I have to be honest about something:
I am not really sure what, exactly, made me start a blog.
Something happened shortly after I started weight training that made me start writing — first person, narrative, nonfiction writing, about working out, about failure, about success, about growth, about whatever I could wrap my head around.
I wrote things like this that summer.
And at some point, I guess I decided that sharing that writing with the world was a good idea.
I didn’t give much thought, at first, to what this blog might turn into — some folks start blogging with the intention of selling something, whether that be themselves in the form of services or a product, e-book, training system, etc. I just wanted to write, to share my experiences, and if something awesome happened from that, then great. I’d be doing the writing regardless, right?
Somewhere along the way, however, things got more complicated. I started doing some giveaways; I started getting invitations to do product reviews. I started getting compensated — you know, cash money — to do product reviews and giveaways. And I started working as a trainer.
All of this served to effectively kill — dead — the original impetus for this blog.
It used to be organic; suddenly it was a business. I used to come up with ideas in the gym, under the bar or during sprints. Suddenly I had no ideas, and all the benching and sprinting in the world wasn’t giving me inspiration.
I didn’t successfully grow this blog to genuine business-level proportions; I only took on the products I thought were relevant, and I never fully pursued an online training business. Somehow I always knew I just didn’t want to monetize this blog in that way.
But I still felt pressured — to write about certain things, to live up to some kind of fitness-blogger ideal, to be insightful and useful and relevant and professional and motivational all at once.
That pressure was so great that, shortly after I renewed my blog hosting in June of this year, I felt compelled to stop blogging.
I felt like I had nothing left to say.
I had opinions about fitness and nutrition, yes, and I had lots of news I could have shared here.
But it felt fake. It felt forced. And it felt yucky.
So I stopped blogging for a few months this summer. Other than a few update posts here and there, I didn’t log on to my blog at all. I didn’t look at its stats, I didn’t visit Google Analytics, I didn’t even read other fitness blogs. I lost many, many readers by doing this, but frankly, I didn’t care.
I needed a break — from everything blog-related.
Sometime around September, however, I started getting really great ideas for posts. Organic, genuine, thoughtful ideas — the kind of ideas that drove this blog in its first two years.
I waited and waited to start writing again. I wanted to wrap my head around my intentions for this blog before I gave it another shot.
I wanted to be sure I knew why I was doing this.
Here’s what I realized:
I want to think. I want to write posts for people who want to think. I want those posts to stem from my passions — fitness, nutrition, weight lifting, body building — but that doesn’t mean that all my posts will be directly about those subjects.
Sometimes, those subjects will merely give birth to a post, and the post itself might turn out to be about something bigger, something more universal, than those specific topics.
I think I’ve started moving back in that direction. This post from last week was the first time I felt like I was back — really, really BACK — in a long time.
I’m probably going to miss out on financial opportunities because of this focus.
I’m probably going to lose a few more readers too.
Frankly, though, I don’t give a shit.
Focusing on what makes me happy — what makes me ME — is far more interesting and useful to me.
If that’s interesting to you, too, then stick around.