Almost one year ago my father passed away.
Since then my blog has been in a funk. Initially it was his hospitalization that was the cause of the slow down in output, but after that I sort of got into the habit just not posting as much.
I also have found myself exhausted after almost every day on the road with little time to write or to edit my photos. The last three months have been especially bad. I’ve been behind on almost everything and trying to juggle both traveling and running what is now a small business from hotel rooms around the world. I’ve missed a bunch of podcast episodes and pretty much haven’t been on the ball.
What I am doing now isn’t working.
When I get back to the United States next week I’ve decided to reboot my blog. For all practical purposes I am going to treat it as if I’m starting over from scratch. Here is some of what I’m going to try to do:
- Post a non-photo every day. I’ve used my daily photo as a crutch sometimes. I could just pick a photo from my archives and say I’ve done something for the day. It just isn’t enough. I’m going to spend several hours a day writing and try to write ahead if possible. I have some very unique ideas for different types of posts, things I haven’t seen other bloggers do.
- Redesign my site. When I got my custom theme it was pretty cool. Now it isn’t. There were no Like buttons when I launched it. It has gotten slow and messy over time. I also need to get rid of the black background, at least for the main text area.
- Get the book done. I’ve been sitting on my ass for ages about this book. I have a much clearer idea of what I’m going to do. Now I just need to execute.
- Set a schedule. Keeping a schedule is next to impossible on the road. Once I’m in a bit more stable situation for a while. For the first few weeks I’m back, I’m going to set a set time to edit photos, a set time to write, etc.
- Keep off Twitter and Facebook for most of the day. Obviously these platforms are important, but having TweetDeck open all day isn’t very productive. I’ll have a morning session and an evening session and that’s it.
- Get a personal life. I’ve seen a more of the world than most of humanity ever will. However, I haven’t spent much time with any one person in several years. I no longer have a core group of friends. I haven’t been in a relationship since before 9-11. I’d like to find a way to rectify that.
- Guest post. Part of rebooting will be going back and trying to get exposure to a whole new audience of people. It will probably be much easier for me now than it was when I first did this several years ago.
- Balance travel and work. Travel is the core of what I do. I have to find a way to balance working and travel. I can’t just be in backpacking mode anymore. I have to be selective in where I go and what I do. I also want to do more adventurous things and visit some more out of the way places. Those are always the best trips.
- Set goals. I set very specific, quantifiable goals every year I have had my blog….except this year. I think it shows. I have some in mind and I’ll be posting them later.
I think you have to change things up every so often, and four years seems to be the point where I have to reinvent myself.
11 replies on “Rebooting”
Welcome back to the world. I find that traveling is great and you’ve done more than anyone I know but every once in awhile we all need to get grounded and perhaps get in touch with the familiar once again. For me I know that about seven weeks at a stretch is about it. Then after a couple of weeks at home I start thinking about the road again.
I think you are on the right track. Can’t imagine better goals.
I hear you. My dad died a month ago. It’s an odd place to be. I want to get things done, but dang, the list just doesn’t seem that important right now.
A year ago I registered a name for a travel site that I really want to do, but like you and the book, I’ve got to get organized. Oh, and give up bad habits like political blogging.
Growing your personal life is important. Balance yourself. I’m married for nearly 30 years with three grown children, and I can honestly say, I needed that. While you are settling down I sense I’ll be taking to the open road a little more.
I enjoy your photos and usually click to them from Twitter. Mainly they remind me of my own travel, so I’m glad for that. Sometimes they remind me of places I want to put on my list, so I’m glad for that, too. Right now you are simply in gathering mode. The material will likely flow out of you later. It may be the concept of Everything Everywhere has tired you out a bit. Time for Bits and Pieces Here and There?
I’ll still be traveling the vast majority of the time. It is more of matter of how I do it, not if I do it.
I love traveling, I just can’t do it the way I have been.
As someone that has followed you for a long while, I’ve seen a lot of the projects you work on! I’m not sure how you do it, but your energy is inspiring. If I could do half of the things you’ve done, and Travel… wow. I think it is always good to take a step back, re-evaluate, and reboot once in a while, keeps things fresh.
Good luck sir,
Ah, that balance work and life thing. I struggle with it every day. Your list looks a lot like mine. Have you used a virtual assistant at all? I’m headed in that direction. By the way, thanks for considering a redesign that does away with your black background in the text section. It will make it so much easier for those in my age bracket to read :-).
I’ve missed your writing. Your highly opinionated pieces are/were my favorite posts, as well as the ones where you tried to forecast future trends.
It has been kind of a bummer to see how you have increasingly relied on daily photos. Glad you’re going to take steps to change that, and look forward to seeing the new design, as well as content.
I’m leaving my all-too-comfortable apartment in Medellin in a few weeks, and I have to admit I’m not looking forward to how that will probably throw my own blogging habits into a tailspin. On the plus side, I’m beyond excited to see the rest of South America.
Like Dave I’ll look forward to reading more of your writing.
I just helped UnbraveGirl put out an ebook of her Best Of articles (link at the bottom) and it really helped her get into the writing mood, seeing it (and then giving it away to readers).
Your writing is definitely good enough, and I’d love to do the same for you, free, just like with Sally. Get in touch (email in comment) and let’s ‘chat’.
Sally’s Ebook Post: http://www.unbravegirl.com/2011/07/the-unbrave-girl-ebook/
Welcome back, Gary. 🙂 Setting out these goals publicly is also a great way of holding yourself more accountable to them. Looking forward to seeing what you get up to in the coming months.
Sending you an enormous high-five from across 1.5 continents and an ocean, not only for setting these goals for yourself but inspiring me to do a great deal of the same stuff.
We should really all have a Skype accountability group where once a week we log on at the same time, lean in to our webcams and say, “Hi, I’m _______, and I want to be both a great blogger — and a more functional human being.”