How Trying To Fit Into A Niche Made Me Stop Blogging

niche

So the past couple of months I came to a simple conclusion: I suck at getting things done. I start something, then I start another thing, I drop the first thing, keep on going with the second one and start something completely different again just to drop that second thing as well. Then after all of that, the whole process repeats itself.

Even now that I’m writing this article, my thoughts are actually elsewhere – in the kitchen to be precise – waiting for the chocolate and that thick layer of salty peanut buttery heaven to be frozen just a tiny bit, so that I can pour the rest of the melted dark chocolate all over it to finally finish my own peanut butter chocolate truffle creations. Sounds delicious, I know…

BUT that’s not the point! Or is it?

The thing is: Most of the time I’m extremely passionate about something (the kitchen) despite the fact that just a few minutes ago I made a decision to finally sit down and write (this article).

And no, don’t tell me that you know that as well. Don’t tell me you’re exactly the same and that I’m not alone with this, because I’m sure I’m the most hopeless case out there and no one can compare to my situation! – I’m joking… obviously. But that’s exactly how it feels.

So when it comes to this blog, my passion curve looks kind of like this:

passioncurve

phase11. The “Everything Is New”-Phase – Motivation: 100%!
When I’m starting something new – may it be now with this blog or with whatever – I’m usually starting pretty high… too high maybe. I have an endless amount of energy and ideas and I just want to pour it all out at once.

phase22. The “Uh-oh, what’s that?”-Phase – Ah, never mind!
Now that everything is almost set up, the passion might decrease a bit if I come across problems or just some things that I haven’t quite figured out yet and that keep me from moving forward. This phase usually doesn’t last too long.

phase33. The “Damn Baby, I’m unstoppable”-Phase – Give me more!
As soon as the struggles from phase two are out of the way I’m all in again. I put the pedal to the metal, as they say. I’m writing, I’m confident and nothing can stop me… that’s what I think at least.

phase44. The “I’m doing with my life”-Phase – Get me the fuck out of here!
As time goes by though, other things happen. Distractions appear, new problems arise, I loose the goal that I once had or I simply don’t feel so much like it anymore. Thus, the passion slowly but steadily starts to decline until it reaches its low-point.

While reflecting on those things I realized that the possible “problems” that might arise during this period are the lesser evil here and that distractions are a pretty common thing in our modern “Everyone is ALWAYS on Social Media” society, so I started focusing more on the “lost goal” aspect.

My Goal and How I Lost It

When I started this blog I was in search for that one THING that EVERYONE tells you to have before starting a blog. If you don’t have that THING you should not even lift a finger and better start doing something else. That THING can bring you sleepless nights, because if you haven’t found it you feel like a total failure. The THING I’m talking about is a NICHE. One of my most hated words of the year!

So when starting my blog, my inner dialogue went kind of like this:

What could be my niche? How about XYZ?
– Too boring over a long period of time.

Then what about THAT?
– Meh…

Or maybe I could do something like…
– You can’t be serious!

So I asked myself:

“How come that I don’t have a niche? Come on, I must at least be interested in SOMETHING… ANYTHING!”

And the answer is yes, I am interested in things. I’m interested in MANY things, too many things at the same time which makes it almost impossible for me to focus on just one thing. So I told myself:

“Fuck it! Let me write about whatever I want to write about and let’s see where this goes!”

This became the “Goal” I was working towards. To just write about whatever bugs me or what I want to share with the world at the moment and it worked pretty well for quite some time. No niche, no problems – Right? But humans have a major flaw. Let me explain this flaw with an example so that you can fully understand MY problem:

Most people consume meat, dairy and egg products on a regular basis, even though it’s scientifically proven that it would be better for their health, the animals and the environment to just stop consuming these kind of products.

The flaw here is that humans simply believe in what they have been told and it’s super hard to get them to stop doing something they have been conditioned to for their entire lives, even though they would be better off changing their habits.

The same goes for me and blogging (aaaand lots and lots of other things), but let’s still stick with the blogging for now.

While I was doing my own – niche-less – thing I felt great at first, but over time the Niche-Monster came slowly crawling back into my mind and again I was sure that I’m a total failure and that a blog without a niche can simply not be a great blog. – Damn you, all you blogger experts out there!

So yeah, I just stopped. I lost my goal because of the false believe that it would just make no sense to continue this way.

I’m a Person, Not a Niche!

After having a “dramatic breakdown” because of this I tried to find a solution. Stupid me thought it would be best to start something completely different, but after realizing that this is a bad idea and that I will most likely end up at the same point, I decided to stick to the blog and – again – I started to search for a niche. Nope… I didn’t learn a single thing from all my past “niche-finding” sessions…

Believe it or not, all I needed in the end were two simple posts by random bloggers that assured me that I don’t need a freakin’ niche. Especially one of these posts helped me to make a decision by reminding me of the past and why I wanted to blog so much in the first place.

I’m working on internet-related projects for about 14 years now. When I started blogging back then, all I did was talking about myself and nothing of that fitted in any kind of niche. I wrote about trivial things: What I got for my birthday, what Manga I was currently reading, why I loved it so much, what other websites I was a part of and how much I loved the people there (shout-out to the Shizoo-Crew back then!).

I couldn’t care less what others thought about me. I was proud to share these things and I actually had readers who also cared and liked what I had to say. So I realized that this is what I have to go back to! I have to stop caring and just write what’s on my mind. Don’t worry, I will not go entirely back to my past-blogging-self and start writing about my birthdays again if it’s not absolutely necessary, but I will go back to the roots, back to myself.

I’m a person after all, not a niche!

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Dear Parents, You Form Our Future Society

children

“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”
– Yehuda Berg

We recently took a stroll through one of the many beautiful parks here in Athens and thereby crossed a young father that was happily playing football with his son. The son was not more than three years old and had a ton of fun kicking the ball back and forth with his father. At some point he kicked way off and, instead of rolling to his father, the ball went somewhere totally different. The child fell on his knees and started crying. His father run after the ball, caught it and said this one thing to his son in Greek, I might never forget again: “Don’t worry my love, you’re strong.”

Never in my entire life have I heard a parent talk to their children like that. Even though it wasn’t aimed at me, I immediately felt uplifted, stronger and I was reminded of the fact that small mistakes happen, but they are not the end of the world and they definitely do not define you as a person.

If you think now that this is nothing special and it’s the normal way people talk – or at least should talk – to their children, then I congratulate you, because the truth is that you are pretty rare in this world and a great example for every other parent out there.

This incident made me think a lot, especially as soon as we reached home and we could listen again to the screams and insults of two of our neighbors right around the corner of our flat, who see this as the normal way of treating their children. “Idiot” is one of the more harmless words they use in order to correct the behavior of their children, not knowing that the only idiots are the parents themselves, bringing up a generation of future devils to this world, that will most probably be not a single bit better than they are themselves and that will only bring more misery into society because the only thing these children learned was how weak and stupid they are, instead of experiencing how it feels to be loved and to believe in themselves.

We form our future society. It has always been this way, but we still don’t realize it… even after thousands of years.

Children become what they learn from their parents and society. Whatever we tell them, they will believe us, because we’re smarter, older and therefore wiser. At least that’s what most children might think. Let’s not raise the question if that is actually true or not…

Teach your children that they are weak and cannot achieve anything in this world and they will believe you. Tell them they can achieve anything they want if they only work hard enough and believe in themselves, they will believe you again.

I grew up in an environment where everything was “hard to achieve” or just “impossible” either due to a lack of money, or skills we didn’t have, or because someone else did something that made us feel a certain way and that’s why we ended up in this kind of situation. In short: We just had a bunch of excuses, didn’t believe in ourselves, were scared and maybe also just lazy as fuck.

That’s a pretty harsh way to put it, I know, but let’s be honest, it’s the truth and unlike a bunch of other people, I love saying it out loud whenever I can.

Even though my upbringing was not abusive and cannot at all be compared to our neighbors I was talking about before, I still grew up surrounded by people who don’t believe a lot in dreams actually coming true and prefer sticking to negative rather than positive thinking. These surroundings also turned me slowly slowy into a very sad, depressed and negative human being. Luckily this influence happened only superficially. Deep down I still was and always have been a dreamer.

But coming out of this hole was hard. Extremely hard! I don’t even want to know what children have to go through later in life that had a way more negative upbringing, closer to what I was describing before.

I don’t know what it was for me… maybe it was the tons of Manga and YA novels I loved to read, where love is one of the most present topics and the idea that people are strong and actually able to change themselves and the world, always kept the faith inside me. Who knows?

I just know that I escaped this prison and it makes me sad that thousands or millions of other children can’t. I see them growing up to complaining, sad, depressed and aggressive people. People who don’t have any aim in life anymore, because they simply don’t believe that it’s possible to make dreams come true.  They just give up, go on working in their stupid 9 to 5 jobs, with unwanted co-workers and even more horrible bosses, watching TV every single night and getting more and more negatively influenced by it, are surrounded by friends who are just as miserable as they are and bringing children in this world and repeating the same mistakes their parents already made when they were children themselves.

I don’t have children, but I once was one myself, just as you were. And if I know one thing, then it’s that I want to hear exactly what the father told his son in the park, every single day of my life. That I’m strong and I don’t need to worry, because I’m loved. It’s as simple as that.