Memoirs of an accidental blogger: When your hobby becomes a job

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Last week, I was very close to shutting down my blog.

Yes. This one.

You see... I started writing in 2013.

Scratch that; I started writing when I was 12. Writing had always been an outlet, especially in my adolescent years, as a highly introverted teenager.

But I started writing on this blog in 2013, as a hobby; purely as an avenue for relaxation.

For a while, I did not take the blog serious. I would only pop in once in an electric blue-moon, and leave my two-cents on whatever issue was scratching my throat at the time.

Something beautiful happened along the way. As I wrote more, I found my voice.

I could (literally) take up any issue – real or hypothetical – dissect it, and create a life lesson with it.

I found my voice, and people listened.

You listen.

Then TEDx Port-Harcourt happened. #theConversation happened.

I got exposure; positive exposure. I got offers for sponsored posts. And also, lots of goodwill.

I would be stopped randomly and get hugs from total strangers, that I was that “Busy Mind person”. I woke up one day and had climbed into the niche of "blogger".

Lol.

Esther Adeniyi knew what she meant when she opined that even if you did not make as much cash as you would love to immediately from blogging, the fringe benefits are far more valuable.  It is a spring-board to show the world your skills-set.

And I experience(d) this firsthand.

But everything good comes at a price, you know.

(Except salvation) 😉

I could no longer totally enjoy the luxury of being laid-back about the blog. It was no longer a 'casual' affair.

My posts had to become more 'peng'. Social Media sites handles had to be opened, for better interaction with members of the public.

Posts had to go through more scrutiny. Consideration would be given to potential Intellectual Property issues in using images, and I would painstakingly scrutinize posts by guest authors to ensure plagiarism was not at play.

The buck fell on my table.

There was also the issue of whose sensibilities would be offended by any content, often requiring balancing free speech against diplomacy. Then, supervising the creation of graphics being used for social media awareness, and approving introductory messages by handlers.

All the while, working full-time as a Business Lawyer.

In the midst of all this, I encountered serious life events.

I moved between continents, literally from one end of the earth to the other.

I had a MOUNTAIN of qualifying exams to write, while grappling with social issues ranging from missing the sting of peppered Abacha on my taste- buds, to rising above racial prejudices, starting a new position, and searching for post-exam opportunities.

Jeez! I was literally working ALL the time. Even while sleeping, I was dreaming of work.

My brain was like a computer on constant ‘awake’ mode. On a scale of 100, my stress level was probably a 120.

And my hobby was no longer an avenue for relaxation. It had become a full scale responsibility of its own.

I got burnt out.

So that’s the story of how I came that close to shutting it all down.

Often, folks say when your hobby becomes a job, get a new hobby.

(Huh?)

The problem with this school of thought is that this would leave you with two jobs... plus the need for a new hobby.

(Sigh)

But in my case, I love my first job: being a lawyer. The practice of law is the thing that comes easiest to me. I may be playful with a lot of things, but I sure do not joke with my practice. 

And I make a darn fine lawyer (wink!)

Law is all the job that I need, for personal fulfillment and pecuniary purposes. It is my EVERYDAY. And it is quite more than a handful of its own.

A hobby on the other hand, is that thing that you love, even if you do not get paid for it. But it is a leisurely activity.  And that is what creative writing is for me.

To weave stories out of life’s daily dishes, and smile at the thought of the smiles on the readers’ faces.

And make the world a better place. One blog-post at a time.

There is the other school of thought that when your hobby begins to feel more like a job, you can take some time away, to cool off.

I think I favour this other school of thought. I mean, what is the point of ‘having fun’, if the fun stresses you fa?

You should rediscover your hobby as YOUR hobby. Why you fell in love with it. Away from the paraphernalia and responsibility that it has acquired.

In my own case, I realised I miss writing, for writing sake.

Writing for ‘therapy’. Writing to breathe. Writing to vent. Writing to relax... without the expectations of an “intellectual blogger".

So I am taking my own advice, and taking a break. Taking a step back to breathe. Stepping away from the ‘razzmatazz’, while focusing on other life issues.

I am stepping away, to find my ‘zen’, and shake off the job-like responsibility that my love for writing has now acquired.

Maybe travel a little bit while I'm at it, and tell you absolutely nothing about my adventures. 😜

(Or maybe I will)

Over the next few weeks, I will be armed with only my physical writing pad and my pen, writing without a ‘moral of the story’ angle. Writing in places no one else will see.

(Or maybe, y’all will see it eventually) 😊



But for now, (as we say in Nigerian street-lingo), I cannot come and go, and kill myself... and be dead. 😏

Edakun.

I know you will miss me... I will miss you too. But it will be just a minute, and I'll be back.

Until then, be good. Stay safe. Don't fight. Believe in the best. Believe in yourself. Be kind. Do good.

Binge on all the prior posts on the blog.

And eat your vegetables. I'll be watching you.

Love,  😘

Meg.



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Photo-credits: 
1. rawpixel on www.unsplash.com
2. Darius Sankowskion www.unsplash.com





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8 comments

  1. Thank you for the mention. When I want to brag about my clients to other potential clients, you top the list. Every single one of them comes back to tell me that they are stuck on here. I have to remind them, oya the business deal, you nor dey do your own again? Of course, we continue the project but then I start hearing things like, I want this that that to be like that that that on Meetmybusymind. Nitori Oloun! I always have to explain that Meg has made her blog into that. Her blog design is just 50% of what the whole blog is. She built the empire o!

    I am so proud to be associated with you and your blog.

    To Blogging, it is so, ehm, it can be possessive. Especially if you built it from scratch. You wrote articles on it from the beginning by yourself. Oh, it can be so addictive. And the rewards of Blogging, or of being a Blogger? Immense.

    Like I say, people focus on the money alone. (There is plenty money inside this place tho' *winks*). If they knew how much of side rewards people have gotten from being Bloggers. The key here is building a community and cultivating a tribe. I say this all the time. And until you get to the point where you are blogging because you truly love to write, connect or network, forget it!

    There is a different side of Blogging tho', the business, commercial side, which is what I gradually transitioned into because I was too techy to be calm. So I made a career of it.

    So, my comment. I hope to God that it is not as long as the original post. If it is as much as half of it, don't approve. Buhahahahaahhahahahaha...

    You'll be back very soon, trust me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol!!! Your comment is longer than the original post. But thank you. I know I will be back soon.

      Delete
  2. Alright Chinelo (wailing) Will miss here. So much of life's lessons. God bless you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww... I'll be back soon. I promise. God bless you too boo. 😘

      Delete
  3. I want to go on the adventure with you oh!!!.. Inside your luggage bag is ok for me(You know am small like that) winks......

    ReplyDelete
  4. Don't be gone for long biko.

    ReplyDelete