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The best laid plans (or: Where have I been?)

So, uh… Hey there…  It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  Nearly four years since I posted anything on what was supposed to be my big ol’ catch-all website.  Feels a bit strange coming back to post something, like I’m retreading a weird abandoned part of my past mixed with guilt for having given up on all the dreams and plans of Past Me.  But I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, so it’s about time I get around to it and really break down just what I have (or haven’t) been doing with my life since then.

The weird part of this post, at least to me, is that it’s really for no one but myself.  No one comes here anymore, and I’m not really working in any photography anymore.  But I do want to focus more on getting back to the creative projects that I used to daydream about, so maybe this will be a good jumping-off point for that.

So, if I haven’t been doing photo shoots or whatnot, what was the next plan?  Well, right around the last update of this site I had resurrected it from the ashes of the prior URL that I somehow let lapse.  Renaming digitalnoise|photo to digitalnoise|studios seemed a good option.  I had started playing in bands again a few years prior and also learning video editing and motion graphics so bringing it all under a “studios” moniker sounded appropriate.

At this point, I just left a terrible, terrible job, my band imploded (again), but then moved in with my girlfriend.  New things were right over the horizon, right?  I was all about focusing on writing and recording music, disc golf, and, of course, starting a YouTube channel.

Unfortunately, that all got derailed.  I made my first (and only) YouTube video about how to make YouTube videos (the audacity, right??), scripted a second, shot a (for many reasons) terrible version of it and just never reshot it.  I was so dejected by not just the failure to hit the goal for the first video but then the subsequent abject failure of a second video that I just never did it again.

Music never really got started, as I kept putting things off because of one reason or another.  I would think “I need a new guitar for this particular project” or “My audio interface feels like it’s on its way out” or insert excuse here.  I had just started a new job that didn’t pay nearly what the previous job paid, but I didn’t hate every excruciating moment of my day, so at least that was looking up!

Because of the lower pay, I started looking into ways that I could supplement my day job income and started looking into–and I hate saying these words this way, but–passive income streams.  YouTube, obviously, but we see how that had already gone, right?  What about blogging?  I’ve almost always had a blog of some form or another going, mostly to not much success, and mostly just a personal blog and/or photoblog (remember that term? haha).

I was also doing a bunch of random product research.  Looking for a new desk for my new space after moving in with my girlfriend, looking for new audio interfaces, wanting a new monitor, etc.  Figured that since I’ve been doing so much research on products, I might as well start blogging about it.  I was really into the whole concept of being a YouTuber, but still paralyzed about actually doing it.  But there are an uncountable number of people out there wanting to get started on YouTube, and I could at least contribute my technical aptitude and research into making a resource for content creators.

And thus, Creatorbeat was born.  I know, I already had this site running along with Sacramento Disc Golf (which I was already not putting much effort into), but Creatorbeat had a chance to really be something to a lot of people–and, if I did things right and got a bit of success here and there, help fund my new studio equipment a little bit.  Get that new guitar, computer monitor, and audio interface.

So I started writing articles for Creatorbeat.  Nothing terribly crazy, just little 1000-3000 word posts about various things I just bought or researched.  And then I stumbled across a topic that was pretty low competition but very high search volume.  I wrote the blog post (which was pretty long and detailed) and after a few months, I started to see massive traffic.  Well, massive for me and what my expectations were before.  And I started to make money.

Not a lot, of course, but money! From a website!  That means that if I made more posts, and put more effort into marketing, and optimizing, and writing bigger and better posts, that would be MORE money!  Unfortunately, this also kind of created a bit of a tunnel vision scenario.

Music was on hold, disc golf blogging was on hold, everything was now focused on Creatorbeat and how to get better at that site.  I’d still go play disc golf, of course, but pretty much any other project I had on the books got left by the wayside after seeing the potential of Creatorbeat.  Which is probably the smart move, if I’m trying to create something to actually be profitable and make my life better financially, right?  Of course, it is!

Until you meet my greatest nemesis: procrastination, laziness, and sleepiness.  Eh, having a bit of a social life and a girlfriend contribute too, but, eh, those aren’t really at fault here.

It got to the point where all I would do is “research” how to be a better blogger and affiliate marketer.  By watching YouTube.  The habit became (while I’m on off-shift working nights, that is) to come home and watch a bit of TV while eating dinner.

The problem lies in never grabbing my laptop or heading to the desk to work immediately following that.  A few YouTube videos lead to a few more, and next thing I know it’s time to go to bed.  That, or I’m so tired that I can’t bring myself to work on anything, and just say to myself “Eh, I’ll do it tomorrow, for sure!”  only to rinse, repeat.

All of this adds up to a very frustrating situation where I’m focusing all my mental thoughts and desires toward working on the website, but putting forth damn near zero actual effort and work to that end.  And I’m fully aware I’m doing it.

Now, a few years after that initial post, I’ve put up barely any content.  I’ve posted some absolutely massive guides and in-depth articles, but nothing really has quite replicated the results of that initial post.  I know that posts do take a while to rank in Google, so my expectations are tempered as they should be, but still, my own personal laziness is definitely getting in the way of just pumping out content.

And that means that, of course, Sacramento Disc Golf is neglected as well.  The crazy part is that, for the past few years, disc golf is really my favorite thing to do, hobby-wise!  I’m not that good by any means, but it’s an absolute blast despite the frustration on the course.  A bad day on the course is better than a good day in most other places.  That obviously includes writing for the disc golf blog.

I wrote one post for the site in the past few years, and that’s it.  There were plans to build out the local events calendar and even a disc golf store and course map, but those fell by the wayside as well.  I will note, however, that this has become a newly re-energized goal for me this year.  I’ve been working on a much-needed redesign on the site, but that’s been slow going because I’m working with a brand new toolset in WordPress.  It’ll eventually get pushed into a production environment when the tools catch up to the need, but until then, it’s just testing.

This brings me to the latest project/hobby/distraction…  WordPress.  Or more accurately a WordPress blog.  Or even more accurately, a blog about WordPress.

Yeah.  I started another blog.  Behold, AdventureWP!

I already have at least two other blogs that don’t get the attention they deserve, so why did I start a WordPress blog?  Well, as with other things, I spend enough time researching and doing things with it that I might as well try to make something useful from that time and effort.  It makes sense, from a weird certain point of view.

Really though, it will give me the opportunity to really test out a bunch of different stuff and get content out of the whole process as well.  WordPress excites me, and we’re at a really cool time in the whole WordPress community.  There’s a massive paradigm shift coming thanks to Gutenberg and page builders (the latter of which will most likely be made irrelevant by the former), and there’s really a huge amount of power and flexibility available to everyday WordPress users.

My goal is to really focus on this new project, though.  And really focus on the other two.  I know that I’ve been my own roadblock when it comes to making the progress I’d like to on these, but my goal moving forward is to try and hold myself accountable for being productive as much as I can.  And part of that is getting all of this down on paper a blog post.

And that also does include updating this site as a sort of personal repository for various things I may be doing.  This site may end up being less of a “professional works” sort of place and more of a “personal life and projects” sort of blog.  I’d like to just be able to write stream-of-conscious now and again about whatever I’m working on, doing, or whatever.  So hopefully this will allow me to get at least something out there with little pressure.  Maybe this will evolve into a constantly updated blog/vlog/whatever.

Or maybe I won’t update it for another four years.  You never know.

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