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Sharing a Little of My Writing Philosophy

The other day I was reading through a few of my journal entries. Back in August of 2001 I started keeping an electronic journal. My tech writing background dictated my journaling format. I’m not so sure many folks have a journal setup in Framemaker (an old Adobe software) with user manual formatting with headers, footers and a table of contents.

The document is now just shy of 1,000 pages long. On occasion I’ll look back to see what I was doing, thinking or saying on a particular day, month or year. The good thing about having such a setup is that I can use the search function to quickly find what I’m looking for.

Enough of My Digression

The other day while I was working outside I remembered that some time ago I told my hubby I wanted to write Love What You Domy life. No, not an autobiography of boring details of my life, I’m talking about writing about my experiences as I live them. I then opened my journal and searched for the key phrase “write my life” and I found that on February 1, 2007 I wrote the statement “I’m going to write my life.”

Later on in January of 2008 I wrote: “If you enjoy what you’re doing, it does not feel like work.”

Ok, I’m Finally Getting to the Point

The reason I gave that background is because I’m finally on the right track. You see, very recently I was working on a project. Actually the project was reviving the family above ground pool from the brink of disaster. For two years we didn’t use it and it was in pretty bad shape, so my project was to revive it.

To most folks that would be a nasty task to hire someone else to do, but I chose to do it for two reasons:

  1. It gets me away from the computer
  2. I wanted to see if I could do it

I found that I truly enjoyed the challenge and was having a great time with my pool obsession. Each day at the end Pool Waterof the day as I learned something new I wrote it down. I then realized that there might be at least one other person in the world that is undergoing a similar situation. Why not write about it. So I did. I created a blog About Above Ground Pools.

You folks who read this blog will know that I created it, but I wrote it under the name of Hayward (Hayward is the name of my pool filter manufacturer). Folks who come to the blog don’t know or care who Felicia Williams is, they just want to know how to get their pool water clean.

Writing My Life

So, in essence, I am writing my life. The internet allows me to indulge in my project/obsession du jour and write about it. Just like the Above Ground Pool blog, I have blogs sprinkled around the internet that are the result of personal projects. Each blogs is written under an alias and most of the blogs don’t allow comments (I think I’ll close the comments on the ABP blog too, moderating too many blogs can be overwhelming).

Some of the blogs bring in surprisingly good income while others only a few dollars a month. Whether they earn a lot or a little isn’t the reason for writing them. I write these blogs because I’m temporarily excited about a particular project. I monetize them, SEO them just a bit and then go on to the next.

The information on most of the blogs is timeless so there isn’t much need for constant posting or updating.

Why this post?

I rambled on telling you about my philosophy so that I could ask you this question: What do you really want to do? I know that my goal is to write what I want, when I want and earn money doing it. What about you?

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Lauren Nelson @ Part-Time Diva, Full-Time Mom June 29, 2010, 12:31 pm

    Question of the year, right? I think for a lot of creative type folks, this question is impossible to answer concisely. I know I’m writing for Demand, Infobarrel and Associated Content right now, I’m keeping up my blog, and taking care of baby. But there’s SO MUCH MORE I want to do.

    For us, it’s not a lack of ideas. It’s a lack of hours in the day. I have another blog I’m tinkering with but not promoting at the moment, a website I’m in the process of developing, and another blog I’d really like to start but haven’t been able to. Last night, I couldn’t sleep just thinking of possible marketing strategies in the future.

    Maybe, just maybe, for us, it’s less about, “What do you want to do?” and more about, “What do you want to do FIRST?” How do you prioritize your projects?

    Great post, Felicia! Inspiring, for sure.

    • Felicia June 29, 2010, 12:47 pm

      Lauren, my priorities are different now than when I first started.

      Long ago, my priority was to get money coming in. Next it was earning residual income also. Now, since my residuals are picking up, I’m able to spend time writing about what I want, tweaking things here and there and taking on projects only if I truly want to take them on.

      It’s a matter of readjusting priorities to get to the final goal. The one thing I have in my favor is that my children are older and self sufficient; no more diaper changes, bottle feedings and play dates. I have more control of my time now than when they were little.

  • Deanna June 29, 2010, 1:04 pm

    This is an interesting post – especially for me personally. I like that you get excited about a subject and decide to create a blog about it. This happens to me but I don’t always follow through because I talk myself out of it. (Like the belly bloat thing!) I started my blog Write Moms late one night on a whim because I love writing and sharing experiences about writing. I never expected it to take off as it has. I have also started three other blogs on topics I enjoy, but haven’t really promoted them the way I should. I thought maybe I was acting impulsively, so I’m happy to hear that acting that way has been successful for you. It has got me to thinking, once again, about the possibilities. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Will June 29, 2010, 4:41 pm

    Felicia, when you create sites like the Above Ground Pool blog, is profitability one of your goals? In other words, do you expect to earn more than the $8 you spent to register the domain name?

    • Felicia June 29, 2010, 5:01 pm

      Will, I do expect to earn more than the cost to register the domain. How much more, I’m not sure. Bottom line, I’m pretty much done with that blog since I now have clear pool water. However, if something else comes up over the summer that is pool related, I have a place to share my findings.

  • Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural June 30, 2010, 3:30 am

    I think that’s so interesting you make blogs about what you’re passionate about in the moment. I’m glad you work on a blog for awhile and then leave it instead of feeling the need to always keep it going. I think a lot of people believe you have to constantly add to a blog. Whenever I see that a blog has been deleted, I always think there was probably something there that was useful and it could’ve just sat in time.

    I keep my online journal in MacJournal. There’s a lot of stuff I’d rather keep to myself than post publicly.

    To answer your question, I really enjoy just puttering around on my land, although I no longer have the parcel I had, and a lot of my blog entries are about the search for a new place. And then swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the Ozarks. I enjoy writing the occasional article and keeping notes in my journal, but writing is not something I’d want to be doing all the time. I enjoy keeping up with blog writers like you.

    • Felicia June 30, 2010, 6:10 am

      Victoria, it sounds like you have a nice healthy balance of living and writing. Sometimes I find that I spend too much time writing and not enough time living. As my residual income begins to hit its stride, I’m starting to write less and live more (well, not really write less, but spend less time writing).

  • cadebe June 30, 2010, 6:36 am

    Thank you for the inspiring post. Writing my life is a philosophy I have been following lately for my own writing ventures. Given your success, I may be on the right track!

  • Crystal June 30, 2010, 11:07 am

    Thanks for this post and the link to your new blog. I’ve been neglecting my blogs lately – health, weddings, other writing – but plan to turn things around soon. I appreciate seeing first-hand how you create your blogs that will continue as-is. I’m turning into a domain-name junkie – keep buying them when I get a whim and then they sit. But I have a few good ones waiting in the wings and now I have a better idea what to do with them. (And what to do in a more timely fashion the next time I get a great idea.) On your AAGP privacy policy – very comprehensive. Is it modified boiler-plate available somewhere for others to personalize and use or is it your copyrighted wording?

    • Felicia June 30, 2010, 11:59 am

      Crystal, no it’s not my copyrighted wording. I wrote a post about where I got my privacy policy a bit ago. I just modified it a little to incorporate the advertisers I use.

      Oh, and thanks for finding the typo on AAGP.

  • Angela June 30, 2010, 8:04 pm

    I want to create websites and blogs and write books that both add value to people’s lives and generate residual and upfront income. I want to build my portfolio so that it’s self sustaining and I can do it full time. Like Felicia, my goal is $5000 month.

  • Keith September 13, 2010, 9:25 am

    I want to start a blog, but at the moment I am a bit stuck on the subject matter. So much of the research I have done talks about narrowing the focus to make money, but I prefer the idea of having numerous blogs as you discussed Felicia. What happens with me is I get really interested in a subject, gorge myself on it, learn a lot, but then I move on.

    The question I have about numerous blogs is about costs. I understand I would need to pay for a domain name for each one, but are there any other costs involved in setting up numerous blogs?

    • Felicia September 13, 2010, 9:39 am

      Keith, you have a couple of options.

      If you set up free blogs on Blogger.com, it won’t cost you a dime. However, if you choose to self-host your blogs, you’ll have to pay for your domain name and the server on which you host your sites.

      I use Hostgator. I’m able to host an unlimited number of blogs under one account. That means that the only additional cost I incur is registering each new domain name.

  • Keith September 13, 2010, 9:50 am

    Thanks Felicia,

    I will definitely check Hostgator out. I read your ebook by the way, and I thought it was excellent. Very well written, easy to read, and full of useful information. Many thanks for that.

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