For me (and many others) the end of the year always is a time to reflect and think about the past and future. This year is no different; it’s been an amazing whirlwind of layered and sometimes overwhelming experiences with some of the most fantastic people I’ve ever met. From my RJI fellowship, election to the ONA board (and the plethora of committees and projects I’m tied to for that now), helping lead the SND St. Louis conference, and promotion to Director of Mobile News for Lee Enterprises just to name a few big projects, plus all my work helping co-direct the NPPA Multimedia Immersion workshop, teaching at more than a dozen universities, South by Southwest Interactive and other amazing conferences and workshops.
Looking back on it, it’s overwhelming and I learned an immense amount, especially about hyper-effective time management, closing deals, shipping product, finding chinks in the armor before battle begins and listening and learning from my intuition. But I also realized that I took on too much. I’m proud I didn’t renege on any of my commitments and delivered on my word while keeping all the plates spinning.
I was taught by my mom at an early age to always say, “Yes,” to opportunity and while the PCP addiction was hard to kick, I sure have some crazy stories and met a lot of interesting people. (I’m kidding, obviously. Most of the people were jerks.) I still love and face the day with that adventurous “say yes” spirit and I will continue to seek out new opportunities but I’ve also started to realize I’m mortal and need to focus on how I spend my finite time left on this earth.
So what’s that really mean?
Well, I’m going to have to start saying “no” to things more than I’d like. Maybe it’s the awkward nerd deep in side me, always wanting approval but that nerd has gotta evolve; I have too many half-finished books, to dos, napkin-sketched project ideas, half-coded sites and Read It Later stories that need to be dealt with. I’m going to continue working on industry projects as always (maybe not as many at the same time) and I also need to focus on some of my own projects with the same indomitable energy, razor-sharp focus and liberal time that I give to so many other people and organizations. I’m also going to seek out deeper, personal experiences with smaller, curated groups more frequently than massive, perfunctory popular events (I.e. hackathons and Hardly Strictly Young-type experiences, as opposed to mega-conferences and Facebook). There’s also this thing called “work-life balance” that evidently exists for some people? I think I’m going to try and check it out. I need to start travelling like I used to (and not just for weddings or conferences, board meetings and other work activities) and I have a handful of non-journalism projects I’m going to dive into. Perhaps, most of all, I need to take better care of myself.
Why are you telling me this?
Partially to make it official and hold myself accountable, but also because the net effect on Journerdism will be that I’m not really going to be doing the jambalaya links anymore and I hope that shift in time/focus will allow me to post original pieces more frequently (or at least more than the couple times I have over the past year).
There was a time back in the original “Carnival of Journalism” days (before the amazing David Cohn resurrected it from the grave) when there was just a few dozen voices in online journalism and even less curating mass journalism and tech links, when I aspired to be the techier Romenesko (as Matt Thompson described me to others). There’s now plenty of aggregation tools and curated content options out there with full-time, paid staff doing a better job that I could ever hope to in my spare time so I have to let that go, prune my RSS feeds and focus. If you’d like to check out quick hit links I’m reading, linking and commenting on, please follow me on Twitter.
So thanks for reading. I hope you’ll continue to do so and keep me in mind for interesting opportunities and ways we can make this world a better place, even if I’m not sending out links as frequently as I used to (it’s been a while though, so hopefully this is no surprise).
Onward and upward!