How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
There was no perfect time to begin Livelytwist. Four years ago, I did not have all the answers I needed to start a weekly blog. Chief among them being whether I could sustain the tempo—whether I could produce writing that would entertain, inform, inspire, or provoke thought, week after week. In Six Degrees of Separation and Other Stories, I bare my soul.
“I started this blog with grit, a little knowledge, some research, plenty goodwill, confidence, trepidation, and a two-month content calendar.”
The question that I am frequently asked after I introduce myself as a blogger, after, what do you blog about, is: do you monetize your blog? The question is not always direct. Sometimes, it is cloaked as queries about ad revenue or sponsored content.
In his book Outliers, The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell says that hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning. Monetizing Livelytwist was never my primary focus. I just did what I love with dedication and excellence, which are hallmarks of everything I set to do.
The result is a resume I can present anywhere.
- Produced over 200 articles with quality content.
- Displayed my range with a rich landscape of varied writing: creative non-fiction, short fiction, op-eds, reportage, memoirs, and personal essays.
- Highlighted my range by tackling topics from the mundane and comical to the serious, made relevant because of the underlying message(s).
- Synthesized and delivered local content to international audiences.
- Facilitated and sustained online engagement with heterogeneous crowds via the comment section.
- Identified, managed, and promoted (new) writing talent.
- Discovered and negotiated new business through engagement on other platforms.
- Harnessed marketing opportunities by collaborating with others and leveraging their social networks to reach new audiences.
- Developed and managed diverse teams by initiating several writing collaborations.
- Received 100,000* blog hits on livelytwist.com through organic growth.
However, the emails and conversations that attest to the fact that I lit other candles remain my greatest treasures. All because I dared to ignore the butterflies in my stomach and move in the direction that my heart was tugging me to go.
. . . this gift that chose me, feels like a solemn trust, like a platform to do my life’s work. When you read something and say it inspires you to do life better, I let my tears fall where they will. –Timi Yeseibo
Someone said that it is not that life is too short but that we take too long to begin. I concur. People now ask me, “So you’re gonna stop blogging, what next?”
Four years ago, I could at least define what I was beginning, a blog. Now, it isn’t easy to articulate my next steps. This is what I know for sure. Whatever follows will involve me writing in some form. I now know that when you identify your gift, develop it, and use it to serve others, you will inspire others to do the same.
I once read that sometimes when it seems as though things are falling apart, they are actually coming together. In hindsight, it was true four years ago when my life took a difficult turn. I believe it to be true now.
©Timi Yeseibo 2017
P.s. April marked four years of blogging at Livelytwist, a success story that has you, dear reader, by my side. It is now time for new adventures and to stop blogging. I first wrote about it here. I’ll write some more in the coming weeks and then I’ll stop.
- Gladwell, Malcom, Outliers, The Story of Success, (London: Penguin Books, 2009), 175
- Not quite 100,000 hits . . . yet.
Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/child-beautiful-model-little-cute-920131/
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