With the year coming to a close, now is as good a time as any to reflect on the blog, which I have been publishing weekly for around a year now. I am not exactly sure when I started posting content, but the analytics tell me that I had visitors as early as December 2013 and I can only conclude that I began posting articles around the same time (as much as I would like to believe that my black-and-white portrait drives traffic to the site…that is beyond wishful thinking).
Deciding to create the blog came from the dual motivations of…
- A desire to keep my writing skills sharp. Forcing myself to write once a week isn’t a perfect solution, but it keeps my sense of sentence syntax from atrophying completely
- A desire to preserve my experiences and memories. I could try to rehash this argument, but it is late and I did a much better job here.
In the last year, I have met these goals. The blog began as a series of articles on motivation that quickly became preachy and uninteresting…for myself and most readers. The blog has now shifted focus onto sharing personal stories…with underlying morals/points to the articles (a thesis for the academically inclined) occasionally being included as well.
More than anything, this shift has taught me that people enjoy stories. What seem like simple memories, such as driving to work, running through a field, or seeing a gun on a plane are evidently much more entertaining when written down and reflected upon.
Having never been one with a shortage of memories, experiences or work to do, I am looking towards 2015 with a number of goals:
- Getting the card game Crop Cycle manufactured through my game company Convergent Games.
- Learning about finances and getting my financial plan down. I have become fascinated by these early retirement successes stories (told by very effective storytellers) such as Money Moustache.
- Going on a journey through Belgium in the pursuit of the fabled Westvleteren beverage
- Focusing this blog
The first 3 points are straightforward enough, but the last point deserves a bit of explanation. Over the last year, I have followed the time-honoured internet tradition of writing whatever the heck I feel like when I sit down behind my keyboard. While not inherently bad (popular sites like 4chan are based on this), the trouble is that if you want to develop any sort of expectations for the readers (as opposed to rambling, link-heavy posts like this one), you need a focus.
Looking ahead to 2015, I am planning to focus the blog onto travel stories. The reason for this stems from a desire I have had to write a book that goes back at least a decade. In the last year I began to write down and toss around the various travel stories I have had (i.e near-death experiences) and I realized that I could easily fill a book with these memories.
With this in mind, expect 2015 to shift the focus but not the style of the blog. Articles will still be posted weekly with a focus on humorous non-fiction stories. The only difference is that the stories are going to have a distinctly more travel-based theme. When I get enough of them together, maybe I will release an e-book…for those too lazy to read through the archives.
Of course, I will still include the occasional rambling aside because that’s how my brain works, but generally the focus will be on non-fiction travel stories that are entertaining, humorous and delivered weekly.
I thank everyone that has supported me in the last year, wish everyone a happy holiday and for those of you that survive the excesses of the coming week’s celebration, I look forward to sharing many more stories with you in the coming year.