Why I Decided Not to Start a Lifestyle Blog

Earlier this year I decided I was going to start a new blog – a more personal one. A lifestyle blog. After a life-affirming week in Berlin, I remembered what life was all about (again), and that it shouldn’t all revolve around this business. I should do things like skydiving and travelling more and learning how to cook fish (I need to learn to do more than fry a goddamn tuna steak, delicious though they may be). And I thought starting a blog where I could document all that stuff would help with that.

Since making that decision, I have:

  • Been to America for three weeks, where I visited San Francisco for a couple of days, stayed with a friend for almost a week in Modesto, went to Yosemite (OMG), attended the World Domination Summit in Portland again, hung out with my buddy Mike for a couple of days in Bend, and generally had an awesome time.
  • Entertained friends from London who came to stay with me during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
  • Dashed off to Prague for a weekend to stay with a couple of friends who happened to have a spare bed in their AirBNB apartment.
  • Driven down to my home town in England for a few days to catch up with my family. (Yup, I am English, for anyone who missed that memo.)
  • Flown down to Devon for an awesome weekend of meeting and connecting with friends new and old.
  • Started getting a hold on my eating and exercise habits.
  • Joined a fabulous co-working space, which allows me to truly separate work from home.
  • Cooked scallops. (Although admittedly I’d done that before. And they’re not really ‘a fish’, per se. Damn it.)

So, you know – I’ve been doing that whole life thing. Living.

The co-working space especially is a revelation. Not only do I leave the house and see people every day (frighteningly easy to skip when you run an online business), but I’m getting more work done, and am able to relax and do whatever I want in my time off. Because I clearly have time off now. When I’m not in the office, I don’t have to work. (One of the things I’d been struggling with was finding time to play in day-to-day life, and having an office – holy shit does it make a difference.)

So anyway, I started the new blog. I did. Twice, actually, because it didn’t feel right the first time. I’ve been writing on it privately for the past few months. And now I’ve decided not to launch it.

Why I Decided Not to Start the New Blog

  1. I felt conflicted over what belonged on Untamed Writing and what belonged on the new blog. Was this too personal for Untamed Writing? Could this go on Untamed Writing if I put a different spin on it? Largely, this came down to my 28-day experiments – ironically one of the things that prompted me to start the new blog in the first place.
    Obviously some of my experiments are more personal and some are more business-related, which indicates that some should go on one blog and some on the other. But that’s just messy. They should all go in one place, surely? Or maybe I could run a business experiment and personal experiment alongside each other and publish one on each blog? But no, the whole point is to only run one at a time. And besides, there was still likely to be crossover between business and personal. Is going for a walk in the afternoon something you do for your business, to boost your concentration later in the day? Or is it something you do for your personal health and wellbeing? Hmm. Messy.
  2. I’m not sure I want to get all deep, dark and intimate publicly on the web, which appeared to be what was happening on the new blog. Not exactly what I’d had in mind. Why can’t things just do as we will them, instead of taking on lives of their own?
  3. My writing was coming out different. It was boring and too serious. I don’t know why. Probably because it didn’t really feel like I was writing for an audience. Or maybe I take personal development too seriously.
  4. Life is messy. But I like my blog to be organised and structured. So how does that work?
  5. I realised that, actually, yes, I really do want to keep things simple. (I’m a big fan of minimalism, as you’ll discover if you ever visit me at home, and simplicity makes me happy.) Just having one blog means there’s no question of where to write. I realise this is exactly the same as point #1. But whatever, it’s important.
  6. The whole point of the blog was to make sure I was truly living life. But it turns out I’ve been doing that anyway. Go me! I thought having a structured website for my personal development/life experiment stuff would enable me to live a more exciting life, but apparently it’s making an effort to live a more exciting life that enables you to live a more exciting life. Who knew? (Points to me for saying ‘exciting life’ the most times in one sentence.)

So no. I’m not going to launch the new blog.

What This Means for Untamed Writing

I’ll share some of what I wrote on the new blog over here (already have done, s’matter of fact). I will also write MOAR PERSONAL STUFF here. Yeah, fuck it. I’m just going to write whatever I want. It’s my blog, after all. I’ll still try to keep things relevant to you lovely peeps who want to get paid to write, but I’m sure a huge part of the reason you want that is so you’ll enjoy life more, right? And anyway, I have decided that personal development has a big impact on running a business. So there.

I know most writing blogs deal exclusively with how to write better and how to score good clients and all that stuff, and obviously I do that here, too (and have no plans to stop). But you know which blogs I really love reading? The ones that talk about life and how to make the most of it. The ones that tell the stories of people who ARE doing that. And one of my guiding lights is to do things the way I would like to see them done if I were the audience. (And that’s why you’ll NEVER see a fucking pop-up here.)

I hope you’ll stick around.