- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Live Simple: Finding a New Direction
I struggle with my writing! I am quite certain there are many out there who can say the same thing. Is my writing good enough? Should I be writing more “evergreen” articles? Have I found the right niche? Am I saying what I mean to say? Is there any value to what I write? What can I do to make my articles visible to more people? Am I wasting my time?
The life of a writer is lonely at times, frustrating at times, and downright humbling all of the time. I have written articles that I was incredibly proud of and they were received with a collective yawn by the reading public. I have also written articles that held no value to me personally and they were well-received, leaving me shaking my head in confusion and frustration.
The love of my life, Bev, continually asks me if I am happy writing. At first that question bothered me because I love to write and I could not figure out why she was asking me about it. Upon reflection, it dawned on me it was because I always seem to be frustrated and yes, unhappy. She was simply reading the signals I gave and her conclusion was logical.
The fact is that I most definitely love writing. I love writing about things that matter to me, the human connection, the human experience, and matters of love, compassion and empathy. However, the subjects that matter to me most are not likely to go viral with online readers and therein we find the source of my frustration.
Like any writer I want to make enough money to at least survive, and my efforts to date are not allowing that to happen. I of course can make money writing content for companies but there is no joy in SEO and never will be. So how do I make money writing about matters that interest me? How do I find the best of both worlds?
Finding happiness with less!
WHAT IS SUCCESS? HOW DO YOU MEASURE IT?
Well, that’s a bugger of a question, isn’t it? I just won two Hubbie Awards, voted on by my peers, so one could say I attained a certain measure of success from that standpoint. I am incredibly appreciative and my heart truly does swell from the love and acceptance I have received on the writing site HubPages.
However, success can also be measured in dollars earned, and if that is the criteria then I am failing miserably. LOL The fact is, to date, that matters of the heart do not sell well and rarely go viral, leaving me to once again question if I am on the right track.
SO WHAT DO I DO?
After studying the articles written by the writers who have found financial success, it has become obvious that they have carved out a niche for their writing. They write about macramé or babysitting, farming or gardening, and then they keep pounding that subject with good information. Eventually their writing established a firm toehold on the internet and earnings follow.
They also have their own website related to that niche as well as a blog. The combination of the three, with appropriate linking, seems to push them over the top and the money follows.
That is all well and good! So what is my niche? As I look at my writings to date, I seem to be all over the place and no single niche is apparent. If I can’t find a niche in my own writing, how can anyone else? How do I write about what interests me and still find a financial reward for my efforts? There is my dilemma, and as I mentioned earlier, I don’t think I’m alone in this dilemma.
THE SOLUTION FOR NOW
I do not quit! I don’t have a quitting bone in my body, so I move forward and give it my best shot. After checking Google Adwords Keyword Tool I determined that I could write about Living Simple. That niche encompasses much of what I want to write about and it also has fairly heavy online traffic.
Whew! Task number one completed! The blog will follow but for now I need to explain the topic matter to my loyal readers.
I have written about my thoughts concerning the economy and life in general to some length in the past. I do not believe economic conditions are going to improve for the average working man (or woman) anytime soon. I think the deck is stacked against anyone who is beneath the top 1% wage earners in the United States, and I suspect the same is true for much of the rest of the world.
The only solution, then, is to learn to live a simpler lifestyle. As a civilization, we need to get back to basics. We need to re-establish some time-tested principles to live by, principles that do not revolve around money. We have lost our way and we need to find our way back.
How many reading this article are one or two paychecks removed from serious financial trouble? If statistics can be believed then the answer is quite a few. If the main wage-earner in your family lost their job, how long could you, as a family, last before financial hardship overwhelmed you?
The fact is that we have spent decades over-spending on a bigger home, more possessions and more luxuries, and the economy is providing a much-needed wake-up call. We need a simpler lifestyle
Pushing aside economics for a second, though, we need to look at another related subject. Somewhere along the line we have lost touch with what is important in life. We are so busy chasing our tails that we can’t stop to suck in a deep breath of life-affirmation. Our humanity is shrinking as we try to keep our head above water. Fear and insecurity have replaced compassion and empathy. It is every man for himself and the first one to the life boat wins.
That is not living; that is merely existing and I, for one, refuse to play that game any longer.
Spreading love throughout the world.
THE SOLUTION FOR THIS WRITER
Six years ago I sold everything. Six years ago I said “ENOUGH” to the insanity and stopped to smell the proverbial roses. It was a decision that had to be made. After forty-five years of chasing the Almighty dollar I finally chose to quit the chase and begin the business of living once again.
Bottom line: I have never been happier. Although it is practically impossible to leave the “system,” it is entirely possible to become much less dependent on it. Bev and I are on a three-year plan and at the end of those three years we will be as free financially as it is possible for us to be.
Imagine living so that no matter what the Democrats or Republicans devise in the Halls of Congress, it can’t derail your lifestyle. Imagine living so that no matter what happens with the economy, it can’t derail your lifestyle. If you can envision it, you can do it, but the problem for many people is that the kind of freedom I am talking about is so foreign to them that they think it is impossible.
It is not impossible but it does require a complete overhaul of the way you think!
It is that overhaul that I will write about during the next few months. I will write about ways to cut expenses. I will write about ways to become less dependent on the system. I will write about ways to say goodbye to a life that isn’t working and forge a new life of freedom. I will write about returning to values that mean something.
I will write about living simple!
LIFE IS ABOUT CHANGE
Yes, I will still write about other things that interest me. I will still write comedic articles, and the occasional article about adoption and alcoholism will find their way into my portfolio. I’m sure I’ll find myself writing about the environment from time to time, and lessons learned while teaching need a voice as well.
Still, this is going to be my main focus for the next few months, and after a time I will re-evaluate my plan and see what tweaking needs to be done. I don’t think the subject matter will change much; it will just be more focused on a niche I can call my own.
I still struggle with this concept as I write this article. I have been told that what I have to say is important, and judging from the interactions I have had with my readers I believe that to be so. I believe there is a place for writings such as mine, and I don’t believe that is hubris to say so. Still, it would be nice if Bev and I could go on a vacation sometime in the next few years. It would be nice to just take a week off and relax. It would be nice to catch a movie now and again, or for that matter just buy some new underwear without scrimping and saving for it.
Perhaps I would be better off writing about gardening tips. The chances of going viral are much better if I follow that avenue. Unfortunately, my heart and soul would be starved and I fear my passion for writing would slowly fade away. That leaves me with only one choice and that is to find a way to get my message out there to a larger number of people.
- Lifestyle Choices: William D. Holland: Amazon.com: Kindle Store
Lifestyle Choices: William D. Holland: Amazon.com: Kindle Store
Bev asked me yesterday what my goals were; in other words, she wanted to know why I was writing. She has this uncanny ability to bring focus back to a situation, and her question certainly helped me to focus in this case. I told her I wanted to reach out to as many people as possible with my message of finding a better life. My secondary goal is to see some income from my writing.
She told me that she believes in my message and that a great many other people believe in my message, and that I now needed to find a way to reach more people. Her final words were perhaps the most important. She told me I was not alone and that she would be beside me every step of the way.
Now that, my friends, is a powerful message. I am not alone, and someone believes in me.
For those of you struggling with similar doubts or problems, you are not alone! As writers we all struggle from time to time, and we all face self-doubt. It all comes down to belief in ourselves and a determination to find a way!
I wish for all of you success, no matter how you define success, and may your writing always feed your passion and make your heart and soul soar!
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)