About a year ago, I made a prediction that 2011 would be the year of the Brooke. I felt all powerful and fuzzy inside writing that little post, and it wasn’t long into the year that I thought my prediction just might be true.
Energy was oozing from my fingertips as all my projects were kicking into high gear. I started my daily post and photo project on Brooke vs. the World, and that quickly brought in commenters and readers I didn’t know were following along.
I started the Brooke vs. the World Facebook page (yep, only a year old now) and that had a fair few “likers” from the get-go. The Female Travel Underground newsletter was making its mark with great newsletter topics like “Love & Boys on the Road“, and the Her Packing List website I created launched officially to the public.
In the midst of this excitement, I got signed on for a twice weekly blog gig at OneTravel.com. An article I wrote was featured in the US Airways Magazine, I managed to get published on AOL Travel and I also got a guest post up on Problogger.net.
And, let’s not forget I was still working hard on creating content for WhyGo Australia, updating that Twitter account and trying hard to also grow that Facebook page.
My travel life was shaping up quite nicely, too.
I managed to be whisked away by train to Perth, by plane to Malaysia and the USA and further on to Queensland (read about my 2011 travels to get the full story).
I think you can imagine that all the time spent working on all these things throughout the year caused a bit of stress, even in my relationship. These tasks are time-consuming, and all provide very little money in return. Then one day…
I cracked, slightly.I think it was when I wrote this post. Not only was I tired of trying to keep myself on top of a thousand and one duties and a daily post/photo project, but I also found out that the writers platform for WhyGo Oz would be ending. I felt so LOST. Now what was I working towards?
So, I stopped worrying about the daily photo posts, but after a short calm patch, I made more goals, piled more things on, and made lists of all the things that need to be done. Too many ideas. I’ve started writing now twice a month for the BBC travel blog, and I have another writing gig that’s about to start in the New Year. I’m putting together some super-huge-gigantoid travels starting in April, and guess what…
I’m feeling the stress again.
I sit on the computer for hours on end and can feel the stress sitting in my chest as my mind races from site to site — from idea to idea. I am a person cursed with too many wants for one individual to manage.
Although I often let my mind graze across this thought from time to time, the one real lesson I have had the most trouble fully learning and understanding is this:
I am one person.
More importantly, I am one person, and I need to make changes to make this whole blogging thing work. While my dream is to get Pat on board so we can be a travel team (I envy travel teams like no other), I don’t see that really happening (but who knows!).
What I’m Planning for 2012:
- My focus is going to be put back on Brooke vs. the World. This is going to be the main site that I work on growing during 2012.
- Still, I like to have a source of steady income, so I will also be keeping a focus on a few gigs with other publications.
- Everything else… delegate.
Delegation is the hardest part.
When it comes to some of my smaller projects, like Her Packing List and the Female Travel Underground, I sometimes… no always…. lack the time. But they are still really awesome projects that I believe in and I believe that people enjoy, so I want them to continue. The goal of this year is to make these projects run on a more self-subsisting level.
HPL: I hired Heather Rudd of There’s No Place Like Oz a few months back as a writer for Her Packing List, and I’m happy to say that we’re continuing that relationship in 2012. With the money I am going to be receiving each month from a longer term sponsor on that site, I will also be bringing on a second paid writer (stay tuned for that announcement)!
FTU: The Female Travel Underground newsletter has always been about the community given the fact it is a digest of female travel stories and tips. Starting this year, I will be handing over the reigns each month to a traveling female that would like to curate the month’s topic. What this means is that instead of my voice telling the stories and adding in little bits of banter here and there, it could be YOURS.
I’ll be doing January, and March has already been snatched up, but do have a look at the tentative schedule and let me know if you’d like the awesome job of curating one of the other topics this year.
BvtW: After years of telling people that I don’t accept guest posts, I have decided to accept guest posts on Brooke vs. the World! However, I will only be accepting those posts for the Thrifty Thursday category as other people’s thrifty tips could be a useful addition to the site. Do you have an amazing thrifty/resourceful/budget travel story to share (like how you traveled for a month on $1000), then get in touch.
No, I’m not Superwoman (damn it), and I can’t do everything without killing myself.
Spreading yourself thin is not the way to go.
That has been the hardest lesson to learn this year.