Because a friend said she missed my writing. It gets more complicated than that, but that was the start. Because I got tired of writing bullshit.
Because I ached to write for myself again.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Life, the Universe and Blogging
I started my other blog with nothing but a vague idea of what to do and an optimistic hope that it could make me enough money to work for myself, and give me the time to read and to learn – 2 of my favorite things on the planet.
It feels like a lifetime ago now, even though Life Coaches Blog has only been around for a short 3 years. It feels like I was a lot younger then. And a lot dumber.
A lot can happen in 3 years. In my case, I could fumble through three careers in three wildly different fields, get broke, make it back, get my balls busted by an ex-girlfriend before learning what I really wanted in a relationship, take a stab at getting a job doing what I loved (writing), actually getting that job, get busted on by my new colleagues, which led me to finding the only girl in my life I could imagine spending my life with, all the while harboring a secret hope at getting back into coaching, traveling more in the last 2 years than in my entire 29, which included meditating in a Thai forest monastery, nearly slipping off the back of an elephant which was ambling down a very steep, very tall mountain, training with ninjas, and walking a very big, very lovable German Shepard.
And now I have 21 dragons.
A lot can happen in 3 years. I’m grateful for the dumb optimism that inspired me to start Life Coaches Blog and have the gall to think that a naïve 26-year old could tell the world how to improve itself. I needed that dumb optimism or I would never have had the balls to do it. And I never would have learned everything I needed to learn to be here.
A lot can happen in 3 years. You can live, learn, love, hate, fall and learn a lot of lessons. You can change your mind about a lot of things.
Losing the Ability to Bullshit
I absolutely believe with every atom of my being: you have to lose the ability to bullshit yourself. You have to. Or you’ll be absolutely fucked.
But to lose the ability to bullshit yourself, you have to develop the ability to know when you’re bullshitting yourself. You have to have a keenly refined internal bullshit detector to which you have to put a constant ear.
One of the ways your bullshit detector will let you know when you’re full of it is to give you a dull, aching feeling that something is horribly wrong, even when you have no clue what it is.
And that is how I’m feeling with Life Coaches Blog right now.
I am looking at it and feeling this dull, aching feeling that is telling me I am so full of it I have to bend over backwards to pull my head out from inside my ass.
Life Coaches Blog was an idea that took on a semi-life of its own. It achieved its own moderate success and if I had worked even harder at it, it might have been even more successful.
But these last 2 years, a gnawing feeling about my writing on Life Coaches Blog has been nipping away at my insides. And it’s been growing.
Tell people how to improve their lives when my own is hardly a prime example of living excellence? What the fuck?
I tried to cover it up. Tell myself it was okay with all sorts of reasons. Other people are doing it. Nobody has to know. You're not perfect. I’m learning at the same time they are. It’s okay. Help people. You want to make a difference, right? You want to make so much money you can spend your time blogging and make life much better for your hardworking parents, right?
But all the while, Life Coaches Blog was drifting further and further away from who I was becoming. Even the name itself, Life Coaches Blog, was formed at a time when I was a self-titled Life Coach and there actually were plural number of coaches writing to make it a life coaches’ blog. And now there was none of that.
Things got worse.
I was tired after posting nearly continuously for 2 years. I wanted my life back. So I started accepting contributions. I screened those meticulously at first. And then, I realized posting contributed articles could give me those potential hours writing my own posts back. I could rest, catch up with friends and spend time with family.
I started posting more contributed articles.
All the while knowing that buying me time was diluting my personal brand.
And as I watched posts with meaningless names like “7 Easy Ways to Turbo-charge Your Life Even if You’re a Lazy Retard” go up on my site, that gnawing feeling nipped, and bit, and growled.
One day, I turned around, and stared at this gnawing, existential feeling in the face. And then I realized it wasn’t my bullshit coming to shame me. It was my conscience. My beautiful conscience, who hadn’t been trying to say anything other than a simple; “you can do better than this.”
And so I decided to change.
But I can’t take all the credit. It took one man to stand up before I could rise to my own two feet in protest. In fact, it took The Man himself. Merlin Mann, to be exact.
The Merlin Works His Magic
Merlin Mann runs the wildly successful 43 Folders. He’s also recently been in an existential blogging funk. But to cut the long story short, he’s seen through the Matrix. He’s cutting the bullshit from his blog. He’s fucking genius and he’s going to show everyone how it really gets done: from the heart.
I read his declaring post and couldn’t work for the next few days. I read it over and over again, and thought hard about it. It was exactly what I would have wanted to say if I had been a little bit smarter, a little bit savvier and a little bit more honest with myself.
Cut the bullshit. Deliver from the heart.
Or in Merlin’s words: Find your obsession. Every day, explain it to one person you respect. Edit everything, skip shortcuts, and try not to be a dick. Get better.
I wanted to do that. I want to do that. I want to lose the ability to bullshit.
Does the World Really Need Another Blog?
No it doesn’t. In fact, I think it needs a lot fewer blogs. And a lot fewer dictators, famines and wars. But since it’s not a perfect world, I think another blog won’t shift the balance of power either way.
And I don’t give a shit.
Because I’m not writing this one for profit nor for fame. I’m writing it for the love of writing itself. I’m writing to prove myself right or learn trying. I’m writing because I’ve got shit to say and I need to say it, if not for anyone’s happiness but mine.
I haven’t decided what to do with Life Coaches Blog yet. I might continue writing there; post more contributors’ posts or stop all posts altogether. Don’t read me wrong, there’s still stuff there from me and from its contributors that is good and that I am fiercely proud of, so as long as there is money in the bank the domain gets renewed regularly and it’ll have its share of space on my server. I know 21 Dragons will be my personal space. But I haven’t really decided where to stick the stuff that could be for both websites into yet.
And that’s the fucking beauty of it. This space is mine, bought for and paid for, to write exactly what I want when I want. I don’t owe an invisible audience anything. The future is wide open and full of possibilities.
What more could a creator ask for than this freedom?
To be able to create just for the joy of creating itself?
And that is why 21 Dragons exists.