[Written By// @K1ngEljay]
I feel like people don’t properly document their struggles and issues on the internet. No one has a blog page or a website where they can put up their words, so I know for a fact that this particular post will revolutionize the bloggersphere, making the greats pay attention to every word that I think to add. However, sarcasm’s a talent, so let me just get to the point of the post.
There’s multiple self-help posts online, and most of them don’t come from first-hand experience. Tthere aren’t enough of are those first-hand experiences that people can readily identify as “bad” or “really bad” or “extremely f*cked up” that hit home. The types where the morals are clear as day, and can easily be applied to most people’s lives. Something thoughtful, something from the heart, something full of spirit, you know?
This probably isn’t that post, my guy.
What I can say, for sure, is that 2014 is the year I fell out of love with writing… and I remembered how it happened like it was yesterday. I’ve dissected my entire life story within the last couple years to pigeon-hole all of that experience and slam it into essentially three bullet points — which you might forget twenty minutes after you leave this web page (thirty minutes if I’m lucky; I’m going big).
This is a guide on how to be like me, LJ, in three easy steps.
STEP ONE: FOCUS ON ONLY THE END GOAL
There are no stopping to smell the flowers here; we run past all of that. Somewhere in the middle of it all, I began to stop caring so much about reaching a person at a time, or even about reaching anyone in general. I became the “Soundcloud” writer, more or less; I just wanted the hits and the site views (bad LJ, bad!). It’s not like business was boomin’ to begin with, but I was doing it all for the wrong reasons.
When I first began writing, I did it for myself. Granted, I’ve come a long way since I was 12 and writing to avoid suicidal thoughts (*pats self on back*), but there was a sense of accomplishment that I got from just writing. The process behind pen and pad was interesting to me, and when my creative writing teacher got a hold to me in high school and showed me how to process those thoughts and get them on paper quickly it was a wrap. I wrote EVERYTHING DOWN, and most of those notepads are in the trunk of my old car still. It was relaxing for me.
Something shifted with the introduction of TheREDEFINED, though.
I started focusing more on the results. I wanted to see the writers with me elevated higher, so even though I wrote, I was more focused on promoting their stuff than anything because they deserved it. The results came back nice for some of them, and it got me wondering about myself and mine…
…And the grind began. My views on it shifted, and the quality did as well. And whenever you go away from something that’s working, you can expect those initial results to falter. So you shouldn’t be surprised to see the next step.
STEP TWO — DON’T MAKE PROGRESS
In order to get this step, you have to figure out effective ways to be ineffective. I’m a genius at overthinking simple situations into oblivion, so this may not be as a logical step in messing your life up as I make it seem. Trust me; it works rather charmingly when you question every. single. move. you. make.
For me, the previous moves (focusing more on the team at the expense of enjoyment) seemed logical at the time, but that was because my vision had shifted a bit. Of course, weird things make sense when you’re in a weird place, and all of the weird things I was compromising for took their toll on me, even if I didn’t realize it.
Case in point? At one time, I was in communication concerning venues in Texas and opening a Hip-Hop Bar. Pretty dope, right? I had talked to representation in the area and everything, and as far as getting the quotes for it? It was in the works. I kept it quiet (I think this is the first time I’ve mentioned this online) because I hate talking about things before they happen, but it’s interesting to note it really almost got rolling.
It’s even more interesting to note that I’ve actually never wanted to own a bar in my life at all. At the time, I didn’t even drink like that. I was looking it up because of outside influences, even though I didn’t truly have an interest in it. That’s what I mean by weird things.
It was also weird that I began to lose progress on the writing tip, and that was a new sensation for me; it was my first time ever feeling that behind as far as connections. On top of that, I wasn’t even sure which direction I wanted to focus my writing. So many excessive weird things began to add up, it started siphoning my joy level.
Before I knew it, I was turning into a recluse (no, not the spider) because I had no inspiration to do anything.
STEP THREE — DON’T HAVE FUN.
I had figured out a way somehow to not enjoy anything I was doing, even though I was doing what I enjoyed. That’s elite level problems, and I couldn’t even identify why I was having issues. Was it the fact I was upset about previous relationships? Was I that frustrated about everyone deciding to not weather that storm, or was I more upset that no one even asked what was going on? Would I have had an answer for them if they actually asked me? Did cucumbers truly taste better pickled or was that a matter of opinion, too?
The questions actually multiplied the more I looked for answers, and as I was in that process, my productivity dropped. I wasn’t having fun writing anymore. I had, essentially, cheapened my outlet without knowing it, to the point where it wasn’t an effective outlet anymore. The entire time, my focusing on the results aspect of it all and not on the satisfaction of purely writing was draining me. The only person that braved all of that to talk with me was the woman I married last February, ironically.
Three steps, and I had successfully fallen out of love with my passion. Now, I wouldn’t recommend anyone follow in those footsteps; I wouldn’t even do it again to show you the proper way to screw things up, but the good news?
Everything we go through in life, I feel, is to help others. It was a weird time, but I’m thankful for it because I wouldn’t have figured out what’s coming next if it wasn’t for that year and some change that I went in circles.
So now that’s out of the way…