The Pursuit of Happyness.

by Lori Dwyer on March 14, 2013 · 17 comments

“It’s not H-A-P-P-Y-N-E-S-S Happiness is spelled with an ‘I’ instead of a ‘Y
  “Oh, okay. Is Fuck‘ spelled right?”
Um, yes. ‘Fuck’ is spelled right but you shouldn’t use that word.
The Pursuit of Happyness, 2006.


I think everyone comes to a point, every now and then, when they realise that the road they’ve been walking is actually a treadmill. You’ve been putting in a stack of effort and it feels okay for a while. Until you’re exhausted and burnt out and you discover that, for all that effort, you’ve been going nowhere. And you’ve been staring at the same freaking wall for the last two hours.

I’ve begun to feel that way myself, lately, and I think it shows here, on my blog– the space where I am Lori, infused and decanted and dripped pure. The place that’s always been a public, viewable salvation.

Lately, it doesn’t feel that way. Lately, I’ve felt more like a money–grinding corporate whore than anything else.

I think it’s been bothering me for a while now, eating at the corners of my conscious, attempting to peak my attention without scaring the sh*t out of me. That feeling of restlessness and boredom always comes from somewhere deeper. I’m almost sure it began when the offers of sponsored posts and reviews and giveaways started gushing into my inbox in tidal waves, and I began blindly saying yes without thinking at all what I was doing. Accepting sponsored posts for far less than what they are worth, given that you lot– the people who essentially support my writing– are the ones that have to suffer through reading them, when I don’t even like writing them.

And lately I haven’t liked writing them. It’s gone from being a challenge– “How do I take this product that I genuinely like and make it interesting for people to read?”; to a soul–sucking chore– “don’t think, just write”.

What bullsh*t. How freaking rude to the people who read this blog. How f*cking undignified. I’m too afraid to open my email inbox for the horrible feeling of being a coward, too nice and too afraid to just say ’no’. I have words dancing the back of my mind, joyful pas de deux that become sad pirouettes as I ignore them, day after day, spending my time either worrying or procrastinating or writing like a robot, programmed by myself.

It came to a point a week or so ago, as things usually do– all those tiny thoughts nibbling in the shallows of mind created at the centre, providing an apex of reason from whence to see what was really going on here.

I found myself writing posts for products I would not necessarily endorse. And the worst part was, it wasn’t a decision I consciously made. I just said ’yes’ to the money, without thinking about it. Would I generally endorse one–use plastic products for kids lunches? No. Would I generally endorse a fruit purée in favor of half a piece of fruit? Well… maybe. I’d certainly buy it. But I’m not sure I felt right about telling other people to buy it, too.

It was only on the eve of publishing those posts, while writing them, that it hit me– this was not cool. How could I have not thought of this earlier?

Auto–pilot will get you everywhere. But it may also get you crashed into the side of a f*cking mountain if you don’t sometimes look where you’re going.

At around the same time I (finally) had that epiphany, I was smacked in the face with another one. Because, as we know, the Universe likes to poke me. With sticks and other blunt objects.

I’ve often raved on about blog events, how awesome they are and how much I love them. So much so that I think I may have, again, let the status quo dictate all my further actions, without stopping to ask myself the question of ’What the actual f*ck are you doing here, Lori?’. Is it really necessary to go to these things? What could your time be better spent doing…?

I attended two events in two days a few weeks ago, both in the Sydney CBD. With the M5 freeway being the veritable carpark that it is, I spent a total of seven hours sitting in a car. Not my car, which I was thankful for at the time– taxis and town cars, provided by the big corporations who had invited me in for a media launch and ‘discussion over lunch’ respectively.

The media launch went for a whole hour. The ‘discussion’, where we’d been asked to along to ‘share tips to make life easier for parents’ involved two hours of us being talked to about how awesome a relatively new software product with an awful reputation is. Admittedly, I left that event early. But I’m still not convinced there would have been any actual ‘discussion’ involved.

The total transport cost, to have me in the city for three hours over two days? $900.

The cab drivers were thrilled. I felt a bit… sick. A bit dirty. You could feed entire families on that for a month, if you went to where it was needed.

I can hear the obvious counter–rationale to this one– if not me, someone else will fill my spot. The money will undoubtedly be spent elsewhere. I’m fairly sure that’s okay with me. I’m certainly not saying I’m never going to another event– some of them are not only entirely interesting, but downright enjoyable. It’s just that the whole episode suddenly changed those lenses on the world, on the way I see myself.

It’s fairly well known amongst my fellow bloggers that I exist in somewhat of a social bubble. It’s quite common for me hear things like GOMI is talking crap about us or “Woogs had dinner with the PM and respond with “What? Really? Wow! When?!” So it was kind of timely to discover that I’m not the only who feels that way… it seems the shine is rubbing off what may turn out to be bullsh*t for a lot of us (and I think this is the point where I confess I have a massive girl–crush on Eden and she may just be the coolest person I have ever met. I also know I’m certainly not alone in this).

So… that’s that. I’m sick of writing blog posts about stuff I don’t really care about, and letting the writing I want to do slide into the background. It may mean I’ll be a bit harder up for cash… Or it may mean I’ll just have to get a bit more creative making it. I’m no longer attending every event just because I’ve been invited and I don’t want to miss out, especially if I’m well aware that there is no way on this earth that I’m going to be writing about it. I’m going to stop doing giveaways just for the sake of it, unless its something really, really awesome.

And I’m going to spend more time being happy– more time doing what makes me happy, I’m going to write what I want to write. I’m going to harness that ‘all bets are off’ attitude that’s surprisingly easy to come by these days. I’m going to spend more time doing yoga, more time playing with herbs and creams. More time exploring. More time in my sadly neglected garden.

And in reality, laced with the best of intentions as those ideals are– I may do none of those things. But I won’t be a slave to myself any more, either, and that’s the aim of the game here. The happiness, I’m sure, will follow.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim Bayne March 27, 2013 at 11:48 am

You sneaky little creature, you have been inside my head!! I have worked myself into a state looking for ways to write and pay bills that doesn’t make me feel like a ‘corporate whore’, assuming that I even reach a point where I am approached for sponsored posts! I signed up for some content farming sites desperate to make a few dollars but the anxiety this brought on indicated that this is NOT how to be true to myself. I totally agree, the happiness will come from writing what we want to write and telling the stories in our hearts. BTW I totally gushed about you over on my Blog in response to this post…you are AWESOME Lori! xox


Kristy Komadina March 18, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Thank fuck for this post! You’ve finally said what I have been thinking about so many blog posts I read every day (not yours specifically, everywhere really).

I’m really pleased that you’ve had this epiphany and I totally respect what you’ve said.


edenland March 18, 2013 at 11:39 am

I fucking love you right back, Lori D.



Whoa, Molly! March 18, 2013 at 10:17 am

While I understand the the bills must indeed be paid, I have found that some of the sponsored posts can feel a little… forced? I empathised because that’s what I would sound like if I was writing sponsored posts, ha!

I’ve recently had people contact me to feature ‘themed guest posts’ or to write similar types of things on my blog (I dont even know why, it doesn’t have a huge readership and it’s so very, very niche.)

But I just couldn’t think of a way to make it work. If a product or site that I loved and thought was super relevant contacted me, I’d likely be down. But for something that I wasn’t super into, I couldn’t think of how to swing it without it being forced and stiff and so on.

I went along to a blogchicks meet recently and it really got me thinking about what I want my blog to be. I honestly think I write it for myself. I do it because it sparks my creative outflow. And on there I just want to be like, 100 per cent pure Molly. Nothing else would work for me. I dont expect to ever make any money off my blog, but if it could be a place where I can be myself and connect with an audience, especially once I actually start making books and so on, then it will be enough for me.

So (sorry about the big ‘me, me, me’ babble there), doing what you feel like is the right thing for the blog is awesome. It feels more ‘Lori’ already. Pay the bills, by all means, but keep it you as well, you know?


Marie March 17, 2013 at 11:36 am

There are certain blogs that seriously get on my nerves with the constant advertising, especially if the advertising is hidden under the guise of a regular post. One particular “mommy blog” was always advertising a particular website selling headbands. One day she posted a pic of her kids wearing the headbands, including the boys and I was like, those are the bloody headbands you’re always spruiking!!!

But in your case I’ve always figured you’re a struggling single mum, and if a few ads for squeezy fruit or a new phone pay the bills, then so be it. I think as long as you’re honest about the fact it’s a sponsored post and not hidden as your actual opinion, there’s no problem with it. The comedian Tracy Bartram only promotes products she would use herself, and you remind me a lot of her, so maybe you can turn down products you don’t endorse and talk about the ones you do.


Chris Johnston March 16, 2013 at 9:10 am

I totally understand your point but will still read because I know you’re paying the bills.

All good with me whichever way you go xx


flask March 16, 2013 at 7:19 am

yeah, i started reading you because you were interesting. then i noticed i had to skip over more crap about products and events.

i figured you were paying the bills. i hoped it was paying you a good enough living, but i wasn’t reading it.
flask recently posted…immunityMy Profile


Karen Loethen March 16, 2013 at 1:27 am

I will always give a hardy “HOORAH” to a person who is listening to their integrity whispering…er…shouting. Take the hit. It’ll be worth it!



Carol March 15, 2013 at 11:41 pm

I liked your sponsored posts :) The one about pureed fruit cracked me up cos I have tried to get my kids to get fruit from a tube and I loved knowing someone else has trouble with their kids having limited tastes ;) and the labelling, I got that… the endless contacting of books comes next :p x x x


Bel March 15, 2013 at 9:36 pm

I don’t have a blog, couldn’t write 2 interesting sentences if I tried. But I do admit sponsored posts drive me nuts. I don’t know why. Possibly the ‘trying so hard’ is boring. I saw a few “card” sponsered lately and i turn right of, can’t even read them. Boring as bat shiz. I guess its working for the companies though or they wouldn’t do it.


Jessie AKA Thrifty Mama March 15, 2013 at 5:25 pm

I am interested to read more and more content like this. I don’t think I could blog a sponsored post I could write PR copy but not a sponsored blog post. (Not that anyone is asking me to!). It’s not really why I blog and not really what I want to read. Good on you Lori, now go Salute the Sun!


Sapphyre March 15, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Cool by me, either way. It’s not like the sponsored posts were most of your posts anyway.

But good on you for thinking it through and dealing with the niggling feeling that something wasn’t right!


Vicky March 15, 2013 at 3:05 pm

If I lose my authentity and integrity writing about something then I won’t. That’s my litmus test.
I have only done two product reviews, and they were easy to write about because I loved the products.

It served its purpose for the time you have been doing it Lori. It kept you busy, moving, engaged at a time when you needed it to. Now things have changed, as have you. You’re grown, evolved and in a different direction. The old saying seasons, reasons, lifetimes is applicable.

It makes me happy to read that your going to spend more time being happy, doing what makes you happy. Enjoy lovely. You are more then deserving. Xxxx
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Martha March 15, 2013 at 11:59 am

I am not a blogger, but this made me laugh, if you haven’t seen it before.

I don’t mind sponsored posts if they are relevant and clearly stated as such. It’s disappointing sometimes to open your blog and find a product review instead of your latest words and views on life that I was looking forward to. But hell, it’s your blog and your bills to pay so sponsored posts aren’t an issue to me.


Lyndel March 15, 2013 at 9:59 am

I love your exploring posts the best, please get out there and go adventuring.The way you write about crumbling old buildings and hidden treasures is just amazing, I feel like I’m living it with you!


Miss Pink March 14, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Totally get it and riding the same train. Will be so happy to get this giveaway up and out of the way because I have been sending lots of no emails, and it feels freeing not to HAVE to write about something. And sometimes, watching what you do write because it may upset some companies you are working with.
Time to take it back to basics and write about me for me I think.
I don’t even read sponsered posts anymore. I skip over them because I feel like it’s a bit like a telemarketer or door to door sales person interrupting what I’m doing.
Miss Pink recently posted…Gliding Into A New PerspectiveMy Profile


CAM March 14, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Thank Christ. I am seriously getting OVER sponsored blog posts. They are cropping up in most of the blogs I read and I find them (for the most part) insanely boooooooooring. If you find a product you love and you blog, that’s cool (and I will genuinely be interested and might even try it myself). If you blog because someone asks / pays you to talk about their product, that’s not. It’s so obvious in the writing (not just yours, I am talking in general about bloggers). I read one blog (a US one) where the woman uses a particular brand of painter’s tape. Every week she does a sponsored posts on that shit. EVERY WEEK. The ridiculous amount of rubbish she has painted in order to play with that tape and therefore have something to write about is insane. I am so glad you are going to concentrate on writing what YOU want to write, not what you’ve been paid to write about. Good for you!!


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