Hey blog buddies,
I spent much of December visiting my hometown (Dallas-Fort Worth) to see old friends and family. (Note: I’m not saying my family or friends are old age-wise, fyi.) Something happened during the trip which made me rethink everything. Scary, I know. But after staring at a blank screen in WordPress (what I use to power this website) for far too many hours, I realized this blog has begun to become an extension of myself, but it’s lost a lot of what I once loved about it.
Blogging has changed my life and for that I’m thankful, but it’s also begun to overpower my life. At some point, everything in my life became about the blog. Even while home on an alleged vacation, it’s hard to escape questions about blogging. Everyone’s curious and wants to know what my life is all about. (For your reference, I’m a total open book. It’s all here.) I get it. I’ve got an unusual life. I travel way more than many other people, and oftentimes I get to travel for work (thank you, blog!)—a total luxury for many. But over time I’ve come to realize I’ve let my life revolve too much around the blog, rather than let the blog revolve around my life.
I’ve worked hard to create a publication that I can be proud of. But I’ve also realized that the work has too much control over the other aspects of my life. I worry extra hard these days. I worry about what I write, who’s going to read it, how it’s going to be found and what others are going to think. Those are all natural, healthy worries, but after a point they become too restrictive. So, beginning today, I’m taking a different approach.
I’m going back to the blogging basics.
I started this blog five years ago. I didn’t tell a single friend about the blog until it’d already been in existence for a few months. I just wrote and wrote and wrote. Whatever I was thinking or doing or wanting to do. Over time, I professionalized this little ol’ blog. And that was a good thing. But now I’ve got the luxury I can go back to my roots—the blogging basics. This has always been my blog and a place for my voice, but after I started working with more and more brands on campaigns and partnerships, I realized the amount of hesitation and worry that showed up in everything I wrote. I feel as if I’ve held back a little. And, when it comes to writing, that’s not always the best course of action.
So, what can you expect here?
Back to basics means less worry about trying to attract the attention of brands. It means more spontaneous, freeform writing—the kind that comes naturally. I run this entire shebang all on my own and it’s exhausting. I know it seems silly to complain about a life I’ve created, but the blog is only a small part of my life and yet it controls so much of it.
You’re still going to get the same narrative stories from my travels, but you’re also going to see a lot more emotional blogs—ones where I lay bare my raw feelings and thoughts, however embarrassing they might be. Over the past month, there haven’t been many new blog posts here, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. In fact, I’ve written more in the past month then I usually do—but it’s all been privately, in my journal. It’s not embarrassing stuff, it’s just things I didn’t think were appropriate for the “blog brand.” Screw that. I like my writing, my words, my thoughts—and I’m going to start sharing more of it here.
About the blog
Still my favorite part of blogging is connecting with new people. It’s why this blog began and it’s always been my favorite part of “the job.” Your tweets and emailed questions, your Facebook messages, your Snapchats and your comments. They make this whole thing worthwhile and interesting. I hate boredom. A lot of you send me deeply personal messages, many of them private and carefully crafted. I always reply (and if I don’t, just tweet at me—I must’ve missed it!) and in my responses, I’m as honest as I can be. But sometimes I feel I hold back a little on this blog. But you’re not going to see that anymore.
I remember years ago, when I was in living in Israel for a summer and writing about my experiences volunteering for a center-left peace organization, my dad told me to be careful what I write publicly. He was (understandably) worried I might write something I might later regret. It was a passionate summer for many reasons, but working in the realm of the powerful business of Israel and Palestine and peace, I was careful in crafting every word. It still ended up ruining me, but that’s because while I was reserved with my passion, I also didn’t stop writing my mind. And I don’t regret a word I wrote back then. Some of that passion has diminished over the years but I’m brining it back. We’re going back to my blogging basics.
Honesty, friendliness, fun and interesting.
And you’re also going to see a lot more from me. I’m going to start publishing more often. One of last year’s last-minute resolutions was to do “30 days of something” and while I might have failed the No Fap Challenge, I’m determined to do 30 days of blogging. Writing needs to become fun for me again. And with my platform here, you’re going to get it all :-)
Thanks for reading this little blog of mine. I hope you’re as excited about the next year as I am. No more fear. No more worry. Just honest, friendly, fun and interesting stories. See you on the other side!