People used to ask me why I started my Oklahoma State blog and ran it without getting paid pretty much every day for two straight years — and by “people” I mean 50 percent of that was friends or emails from curious folks and 50 percent was my wife.
My answer was always “because I want it to lead to a paid job someday” which it eventually did. But I think that was a bit of a front, I don’t think that was my intimate answer.
The full-fledged answer is that I love the grind of doing something every single day for a period of time longer than six months or, heck, three months. Think about that, what non-essential thing have you done every single day for the last three months?
Gone to work? Nope.
Played video games? Hope not.
Brushed your teeth? Hopefully.
The list is a short one and there’s a little bit of pride in that streak but I think the real joy for me now is in putting myself through the 10-posts-a-day grind every single day.
Sidebar: When I say “the grind” I mean the literal act of opening up Google Chrome, searching for news about Oklahoma State and golf and constructing blog posts that are entertaining in nature for others to consume. Then hitting publish. That’s the grind.
A lot of what I do is externally-driven — I don’t create the story, I just write about it — so it’s often easier than it seems, but it’s still a grind. It’s not always simple to connect dots and produce words. It’s tiring sometimes.
At my old job there was never a sense that the grind was to be valued above all other forms of work. It was a spreadsheet here, a lunch there, a 45-minute g-chat about muffins. Or something like that.
It wasn’t fulfilling — I never felt like I accomplished anything. My mind needs to be worn down and built back up.
Maybe that’s not the case for everyone but I love it. I also get paid for it, but I truly love it. And I have so much respect for folks who taste fame in their craft and return to the grind. It is the only path to creating something good or great. But that’s probably another post for another time.
I love the little taste of suffering through the writing and thinking and the connecting in the same way I love a good, difficult session on the treadmill.
What is life without a taste of suffering?
Not much in my book.