Since paying off my student loan debt, I’ve felt like I’m drifting in this online space. When I started Dream Beyond Debt, it had a very specific purpose: track my debt repayment progress. Once the goal was achieved, I did start to think more about my consumerism. I did start to dip my toe into the financial independence waters.
But, I still felt like I was flailing.
I got some freelance assignments and sponsored posts and ad revenue, yet I couldn’t see a steady stream of income I wanted to pursue from the blog. I couldn’t see a new purpose. I had ideas. It could become a financial independence blog. It could be a pursue your dreams blog. It could continue to be a debt blog and I could put all my energy into paying off the mortgage. Except…I didn’t want to.
In my struggle to figure out what to do or how to focus, I put a pin in it. I looked at FinCon and thought, “I’ll figure it out there.” Then, I didn’t go. I stayed home and worked on a literary event. I spent more time in the creative writing world. I talked about my blog with people from that world. I told them about the incredibly supportive community and how I didn’t want to let it go, but I didn’t know what to do with the blog now. I started to think that it had outlived its purpose. I even started to suspect that it got in the way of my higher minded literary pursuits. Yet, when I sat down at my computer, I was drawn toward the blog.
My voice on the blog is more authentic than in those higher minded literary pursuits. I cannot ignore that. I cannot ignore that I think of certain projects as higher minded, yet they’re the ones I have the least fun working on. They’re the ones that don’t sound like me.
I’ve been in a period of rest over the last week. The literary event is over. I’m entering a less intense time in the semester. I have no side hustles to distract me. I’ve basically just gotten quiet and listened. What I’m hearing is fascinating. I’m more certain of the trips I want to take and the things I want to write. And, I’m more certain than ever that I want to continue writing in this space.
My blog is very personal. I don’t want to change that. This site is about personal finance, because I am focused on funding the life of my dreams. For the last few months, I’ve felt like I’ve needed a strategy. But, as I rest, I realize that I don’t want to build a business from the blog. I just want to be a part of the community. I appreciate the accountability and support.
I don’t want to write posts simply to generate traffic to capture ad revenue. I don’t want to figure out affiliate marketing. At this moment, I don’t want to freelance, but I will have a body of work if I want to branch out again. I have a safe space to work out plans and ask advice. That is enough. That is plenty. I can let go of the idea of making it anything more.
It is still interesting for me to go to blogs and see the income reports and hear about the trails and triumphs of building an online business. But that’s not what I do. If I had to write a mission statement for this blog, it would be this:
“Dream Beyond Debt exists to document my own debt reduction story so it may serve as guidance and inspiration to others who view debt as an obstacle to the lives they want to live. To offer support to readers in the pursuit of their dreams. To be an active and honorable member of the online personal finance community. To share my journey in all its missteps and mileage.”
I am certain that I will face other financial obstacles, and I will write about them here. Not all projects have to produce an income – which is something I am only able to understand now that I do not have the debt hanging over my head. I’m grateful to have this place where I can reflect on my journey and discover new beliefs. I can see how my thinking has changed since taking on the debt payoff in the first place.
What you’ll see when you come to Dream Beyond Debt is me. I’ve got no other strategy than to keep on writing, and keep on saving.
Do you have a blog strategy? What about a mission statement? Does it help you stay motivated?