I have two goals I’m focusing on right now. The first is to earn $5,000 a month on Medium. The second is to reach a thousand subscribers on my blog.
I’m only taking one dream seriously, and I’m sabotaging my future with the other. So, I can talk about what it’s like on both ends of the spectrum.
How to take your dream seriously
I work hard so I can ensure my success on Medium. I wake up at seven every day, and by seven-thirty, I’m sitting in front of my laptop ready to write.
I write and upload every day because that’s what prosperous writers on here say you should do.
And let me tell you — that shit is hard, but it’s worth the effort. Sometimes I don’t feel like writing, it’s frustrating, or I want to quit. If I want to reach those goals, though, I have to write daily.
This is my dream, and I need to put in the work for it.
I even do work I avoid doing for my blog.
I got back on Facebook to join a few Medium groups, which I’ve tried to do before but never stuck with. I promote my work instead of waiting for people to find me, and I bought a course about Medium so that I could improve.
I read, clap, and respond to others’ work like never before.
Some days are so hard I just want to give in to my stress, lay in bed, and watch a show so I can feel something else.
But what matters is that I haven’t given up when it’s gotten difficult, and I don’t plan on doing so.
I always find a way to upload, and I don’t let myself give excuses because this is my dream.
It is better to risk starving to death then surrender. If you give up on your dreams, what’s left?
— Jim Carrey
I loathe writing at night, and I’m the kind of person who gets grumpy when I fall asleep later than usual.
Yesterday, I avoided writing my daily Medium article all day.
It wasn’t until nine at night that I finally decided to sit and write. I didn’t finish editing until eleven-fifteen — a mere forty-five minutes away from breaking my streak.
I was stressed and in a shit mood yesterday, so I’d been looking forward to sleep for hours. I hadn’t expected to stay up late writing because I never do that. I was exhausted and pissed.
But I have goals to reach, and I’m not going to let anything stop me.
I’d be sabotaging myself and my future if I didn’t put in the work.
I’m not going to back down because the work is too difficult. I’m not going to give in to a change of schedule when I think I’ll run out of topics.
I won’t give up when I wonder if I’ll burn out, or when I have too many words to write, and hours of research and editing to do.
Because this is my dream. Why would I do it injustice?
That’s how you take a dream seriously. You put in all the work, support others doing the same, promote yourself, find ways to improve, and you never fucking give up.
How to sabotage your dreams
Every Monday, I write a blog post. On Tuesdays, I edit and schedule it for next Monday.
Thursdays are for writing what I call my “open journals,” and I edit and upload those on Friday.
Finally, every Sunday, I send my email newsletter to my subscribers.
I stick to that schedule every week, and I’ll continue to do so. Having that schedule and going through with it probably makes me sound like I’m taking my blog-dream seriously, but let’s look deeper.
My Monday articles are… fine. They’re good enough to share on my blog, but they’re nothing compared to my stories on here. I promote these stories because I know they offer value, and I want people to read them.
But I don’t promote my blog posts much because I’m not proud of them.
I don’t give them my all, and I’m giving people the least amount of effort I can give.
I make my featured images for those pieces, and I have a piece going live in about an hour and a half (at the time I’m writing this), and I don’t have the featured image done.
I was supposed to do it yesterday, but I forgot, and when I remembered, I didn’t feel like it. I didn’t scramble to get it done like I did my Medium piece.
I don’t upload on Instagram like I should be doing, and I’ve not shared one single tweet on Twitter. I’m never happy with my open journals either. I know they can be better.
Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.
— Gail Devers
When I create headlines for Medium articles, I’ll come up with ten or fifteen, check their scores CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer, ask people what they think, and then finally choose one.
I write down the first headline that pops to mind with my blog posts.
I have different sections in my email newsletter, like Tim Ferris’ 5-Bullet Friday, but sometimes I’ll remove a section because I’m too lazy to find information to fill it with.
I don’t take this dream of mine seriously at all. Everything is “good enough,” a half-assed attempt.
That’s my truth. I’m ashamed of it — I really am.
I worked on this blog for eight months, writing article after article, my dad built it, and I love the design, and I’m passionate about the topic and my vision for it.
But I’m not doing anything about it.
Why? I don’t know. But what I do know is that it’s time for me to start taking it more seriously.
For now, that means making my content the best I can make it and offering the most value I can.
That’s going to be my first step, and then I’ll move on to the next. This is how I start taking my vision for the blog earnestly — one baby step at a time.
That’s how you self-sabotage. You don’t follow through on your word, give everything half your effort, and succumb to your excuses.
But if you want to be better, you can.
You can promise yourself you’ll do just one thing better, starting today. Stick with it until you’re ready to take on another task.
This is your dream. Give it all you got, and don’t ruin it for yourself. It’s not worth it.