A couple thousand years ago there was this king. He was quite nasty and deceitful. He was also a bit arrogant. What you’d call a smart ass.
Well, at one point, the gods had enough of it, and they punished him by being forced to roll a boulder up a hill only for it to roll down every time it neared the top. He had to do this, over and over again, for ever and ever.
His name was Sisyphus, and we now “honor” his name by using it to describe the backbreaking, neverending work that we often do but never seem to complete.
And, sometimes, it seems that blogging is just like that.
After all, you will someday run out of things to write about. You will feel trapped by the creative limitations of a certain niche or topic, or by the inner voice that tells that you are just writing about the same things, over and over again, for the same people.
So, what do you do when that happens? Do you give up? Do you start blogging about other topics?
Let’s find out, shall we?
I’ve often felt like a hamster upon a wheel.
A few years ago, just as my blog had peaked in terms of popularity, I’d often complain about this feeling.
I had to write, I had to keep punching those damn keys, because that was my source of income. If I stopped writing, my income would diminish considerably.
I was writing about the same things, engaging with the same people, making the same kind of money.
It was different kind of rat race, but I was still a rat.
The truth is, if you keep blogging for long enough, you either give up or find yourself on auto-pilot. The truth is, you will often find yourself facing creative bankruptcy, because you keep repeating yourself for those who weren’t listening the first five times…
But it’s also true that you must do this because your job is to inspire people, because every single day someone new will find your blog, and they might need your words more than ever. And that’s when you have to deliver.
Proud but never satisfied.
We often think we have arrived. We haven’t. We never.
The top of the hill is a mirage, a lie. There’s nothing there. You have to climb down, pick the damn boulder, and keep going.
The obvious solution to this problem is to never settled for mediocrity, success, or a certain way of doing things.
That’s why I started a YouTube channel, that’s why I am experimenting with podcasts.
That’s why I have stopped working with folks on a one-on-one basis and have decided to sell online courses instead.
If you want to escape the rat race, you have to stop going through the blogging life on auto-pilot.
And it’s incredibly difficult to do that, because, let’s face it, the beginner often loathes the steep learning curve they’re faced with, so they decide there will come a time when it all becomes effortless.
It does. And that’s when you’ve got to be most careful, and that’s when you have to decide to keep pushing yourself, to keep experimenting, to keep trying new ways to share the same message, so that it impacts more people in better ways.
You stop doing that, you find yourself pushing the same boulder up a hill, over and over again.
If you feel like you’ve been writing about the same things, in the same way, engaging with the same people, change.
It’s as simple as that.
Network with others on social media, start creating infographics, build an audience on Medium, answer questions on Quora.
Figure out different ways of sharing your message. Write from an entirely different perspective.
We are often trapped by a box we’ve built ourselves.
All those years when I’ve felt like I was just going through the motions, I’ve slowly lost my passion and drive.
And it would have been hard to imagine that I’d try something different. I was a slave to a fixed mindset, listening to the voice that whispers “don’t change it, it’s good enough.”
You see, we often build a box, and in it we place all the creative tools that we think we need to become successful.
But the trouble is, you don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t know that if only you were to step outside this box of yours, you’d be able to see that there’s more to blogging than you even thought possible.
You escape the rate race by being willing to think outside the box, and if needs be, to destroy the damn thing.
We often become the prisoners of a certain mindset, of fixed beliefs that end up sabotaging our success.
If you’re feeling as if you’re just writing about the same topics, over and over again, it’s time to change. It’s time to go down different paths, to explore, to experiment, to have fun.
The goal is to step outside that box of yours before it becomes a prison.
Because, sooner or later, you will begin to even love this prison of yours, and no matter how much you’d complain about it, secretly you won’t want to escape.