I posted back in November that I was taking an indefinite hiatus from the blog. Looking at my published posts count and traffic, that hiatus lasted several months, but I’m back with a vengeance.
But things are not quite the same as they were. Here’s how I’m trying to make blogging work for me, and what it means for you.
I no longer buy as many pens to review.
I mean, I still buy pens. Just not as many, and I try to avoid spending money primarily or significantly to get something to review. Instead, I’ve been bolder about approaching manufacturers and retailers for review samples for pens that I think would be interesting for the blog, but not something I would buy to add to my personal collection. As I hope you’ve noticed, it hasn’t affected my ability to give a fair and balanced review.
I take photos with my iPhone.
No ring light, no macro lens, no tripod, no transferring photos over from my SLR’s SD card. I still take care and use good lighting, and I adjust photos in Lightroom for iPhone, but simplifying the photography side of my workflow has saved me a ton of time and heartache. My photography will never be as good as Dries’s, and I’m OK with that! For me, a review has always been more about sharing information. So I take my photographs not with beauty in mind, but to illustrate a point I’m making in the text: the nib is pretty, the threads are sharp, the finish is rough. If the focus is sharp and the lighting is clear, that’s good enough for me.
No more weekly newsletter.
I loved writing up every weekend a list of things I’d posted, things I’d read, new products I’d seen, little thoughts that didn’t fit into a standalone blog post. But the weekly cadence was the straw that broke this camel’s back. So now I post whenever I have something to say, whether that’s three posts in a day or once in a week. And I leave the newsletters to the guys that do it well: Brad, Ana, Joe, Ray and the gang.
Quicker writing process.
I still obsess over the big reviews, like the Onoto Great Court, but for other posts I will tend to write naturally, even impulsively, and let my experience take care of the quality. I have started writing some parts of my posts on the WordPress app on my phone, when I’m rocking the baby to sleep or taking a quick break from the dayjob.
And what hasn’t changed?
I still write every post like a human, the way I’d like to be talked to. I’m not interested in showing off. I pride myself on writing clearly, making smart observations, and sharing my knowledge and experience.
I still approach every review with an eye for detail, high expectations, and my heart on my sleeve. I care more about telling the truth than about getting free stuff.
Most of all, I still love pens, love writing (with pens), and love writing (this blog).
Thanks for sticking around and reading, even as I navigate these changes.