’t the only day that happened for the family nor will it be the last, but it will be lasting and that is different.

What Is The Distinction?

If you are among the long time readers you know my career has taken some significant twists and turns and that the last six or seven years have been the sort of roller-coaster ride best taken at an amusement park and not in real life.

The kids were too little when I was flying high and the personal coffers were filled and overflowing.

They don’t remember those days very well…if at all.

But now they are old enough to remember many things and I have been working hard to make those memories the best I can make them.

The funny thing about some of this is I am fairly certain I am more worried about some memories than they are. It is the most probable and likely answer, assuming I was to ask.

Hell, there is no way they would be able to relate to some of the crap of the past other than to say they were sympathetic and that is ok.

If I told them about how my former boss called me the day of my grandfather’s funeral to say I was fired they would be angry, but they wouldn’t say I was fucked the way I did and do.

But for the sake of clarity, now when I say I was fucked it is with a bit less anger not because it makes it any better but because I came out the other side.

The Beauty of Dad Blogging

It took a long time for me to be able to write about some of these things because of the mix of anger and shame I felt.

Even when I knew I had been done dirty and that you can’t expect rational behavior from crazy people I expected more from me.

Even when I knew that I was one of millions caught in the great recession/depression that hit around 2008 I expected more from me because a father provides for his family.

And if they lose a job, they get another or another or another and figure it out.

But for a long while it just didn’t matter and I was forced to sell the house because I wouldn’t take the chance on losing it to the bank.

The destruction and carnage that came from that time won’t ever leave my memories, but as I get farther away and see more success it is easier to look back and not feel like I once did.

I always knew I would find a way, but there were dark moments when I wondered if ego and arrogance had fooled me into thinking I was capable of more than I really was.

But I put my head down and kept going and here I am in a much better situation than before. It is an improvement of 10,000 percent, not perfect but getting there.

In some ways the hardest part is the scars haven’t completely healed yet and sometimes I feel myself reacting more strongly to some things than I should.

Reminds me of the quote below:

stormwalker

I am not the same dad blogger I used to be, not the same guy or person.

The storm changed me, in some ways I am still figuring out what sort of changes those are/were. That is ok, you don’t have to know the answers to everything, you just have to be able to accept the growth and change that comes with life.

That is part of the beauty of blogging, dad blogging in particular, it gives you a way to figure those things out.

Blogging Is A Winding Road

In my professional work I produce content that is much tighter than this. It is also far more sterile.

I enjoy the winding road that blogging provides because if you let go of your preconceptions and throw off the restrictions of the expert advice you’ll produce content that is raw and authentic and more likely to resonate with people.

I was going to write about something different here but wrote about it on Medium instead.

What I probably ought to focus upon is a post about how many blogs a person needs and whether they add or subtract from their ability to produce meaningful content, but well save that for a different day.

Time to do the stuff that puts food on the table, see you all later.

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5 Comments

  1. Nina November 24, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Those early days seem so long ago! In internet years, they really were. I think anyone who is still in this has taken a winding, changing road. You have to or it gets stale as a blogger who cares about our blogs as much as we do? Nobody! We have to change things to stay interested, I think. I’m glad you’re still here doing things in your voice and doing them your way.

    • Jack Steiner November 25, 2015 at 9:55 am

      You’re absolutely right. You either find a way to keep having fun or you lose interest and the blog dies. Doesn’t mean it is always fun, but if the majority of your experience isn’t enjoyable it is unlikely you’ll keep going.

      The evolution has always been part of what has held my attention.

  2. Jamie November 19, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Here’s to surviving. The last high school reunion I went to was truly fun. Talking and reconnecting with folks. I decided the older we get, we all cut each other a lot of slack. Everyone has been through the fire and made it or in the process of battling out something. Bad marriages, career u turns, financial crisises, serious illness. Deaths. Problems with children. All the facades everyone was worried about when younger were absent for the most part. I also look at blogging the same. It’s where I don’t have to be anything, anyway or anyone. I can be creative or serious. Either people get it or they don’t. That’s one of the gifts for me – after the storms.

    • Jack Steiner November 21, 2015 at 12:17 am

      I went to my ten year, skipped 20 and haven’t made a decision about 30, assuming we have one. Since it is not all that far off I suppose I’ll probably hear about it soon.

      Anyhoo, part of the reason I skipped 20 was because people were really obnoxious at 10 and I didn’t see any need or value in paying to go through that again, felt too much like the first time around.

      But I expect that the 20 years of life we have all lived in between has made an impact because as you said, we have lived through the fires, maybe not everyone but I would guess most of us have faced some sort of challenge or seven.

      Love that about blogging, the sense of just being and doing.

    • Jack Steiner November 21, 2015 at 12:17 am

      I went to my ten year, skipped 20 and haven’t made a decision about 30, assuming we have one. Since it is not all that far off I suppose I’ll probably hear about it soon.

      Anyhoo, part of the reason I skipped 20 was because people were really obnoxious at 10 and I didn’t see any need or value in paying to go through that again, felt too much like the first time around.

      But I expect that the 20 years of life we have all lived in between has made an impact because as you said, we have lived through the fires, maybe not everyone but I would guess most of us have faced some sort of challenge or seven.

      Love that about blogging, the sense of just being and doing.

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