Hello Cyberfriends. It’s been a while. The goblin family has gone through several life changes, which I’ll honestly probably vent about in another post on here soon. It’s been a lot of new and exciting things with an equal amount of difficult obstacles for everyone. One thing that’s been an obstacle to me is finding time to write. The fate of the Ardent Goblin website as we know it is to be determined.
In the name of total honesty, I’m well aware that my most loyal followers are my best friend and my husband, so they know I’ve been putting writing on pause. I don’t think I ever told them why. Not because I wanted to hide it from them, or because I was ashamed, but it was because I didn’t even know myself why writing had changed into such a chore.
One day last week I was shooting the breeze with a coworker and mentioned my first writing job.
It was for a local magazine company that spotlighted local businesses. At first, I had been over the moon at seeing my name on a by line. It was my childhood dream come true. As time went on, I struggled to find time and motivation as it was a second job I did outside of my full time job at the call center. I still loved seeing my name on a by line, but but I didn’t love what I was writing. They were basically 500-1000 word advertisements, and were catered to each business owners specifications. My time was not respected by the article commissioners, and struggling to get the quotable interview they had requested made me want to pull my hair out. On top of that, I was earning maybe $2 per hour of time that I put into each article. I left on good terms when the pandemic started, but didn’t have a desire to go back.
When I set out to become Ardent Goblin, adopting the pen name and creating this website, I was starry eyed over the possibilities. The cyber world was my oyster, and I could write whatever I wanted.
Things changed when I spent a few months as a stay at home mom. I was desperate to generate views and find ways to monetize Ardent so that I could continue to stay home with Baby Goblin and contribute to the household income in a similar way I had as a call center agent. That lead me down a rabbit hole of learning SEO, and testing different post topics to see what trends generated the most views. It spiraled into writing articles based on SEO keywords that didn’t already have a ton of traffic and fell within the categories that did the best with the world at large.
Slowly, I lost my passion for writing. When I could just put hands to keyboard and pour out my soul to my little blog was were the happiest times of being ardent. Sure, getting a couple thousand views on a few parenting posts was a rush, but the hours of tweaking and perfecting everything I posted to top SEO analysis turned my favorite hobby into another chore. I was no longer writing things for the joy of writing. I was determining the subject of each post based off an analysis of the keywords that would most likely determine the amount of traffic from search engines.
I lost my voice. My writing style was constantly scrutinized by an algorithm. I might as well take any ounce of my personality out of my posts. When I set out to start Ardent, I wanted to write like I would talk to a friend. I pretended sometimes that I was 13 again, writing an email to my best friend about anything and everything. As I focused more and more on SEO, I had to shift my focus to shortening sentences, simplifying my word choice, and trying to fit my keyword in naturally. Combine that with writing about keywords I wasn’t necessarily over the moon about? It was frustrating. Not to mention the time to balance crafting these SEO winning posts on top of having a completely unrelated and stressful full time job.
From anecdotal evidence, this seems to be a crossroads in every writers life, “When I write what I really care about, it doesn’t sell. When I write smutty or trendy or controversial materials, it flies off the shelves.” Have any of you experienced this?
I don’t know what’s going to happen from here. As I mentioned earlier, there’s been a lot of big changes in the family, and another huge change coming in the spring. Will I leave the content I’ve already created and start focusing more on goblin thoughts and goblin family updates? Perhaps I continue writing parenting content as our family grows? Maybe I continue to post career development ideas for people wanting to break into the tech industry? Will I scrap it all and rebuild?
What direction will I take at this crossroads? I can’t say for sure. What I do know, is that I’m not ready to let Ardent fade into oblivion. I’m okay not having a viral blog that generates additional income. I’m perfectly happy with the few followers I do have. Forever grateful I will be to my best friend for encouraging me to chase my dreams, and my husband for supporting me every step of the way.
We’re at a crossroads dear Cyberfriends. The direction of this whole endeavor is to be determined. For now, I’m choosing to chase joy, and reignite the passion I had in the beginning. Thank you, dear readers, for sticking with me so far. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to drop a comment. I’d be happy to hear them.