This is the follow on post to Staying Focussed where I said that I was in a dilemma as to whether I continue down the path I am on, or veer either to the left or to the right. I don’t know whether to continue to split my focus between both blog and work, or channel my energies into one, as to really grow in either direction, I will have to give that area my focus. The whole line of thought concerns my professional life versus my private blog life and the elements of risk which limit what I can achieve. It is not really about my relationship or my commitment to a D/s lifestyle, although that has become inextricably linked with what I do online.
I have made no secret of the fact that I am taking a risk being online and revealing what I do. I know that I am not alone in that, and there is a lot of understanding and sympathy amongst the sex blogging community, for those who require anonymity. Essentially, if the content of my blog was ever linked to me in a professional capacity, I could lose my job. I don’t think this is fair but it is a fact and the risk I take does not sit will with me. I can have periods of anxiety and paranoia about it, despite taking a number of precautions which should make me safer.
I have rationalised the risk and upped my safety, but the anxiety remains. It also puts a block and barriers on what I can achieve online through my blog and also with The SafeworD/s Club. My blog brings out the creative imaginative side of me, but I observe limits to the sort of content I can create. While I could practise the may as well be hung a sheep as a lamb ideology, I stick instead with the risk management and deniability model. Looking around me, I see this as a limit to my growth. I am in a crowd of people who thrive on the thrill of risk, who are motivated to push boundaries, who want to make changes for themselves and for others. To grow I will have to take risks, and push boundaries, and make changes.
As an illustration of the crossover between my two worlds, and a little touch of irony, I am going to use a current model from one, to evaluate the effectiveness of the other: inwards, outwards, forwards.
Looking inwards at my blog, I have achieved what I set out to do. My aim was to share my story, my life as a submissive wife, in the hope that others could learn something from my experience. I also wanted to connect with others through my writing and, by sharing, also learn something from them. This is my 547th published post about my life and my experience as a married submissive. Looking at my stats, a lot of my visitors come via a web search, with only a small number coming from social media. I have a couple of great referrers and there is also a bit of traffic from the memes when I take part in them. I assume this would be typical for most blogs but I really am not sure. What is does tell me is that people find me when they are looking for information about D/s and submission, which is what I set out to write about.
Looking outwards is necessary in order to see how other similar sites are doing. This is hard as many of the sex blogging sites are less specific than mine. This makes me wonder if what I need to do is to broaden things out. I was delighted to be ranked number 22 in Molly’s Top 100 Sex Blogs list this year, but I also realise that my content is probably too specific and too samey to be able to be ranked much higher than I was this time. So how do I grow? I have dabbled in photography and in fiction, but what I want to do is to write reflectively as that is what I enjoy and the purpose of my blog. It doesn’t bother me that I am doing something different but it does make it hard to see where to grow and how to take things forward.
Many of the popular writers I know are writing with a view to making a living, or a part-living, and that is not something that I can really do. I have a job already and can’t give it up, or reduce my hours in order to be more successful at this. The other thing I notice is that many of the others are pushing boundaries, often in areas where things are risky for me already. I would love to post more daring images, produce more taboo writing and discuss more controversial subject matter, but I hang back, thinking of damage limitation – if it does happen at least I will be hung as a lamb and not as a sheep. Little comfort really, but then details are what would be focussed on, if it came to that.
So looking forwards, can I really grow? Can I do what I need to do to build on what I have started? Without upping my risk, I am not sure I can. While my output is fairly high, I would need to increase that to appear in other places as well, and I am not sure that would be possible. The same is true really of my professional life. In order to grow there, I would need to spend time there that I do not have. I already struggle to juggle work and home life with such a time consuming hobby and I think things would be far too stretched, were I to try to progress my career whilst also at the same time maintaining the status quo with my blog, The SWC and Tell Me About. I work an average of 50 hours a week and spend about 25 hours writing and doing admin for the sites we have. I spend about 38 hours sleeping which leaves around 66 hours for everything else.
So here I am at the three pronged fork my road, wondering where to go and whether to change direction. Which door do I walk through? Time is always good at showing the way and, whilst I have thought about this, and taken some action in some areas, I haven’t given things time to really unfold yet. None of this changes who I am and none of this can stop what I choose to do in and with my private life, so giving up this lifestyle is not part of the question, although it would alter some of the way it works for us. My issue is that by making my private life public due to my internet presence, I put limits and constraints on what I can achieve in one, and the risks that I take in the other.