Cannot even begin to talk about all the happenings since my last post here, but have to admit, as my frequency of posting dropped, so did my motivation to post. In reality, it was too tedious for me to post here, as all of my images had to be customized to a specific size or it overran my theme and, well, looked horrendous. Read more “Time for Change”
June 1st kicked off a month long project for me as well as marked the 3 month anniversary of relaunching the Get Busy Livin’ blog with a more focused direction. I also walked over 10.5 miles around New York City with my nephew who was here in vacation. Pretty strong start to June, if I do say so myself.
Truth be told, this blog is little more than a labor of love. I knew that going in, but at the same time, I never knew how much labor it would be. I am a creative person, to an extent, but also an engineer by trade. The creative side of me wants to write, design, photograph and share it all with you through the blog. The engineer in me wants everything to be technically perfect. The perfect photo, the perfect story, down to the detail.
Trying to find that ideal place known as BALANCE.
Striking a compromise between my details driven engineering brain and my free wheeling creative side has proven to be hard work, but I am inching towards that every single day. Moving slowly from a perfectly planned out attack, complete with project plan, notes and research, to a seat-of-your-pants attack. While one might be better for business (or battle), ultimately, I have come a long ways from where I started just 3 short months ago.
In the past 3 months:
- I embarked upon and completed Epic Road Trip 2011
- I started doing contract work for customers all over the U.S.
- I completed my 1st phase of Project 333
- I have grown my brand to over 400 twitter followers
- I began playing more with HDR photography
- I have explored all over NYC
- I converted to using a MacBook Pro
- I learned to write as it comes to me, and not to force it
- I become a huge proponent of travel hacking
- I lost my uncle
- I posted 23 articles
- I had just under 6,000 visitors to my site
- I am slowly increasing my site traffic
- I launched a newsletter campaign
- I started a 31 day project in honor of my 31st birthday
Thank you for coming along with me on my journey as I have grown over the past 3 months. Been a fun ride so far, definitely looking towards the future.
3 months down, here is to another 30 (minimum).
Recently I have posted on topics ranging from how to create and execute a plan, to quitting my job and heading back east. Not entirely aligned with my title of “Get Busy Living.” I get it. That is the motivation for this post.
For me to define the overall direction for the blog, and with that, it is necessary for me to remember where my where my blog came from, those initial thoughts that shaped the beginning, so I can re-focus those intentions towards a defined message.
One of the main things that I have struggled with since day 1 with my blog is the central focus of my writing. In the beginning, it was an exercise in persistence, just to get my thoughts written out in a semi-public forum. For the better part of 2 years I wrote about things that were inconsequential to everyone but myself: ramblings about local sports teams, basic product reviews, updates on my life, and so on. I maintained a constant readership of about 2 or 3 people. Myself, my wife and my best friend.
One day came a gathering at the house, where a new friend told me he had run across my blog (back then, a Windows Live Space) through a link I posted on Facebook. He really enjoyed my writing style. I paid little attention to it at the time, but that ended up affecting me, in the respect that I now knew I could write something that others would read, enjoy reading, come back to read more, and even tell their friends about.
A Well Architected Plan
In December 2010, I relaunched my blog, with the decision to brand it as my own. It was with that http://www.justinhamlin.com was launched, albeit very quietly. I was inspired, I was motivated, I had the passion, but it was a conscious decision to launch it under the radar, as I was not quite sure of the direction I wanted to take with it. I did know that in order to establish and maintain a stable stream of readers, I needed to have a direction. No matter how much I marketed, a blog is only as good as its content. I have known this from the beginning.
Recently, the blogosphere has seen many writers launch surveys to have their readers help identify what to focus on. While I understand their motives, that is not the direction I want to take. I am not writing a blog because my readers tell me to. I write my blog because it inspires people. You cannot purposely write inspirationally. Inspiration is born of life experiences coupled with focused story telling. If this were a purely business venture, I would write EXACTLY what my readers wanted me to write. But it isn’t purely business here. While monetizing my online existence is in the plans, it is not THE plan. The plan is to inspire.
In a world where distractions constantly surround us, my necessity is to avoid contributing to the noise. In order to inspire change in others, it is imperative to remember to let my creativity shine through, to tell the stories of that which I have experienced.
As a reader, I do not want to read articles and blogs TELLING me what to do from someone who is merely passing along information they read elsewhere on the internet. I want to read first hand accounts and recollections of amazing things that others have done. Impossible things. Audacious things. Risky things.
As a writer, I need to create art of which I, personally, would consume. Anything less would be a disservice to myself and not depict my true passion.
Bottom line, I need to find my focus. I need to find a balance about a message that I want to convey with my blog and how it relates to my life. This has been something that has been ever present in my head for the past few weeks now, and while life is presenting a plethora of opportunities in front of me right now, once we get settled in New York, defining the focus and direction of my writing is one of the first things I will be developing.
The Days Ahead
The next month will be an integral part of my direction with Get Busy Livin’. With the vast quantity of ideas running through my head, I need to define the direction in a clear and concise manner, otherwise I will fall back into the mediocre pattern that plagued my blog for years prior. A business and marketing plan, if you will. I will be using this time to get these ideas down on paper, accumulate a list of ideas and define my message.
This time will not be a sabbatical, so to speak, there will be a few blog posts, but I will not be as concerned with traffic generation, statistics, posting schedule or anything else. My destination will be making March 1st the official launch date of the revised plan behind Get Busy Livin’.
Hey, I am just happy I am posting a blog here, well, here, after my blog was moved over from Windows Live Spaces, this will be my first official WordPress Blog. Though, unfortunately, this will be a short one.
A whirlwind of thoughts crossed my mind this morning as something I should blog about, or add to my blog, or update somewhere. For the sake of today’s technology and the advent of social networking, I guess that the blog only fills the void of the brevity of Twitter or Facebook with their limitations in character length for updates.
To that point, I think that is one aspect that MySpace had going for it, where Facebook is lacking. With that being said, more people are turning to blogs on different networks, such as Blogger, WordPress and others in order to get their thoughts, specifically those longer than 140 characters, and while I have tried to utilize a blog for many years, consider this another foray into the attempt to effectively contribute to a blog at the same time as the major social networks.
Wish me luck!