This month marks the third anniversary of The Wayward Journey. It seems like a good time to take stock of how far I’ve come on the Journey, but I think I’ll leave some of that reminiscing for another day.
Instead, I want to talk about the blogs that got away because originally The Wayward Journey was to be but a stepping stone, a practice blog of sorts that would prepare me for my real work. There were so many other blogs I wanted to write!
You see, I was so excited about blogging in the fall of 2011 that I thought one blog was not enough. Heck, I needed seven or eight blogs! I suppose I was no different from anyone who’s ever caught fire and thrown himself headlong into a new endeavor. I was going to be a blogging machine. I had the fever.
I was enamored with WordPress and the ease with which you can set up a blog. However, I neglected to consider one tiny thing: You actually have to write something.
I never got past The Wayward Journey, and I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. The Wayward Journey suits me just fine. It gives me a chance to write about topics that I care about. It has honed by storytelling skills, helped me stay current with social media and, as I drew in some loyal followers, taught me discipline and the responsibility of producing something that matters to other people.
Still, I thought it might be fun to share with you my ideas for some of those other blogs, the ones that never saw the light of day.
- DC PR Pro – My original intention was to quickly follow The Wayward Journey with a professional blog that I tentatively called DC PR Pro. This blog would be about the practice of public relations in the D.C. area. I even registered the name and created a test site. I may yet bring the DC PR Pro to life, but for now it sits on the cloud, waiting…
- Credit Union All-Stars. This was an ambitious one. I had just left NAFCU and had credit unions on the brain. I envisioned a blog that would feature the opinions of various luminaries in our industry on a rotating basis. A kind of Huffington Post for credit unions. It would develop a huge following and generate lots of revenue for yours truly. Well, you can see how far that got.
- Tiny Titans of Industry. I’ve always had a soft spot for small businesses, going back to my days at the National Restaurant Association. So this blog was to be an unabashed tribute to small business people, with profiles and lots of tips on starting a business and keeping it going.
- I’m Your Handyman. I practically rebuilt my old house in West Springfield, from gutting the kitchen to remodeling the bathrooms, and everything in between. So each week, I would blog about a project around the house, complete with video.
- Early in the Morning (our Song Shall Rise to Thee). This was to be the inspirational blog. I envisioned rising early each morning to write a fresh devotional, perhaps accompanied by a beautiful photograph. Only one problem: I don’t rise that early, and when I do, I’m definitely not inspired…except to make a pot of coffee.
- The Art Blog. I once did a lot of photography, especially when I first got out of school and worked on some community newspapers. This blog was going to rekindle my love for images. I would either take or select an image of the week.
Looking back on these ideas, I have to shake my head. Blogging was just one part of what I planned for myself as embarked on my new, indie life in late 2011. I had visions of starting numerous business projects. Volunteering more. Even reading books. Can you imagine, actually reading a whole book from start to finish? The audacity of it!
Mostly what I think I’ve learned these past three years is that there are always possibilities, and it’s good to have ideas, lots of ideas. It keeps you fresh. But at some point, you have to pare down and focus on doing one or two things well rather than many things halfway. You have to choose your medium.
The Wayward Journey is like a favorite jacket. It’s the one I’ll always pull out of the closet to go on walks. It’s a bit worn, but it’s comfortable and I love to put things in its pockets—scraps of paper with ideas, receipts, a smooth rock I’ve found, reminders of places that I’ve been.
Sure, I have other jackets and lots of sweaters. And I occasionally wear those, too. So I may yet launch another blog, but I think I will always be on…The Wayward Journey.