For a long time, I’ve wanted to write. I was obsessed with the concept of being an online influencer; someone who was an expert at whatever they wrote about and was respected and highly regarded. As I’ve gotten older, and less stupid (smarter?), I’ve abandoned those hopes and dreams.

I co-ran a blog for a little in 2018 called The FI Guys. My friend and I wrote about our respective journeys to financial independence. It was fun for a little, but it quickly turned into an obsession over views and monetization (for me, anyway). I remember hawking the viewer graphs, doing all of the “right things” for SEO, and connecting with people on a very superficial level to drive them to my blog.

Now, I just want to write. I want to dump my thoughts onto a page.

As some of you may know, I maintain a digital Zettelkasten (for those who don’t know what that is, look here). I was inspired today to write a note that got me thinking about what I want out of writing and maintaining this blog.

## Monetizing something requires rules to be followed

Almost any arbitrary activity can be monetized: writing, woodworking, streaming, etc. Many of these activities do not have rules associated with them. The activity is performed freeform, however the individual would like to perform them.

When monetization is involved, a set of rules is imposed on the activity. Want to make money off of a blog? One would need SEO optimization, an audience, and other chores to keep people engaged. Want to make money off of woodworking? One will need to market their products, do yard sales, etc.

Monetizing any activity or hobby comes with new rules to follow to gain whatever market share required.

The above card is not universally true - but there is some truth, in my opinion, that a new set of rules gets imposed on an activity when doing it for money. This isn’t good or bad, it just is.

For me, the imposition of rules that comes from trying to monetize things that I like doing makes me lose interest. This is why my original blog failed. So what does this mean for me? What is my end goal? My end goal is to just write for fun - to say what’s on my mind and connect with other cool and interesting people along the way.