I am terrified.
I’ve wanted to start a blog multiple times, for many different reasons, but never did so until now.
I always had one ready:
- Grew up on the other side of the world and arguably qualify as a non-native English speaker/writer
- While I did speak and write English while I was in school, it was more Hinglish than anything else. My parents didn’t exactly pressure me to get an ‘A’ in English writing as a kid.
- My grammar was never
verygood. Case in point: A colleague made 15 grammatical corrections to a page I’d written today for a client proposal. I was glad for his help of course, but still, I thought I’d written it up nicely
- I don’t always get references to pop culture or figure out how to use colloquialisms cleverly
- 20-year olds have a better vocabulary than I do. Yes, I did use “colloquialisms” above but got the spelling wrong
- My writing won’t be interesting enough, and no one will ever read what I write. Yes, friends & family will do so out of sheer sympathy if a post is ever shared on Facebook but that’s about it
- I have never been interested in or passionate about writing, so never developed the skills needed to be a good writer
- I also suck at telling stories. Quite a few of the blogs I read draw you in with a story and keep you engrossed all the way to the end. I realize they got to this level of expertise after many years of writing, but imagine how much better they’ll get in the future
So what changed?
2017 ended up being a tough year, with more downs than ups – and not just in the financial space. Of course, my net worth actually increased thanks to the recent rally, but it should have been much, much better. I could see the train wreck about to happen but didn’t do much about it – out of laziness or sheer complacency or afraid of change, I do not know.
Almost everyone in my social and professional circles has their lives mapped out for them, with plans to work. They chose the tried and true path of taking up regular 9-5 jobs with a steady paycheck, as did their spouses. They get bonuses and RSUs with regularity and their annual budgets assume they will – I would too if I was in their shoes. I gave up my safety net a long time ago when I decided to be a solopreneur. I’m happy for them, but I yearned for financial independence and the thought hadn’t even crossed their minds. So while we could talk about everything under the sun at a barbecue drinking craft beer, the topic of FI never came up.
Instead, I found camaraderie online in the personal finance blogosphere and Bogleheads forums that helped me and addressed my questions. Even then, there are some questions that arise only with first-generation immigrants, like teaching their kids to navigate between two cultures and adopting both. Or being part of the Sandwich Generation, where the top slice of bread is halfway across the world and taking a 22-hour flight at the drop of a hat isn’t easy.
Something Needs to Give
I need to:
- step up my game if I wanted to achieve financial independence and make work optional
- adopt multiple streams of income. If one peters out, then the rest will keep me going while I brainstorm new ones
- figure out how to write to entice, as I’ll need to do that in order to market my services online
- give back, as I see the same questions come up online in forums and Facebook groups. If my grammatically incorrect writing can help even one person, their lives (and mine) would be all the better for it.
Hence, I’ve decided to suck and work at it until I don’t suck anymore. Also, once I crossed 40 (i.e. over to the dark side), I stopped giving a sh*t about a lot of stuff.