My dear friends,
I’ve been trying for awhile to come up with a way to basically say, I haven’t been writing on the blog lately, and here’s why. I came up with a few different possible reasons, and I’ve written draft ideas for this post, but it wasn’t until last night that I actually heard someone say what I’ve been trying to articulate for a LONG time.
My friend Andréa (come to Bali with us?) tipped me off to this amazing TED talk by Shonda Rhimes (author of Year of Yes and writer of many TV shows) and I actually cried at one part, because THIS is what I had been trying to say about writing.
It’s an 18 minute video so if you don’t feel like watching (although it’s great), fast forward to 4:56 or just read what I wrote out below.
“There’s some kind of shift inside me when the work gets good. A hum begins in my brain, and it grows, and grows and that hum sounds like the open road, and I could drive it forever.
A lot of people, when I try to explain the hum, they assume that I’m talking about the writing – that the writing brings me joy – and don’t get me wrong, it does….but the hum is more than writing.
The hum is action and activity. The hum is a drug. The hum is music. The hum is light and air. The hum is God’s whisper right in my ear. And when you have a hum like that, you can’t help but strive for greatness at any cost.
But here’s the thing.
The more successful I become, the more work there is to do. The more expectations there are. The more I work to be successful, the more I need to work.
And then the hum stopped. The hum of the engine died. The hum would not come back. My hum was broken. Inside me was silence.
What do you do when the work you love starts to taste like dust? If you know what the hum feels like, when the hum stops, who are you? If the song of my heart ceases to play, can I survive in the silence?”
Wowwowowoowowoww, I related to that so much. I know some of that may sound a bit dramatic when it comes to me talking about blogging, but there’s a lot of truth to it. If you’re in any type of career (or have a side hustle or hobby) that takes a lot of your personal strength and creativity to make it happen, maybe you’ve felt this way too.
Over the past few months, because I wasn’t writing, I would ask myself — why am I not writing? Do I even want to have a blog anymore? Could it be, that this just isn’t my thing anymore? And, there was even a second, maybe a few minutes, maybe a few days/weeks….where I allowed myself to go to the place in my mind where maybe I would consider deleting the whole blog. I let it be an option. I even told a few of my close friends that I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep the blog.
Although it felt good to admit it out loud, to give myself the freedom that it was an option, it didn’t feel good to actually think about deleting it.
I was still posting a lot on instagram, traveling, working on other projects, teaching workshops at a couple of retreats, and generally enjoying life, so it wasn’t that I was sinking into depression or apathy…I just wasn’t feeling connected to the blog anymore. That made me feel sick. I started blogging 9 years ago, and it’s been the way I make a living for many years now, so this was very weird and uncomfortable.
I came to a point at the end of 2016 where I needed to make a decision. Either be done with the blog and move onto something else, or fully commit myself to it again and take the ACTIONS that go along with that kind of commitment.
I did a lot of soul searching about what was going on with it, and came to a few profound realizations about why I didn’t care about my blog anymore:
- I hadn’t ever set any new goals.
When I started blogging in early 2008, my goal was to write enough content and build up the blog enough that I would have passive income streams and be able to pay for not only my life in NYC, but be able to travel and work from anywhere, while creating and sharing what I loved. It seemed like such a far off goal at the time, that I had a LOT of work to do. I worked feverishly on this goal and I achieved it. For the past 5 or so years, I’ve been traveling the world and paying all of my bills through this blog. (details on how are all here). The problem is, I never, ever, even ONCE – thought about what I’d do once I got there. I started living the lifestyle I’d always dreamed of, and didn’t really have to do a lot for things to be running on auto-pilot. While I know that sounds awesome (and of course, it IS SO awesome), it also gave me a pit in my stomach creatively. Passive income is VERY cool and I am eternally grateful for it, but I have an inherent NEED for that “hum” of creation. In fact, here’s a little cartoon I wrote years ago that explains how I feel about creativity:
So point is, if I was going to get excited about blogging again, I needed new goals, I needed new WHYs. WHY do I want to create? Why do I NEED to create? Why do I want to write? Why do I want to share? Why do I want to make more money? For what? I wrote about all of this and got much more clear.
- I had outgrown my blog design and niche.
I created a blog about health and wellness originally in 2009, and Healthy Crush specifically started to be designed in 2010, launched early 2011. That’s 6 years ago now. At the time, I was SUPER pumped about the design and focus, and it felt 100% aligned with who I was and what I wanted to put out into the world. I had an amazing designer and was really, over-the-top happy. But then I never did any design tweaks or refreshes again. Just left it exactly how it was for 6 YEARS! It’s no wonder that at this point I’m not feeling as connected to it as I once was. I have grown and changed as a person and my site needs to grow and change with me. As far as the wellness niche? Don’t get me wrong, I love all things wellness and it will always be a huge part of my existence – it’s what I get excited about. But I found myself wanting to write about other things too – some totally unrelated to wellness – and for some reason, I was getting caught in feeling like I “couldn’t” stray too far from writing wellness articles. I know this is a completely made-up limitation in my head, but I would go to my site and think “this doesn’t feel creatively freeing to me anymore…this isn’t me anymore.”
- I had created a digital product that zapped a lot of time and energy.
Being a blogger, I’ve become very accustomed to writing quick content that gets published immediately (usually the same day I write it). It’s a very productive and thrilling feeling to press “publish” on a blog. It’s a totally different beast to create a book or digital product. I had never done it before aside from a few small e-books, but when I had readers emailing me all the time asking how to make money online, I knew I needed to share that info. So I created Get Paid To Live, and it took me 8 MONTHS to finish and ended up being 160 pages. I put the entire thing together myself, including the design (why didn’t I hire a designer to do it — I have no idea). When I finally was able to launch that out into the world, I closed my laptop and thought, ok, I’m not opening this for awhile. So I took a break from writing, and that break ended up being a few months. My sweet spot is blogging and creating quicker content, it’s what brings me the most joy, and I realized that making a product just takes a lot more energy and time. Not that I won’t ever create a digital product again, I absolutely will, the thrill of launching a completed product, knowing you’re helping people with a new skill, is amazing too. But I’d DEFINITELY hire some help next time! ;) I’ve always had this whole “I can do everything myself” mentality with the blog, and that mentality has to shift.
NOTE: Some people who bought my Get Paid To Live guide had emailed me asking if I was still making money from the blog even if I wasn’t posting often. Considering I had just published a guide teaching people how to make money from a blog, this is a VERY valid question. Thankfully, due to all the years of work I put into building the blog, the answer to all of you who’ve bought Get Paid To Live…YES, even without adding any new content to the blog, it still generates at least $5k per month when I’m not touching it (and more when I am touching it – in fact, in the guide, I outline what a $20k month looks like on Healthy Crush). :) Please note this is ONLY because I spent many years creating and nurturing my content and revenue streams, not because of any make-money-quick fix. BTW, to celebrate the fact that I’m writing again for the first time in awhile I just created a new discount code for Get Paid To Live — if you want it, enter the code: refresh at checkout.
- I hadn’t properly synced up my new travel lifestyle with writing.
A little over 3 years ago, I wrote down that I wanted to meet a partner who could travel the world with me anytime at the drop of a hat, who could work from anywhere, and who was up to some cool things in the world that I could get on board with supporting. What seemed like moments later, my boyfriend Joel just kinda dropped out of the sky and into my life, and we’ve been traveling the world ever since. It’s been a DREAM and I’m so grateful for it. But the challenge for me was that with all the travel and excitement, I didn’t always choose to make my writing a priority. (Thank God for Instagram, where I could post on-the-fly updates)! I always assumed that my inspiration and creativity would just come along with me for the ride, just as they had always done when I was at home setting up my writing routine. But no, I realized — with a lifestyle change, you really have to work harder to prioritize writing. It’s not about “having the perfect conditions for writing” as much as it is deciding to write wherever you are, scheduling the time for it, and CREATING the conditions for it. Shifts are necessary. It’s like I’m having all of these profound realizations now that seem so obvious. But, really, it’s all ok, in fact, it’s all perfect. It’s been an INCREDIBLE few years of travel, and I have a feeling it’s only the beginning.
If you’ve read this far, congrats, you’re great.
THE FUTURE OF HEALTHY CRUSH
So after all of this, I came to the conclusion that I’m going to fully commit myself to the blog again. I don’t want to delete it. I don’t want to let it go. I have a lot to share and I want that hum back!!!! My word for 2017 is COMMITMENT, and I’m so clear on what needs to happen.
So here’s what’s to come:
- I’ve officially hired a new designer and developer. (!!!!!!)
I found a great team to completely redesign and refresh the blog. I’ll share more about who they are later once we really get the ball rolling, but everything is getting started February 1st. Because I have a team on board for this, it’s serious business and definitely happening. I’m talking goals/branding/strategy sessions, mood boards, dreaming up a whole new world for myself online. I could not be happier with this decision!!! The whole site is getting a MUCH NEEDED OVERHAUL that should be complete by sometime in late March (give or take). It’s a big step forward for me, especially as I haven’t really made the leap to hire people before, and I’m making a serious financial commitment to my blog as a business.
- I’ll be creating lots of new content with different categories.
Obviously wellness and personal development will still be the center of my attention, because that’s a lot of my life, but so many people have asked me for travel guides, more on blogging as a business, and lots of other goodies — so be on the lookout for more fresh stuff. Including more recipes, which is what the site was founded on. And more general stuff from me, too. Like maybe even about TV shows. WHY NOT? When I first started blogging, I just used it as an outlet for creative expression, and I want to get back to that, rather than just writing “articles” all the time. Ya feel me?
- I’ll be sending out more email updates with exclusive content that won’t be on the blog (so get on my email list here if you aren’t already).
- Outdated content and pages will all be refreshed and changed with lots of new, relevant resources. So necessary. In the meantime, please forgive any content – blog, email list or otherwise that seems outdated – I am on it. And if I owe you anything I said I’d send – I know who you are – you’re getting it!
- The Healthy Crush brand and tagline will stay. Because, well, they are obviously bomb.
Committed: feeling dedication and loyalty to a cause, activity, or job; wholeheartedly dedicated.
Thanks for being here, I’m really looking forward to re-committing to the blog that has given me the life force, the “hum,” for so many years. Bring back the hum! Bring back the vortex! YEE-HAW!
There ya go. I think that’s it for now.
If you’ve ever had a similar hiatus or questioned/changed your focus…how did you navigate it? Comment below, I want to hear from you. :)
AHHH SWEET RELIEF! I GET TO PRESS PUBLISH NOW! My favorite feeling. (One of my favorite feelings).
Love love love love,
“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”
-Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
“Creative ideas, projects and energy flow like an underground stream waiting to be discovered. The energy, like a surging river, demands movement and expression. One way or another, this energy always finds expression.”
-Dan Millman, The Life You Were Born To Live
P.S. the salad pic at the top of the post is just a stock photo, not something I made, but HOW AMAZING IS THAT FIG?