Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Crisis of Faith

No, I haven't suddenly found religion, nor have I, for those who don't know me, lost a religion I didn't have. No, it is my faith in myself that is in jeopardy.

Nearly five years ago, I somehow managed to convince an otherwise brilliant woman into letting me write for the website she managed. Since then, I've written hundreds -- if not thousands -- of articles for three major parenting websites, as well as another popular AOL website. I wrote some stuff I'm especially proud of, some that I very much enjoyed writing, and some that even, in a small way, lets me say that yes, I helped change the world for the better, just a wee bit. Not a lot of people can say that, but I can and it's something I'm very proud of. But I had more in mind than just the ongoing writing.

It was while writing for these sites that I came up with my Master Plan: I would use my fame and notoriety as a parenting pundit to convince some unsuspecting publisher to publish the children's book I had written previously and become fabulously wealthy from the royalties. Naturally, I took my time about that and last summer I was laid off from my last gig as a writer. That put a bit of a kink in my plans.

I used the situation to take a break and update my website to better reflect who I was and what I wanted to be doing. Then, seeing no immediate prospects for another writing job, I decided to start my own parenting website in the hopes that I would be able to generate a following and get enough traffic to warrant some ads to bring in a little cash. And, of course, there was always the Master Plan waiting in the background.

All went well, at first, but I never really got the readership I had hoped for. Most of the time, a dozen readers counts as a good day. I don't get inbound links from other sites and I'm certainly not generating enough traffic to warrant ads on the site. Meanwhile, the inquiries I've sent out about writing for other sites have been dead ends with some, to people and sites from whom I'd expect a polite response at the very least, not even generating that much interest.

Now, I am under no illusions that I am a great writer or that I have some great insight into the world of parenting that others do not, but I would like to think there was some reason I was kept on board at other sites for as long as I was, other than my stunning good looks and breathtaking virility. Now, however, I'm not so sure.

So the question is: should I bother continuing? Should I sit here in my dark little corner "writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear?" Or should I just give it up and come back to reality? I'd like some honest feedback -- I don't want to waste my time if that's what I'm doing but, on the other hand, I don't want to just give up. So, what do you think? Feel free to leave me comments here, via e-mail, on Facebook, or whatever makes sense to you. Thanks!

Journal Description

My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.