Before I knew the world was going to shut down, I had already planned to launch my blog on my birthday in March and with some consternation there really was no turning back. A year later, I celebrate my blog’s first anniversary with a great deal of optimism.

Not fully understanding what I was committing to one unexpected benefit has been the sharpening of my discipline skills to stay on course. The pandemic clearly played a role in derailing many of the topics that I was hoping to cover through my travels. Nonetheless, I feel a sense of accomplishment as I share with you the ups and downs of committing to a blog, lessons learned, and next steps into the future.

The Ups

A quick summary of what Limitedlimitlessliving.com produced in one year

1. Eleven newsletters with  42 stories, all written by yours truly. A breakdown of the stories’ topics:

              15    Travel-Related Stories and Travel Tips

              16    Art and Artists’ Stories

               7     Serving our Humanity

               8    Self-Care and Creativity

2. Approximately 1000  photos most with captions shared on the blog, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

 3. Enter a half a dozen photo contests (no wins yet).

 4. All blog stories and photos shared among six different social media platforms tailored for writers, photographers and bloggers.

 5. Opened an online store and photo gallery with several signature products.

 6. Created half a dozen free templates related mostly to traveling.

  7. As of today, Limitedlimitlessliving.com has a growing list of nearly 500 subscribers.

The Downs

1. I underestimated the time and effort that it takes to be tech savvy when working on a blog. I’m thankful for my assistant, Andrea Lopez, who navigates the technical requirements quite well while I stubbornly learn.

2. I also underestimated the time that it takes to write and publish stories on a monthly basis. Before you know it, the month is closing in and you have yet to finish researching and writing your stories while staying ahead of the curve on what you think the public would like to read.

3. I was taken aback by how huge the blogging world has become. There is a high saturation of blogs in the market that are competing daily. A small percentage actually are successfully monetized, and those generally bombard you with too many marketing messages.

4. Marketing can be demanding  and time-consuming and has been an area that I need to focus more to grow my subscribers’ list.

Lessons Learned

1. Passion for taking on any creative project is a must, otherwise you will not get far. Passion actually helps nurture discipline.

2. Figure out a way to plan every day more than one blogging assignment (small and big ones) otherwise you will continuously fall behind.

3. Be open to change, if something is not working, let it go and try something else.

4. Be prepared to spend money on any creative project you choose. If this is truly a passion of yours, you want to see it grow.

Next Steps into the Future

Part of my decision to start a blog was directly related to my desire to retire by 2023. This continues to be my greatest motivation for the blog as I look forward to being able to devote more time to writing and becoming a photographer. I am thankful in some ways to the pandemic because it allowed me to be more committed to advancing my plans for retiring and creating a new space for me to indulge in. One thing about aging is that the pathway in front of you is shorter than the pathway behind you. So much you want to do, yet time is not as plentiful. I am happy to share my pathway to retirement:

2021 will most likely be my last year for working full time, reducing my workload and commitments by the end of the year.

2022 will be a breakout year where I will only work part time and devote more time to my blog, downsizing, and scaling up my travels and photography.

2023  will be the time to say goodbye to clients before closing down my consulting practice and begin traveling extensively.

All three years, I will be prepping and planning… getting myself emotionally, physically, and financially ready for something entirely different.

To remain focus, on my desk, I have a wonderful quote that inspires and reminds me daily to stay on task. I highly recommend that you find some form of inspiration in helping you stick to your plans (I am also a compulsive list maker which helps).

Happy to share Blake Mycoskie’s inspirational quote

” If you organize your life around your passion, you can turn your passion into your story and then turn your story into something bigger — something that matters.”