There’s No Prize For Giving Your Guts Out
Recently, I read a post reminding bloggers of the need to have a slate of back-up pieces ready in the event that circumstances temporarily prevented you from generating new posts. Heaven forbid that life intervenes and you get caught sans current content. That simply will not do. Think of the children readers!
Photo by texasgurl
I disagree, of course. Being reliable and conscientious is rad (and a good way to stay gainfully employed), but putting your own needs behind those of others isn’t the sign of a superstar. Instead, it’s a hallmark of naivete and insecurity to believe that giving 150% 25/8 will win the admiration/respect/gratitude of others and provide you with that warm fuzzy martyred feeling at shouldering the seemingly impossible and living (maybe) to tell about it. That’s not how I roll. I love y’all, but I also love me. And I know that part of being the very best sophisticated sophist that I can be involves taking an occasional break from writing, bunking off to visit my family, spy on murder trials, taste-test my bartender sis’s latest concoctions, attend a wedding, focus on real-life paperwork, etc. Taking a breather and not feeling beholden to the blog is absolutely necessary. This is my outlet, not my obligation and I never want that to change.
Sacrificing your quality of life for self-imposed deadlines/expectations that no one but you really cares about (let alone acknowledges) is totally bush league. And I see so many folks subscribing to the mentality that he who gives the most (time, energy, resources, pieces of your soul) wins. But you are not a one-person service industry forced to measure yourself against ye olde the customer is always right standard. You are human. You have needs. And those needs shouldn’t be sublimated for the sake of unnecessary crowd pleasing. There’s no prize for giving your guts out.
People do care that you keep your word and don’t flake out on them when they’re dependent on you, but they also care about your humanity (and if they don’t, please get new friends) and don’t want you to be up until 3:00 AM on the day of your grandfather’s funeral baking them a birthday cake from scratch just because you casually mentioned that you like decorating stuff with icing roses. And they mostly don’t care that you hand collaged all 120 of this year’s Christmas cards yourself or that you stuck to your blogging schedule while being confined to the ICU with meningitis. It doesn’t matter to them, because, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter PERIOD.
The only person who expects you to do and be it all is YOU. Everyone else knows better.