New Year, New Focus

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For the last several weeks I have been thinking a lot about what I want to do with this site. I need to get back into the daily habit of writing, and this is a better place to do it than LinkedIn or Medium. But the question arises what do I write about?

I have two degrees, one in marketing and one in journalism, and before I had those credentials writing came so much easier. I started a blog in 2005 while I was out of town evacuated for hurricane Katrina. I penned hundreds of blog posts and gave little to no thought of whether it was right for my brand or not. Getting degrees made me a better writer but they made it harder for me to actually write.

Marketing taught me to think about my personal brand. Hell, I was social media and PR director for the Personal Branding Club at Full Sail Univerity. My journalism degree started to pigeonhole my brand a bit more, and now I felt that I needed to only write in a journalistic style (i.e.no writing in the first person, reverse pyramid layout, quotes from sources, fact check everything, etc.). I also focused on environmental issues as part of my graduate work and was a member of the Society of Environmental Journalist, further defining my brand.

I want to just write, but considering all the implications of it is exhausting. I also want to write about food (just between you and me, I want to be a food writer) and that is such a departure from my previous work that it doesn't seem safe to do so

I even went through the process of buying and setting up a separate domain, website, Twitter,  Pinterest, and Instagram accounts, and had all intention of keeping the food thing totally isolated from my personal brand, and I set New Years Day as the start date. Then I had an epiphany while driving home from the gym. 

I got all this angst about branding from my background managing content for brands, brands that are entities separate from their owners. They have employees, buildings, and can be bought and sold as something of value for the owner, investors, or shareholders. I have ZERO desire to build something like this. In fact, I want a lifestyle business. A way to structure my work around my life instead of structuring my life around a 9-5 work schedule and a one week vacation every year.

There are many examples of what I want right in front of me, but I was ignoring them. Fellow Full Sail alum, Phil Pallen is a branding strategist, and he lives this way, blogging and Instagramming photos of his travels to Europe & South America. Cookbook author and food blogger, David Lebovitz, is also a great example. He writes about baking but also about the purchase and renovation of his apartment in Paris. These are just two of many, but the models are there.

So here goes my first post of a new beginning.