In 2008, we returned from Southeast Asia to the United States. The next couple of years are a complete blur to me.
Unfortunately, I did not keep a consistent journal. I could go back through my e-mails and reconstruct the period, and perhaps I should. But it seems like a lot of work for very little reward. I'm pretty sure I would find what I know right now: it was a time of uncertainty and wandering, trying to identify what we were supposed to do next.
Thankfully, God led us out of "the wilderness" (as I feel it was, looking back on the experience). But during that time, while several things were launched, others were left to stagnate. A project I worked on in Southeast Asia, Momentum Magazine, was one of these. It is unfortunate, but I work hard at giving myself grace for this period.
That's not to say I stopped writing. I've written. I've blogged. I have gone through lots of experiments and iterations of various websites. My current e-mail newsletter, the Weekly Roundup, stretches back for over 4 years. A lot of that material is archived on this website.
As time has marched on, I've been thinking more and more about where I can make the biggest difference, the biggest contribution. Part of that contribution, I think, is in writing, so the website and related articles continue to hover in front of me. I keep looking at the site and thinking about how disorganized it has felt. I keep looking back fondly on Momentum and its bi-monthly regularity.
I love the idea of a daily blog. I envy Seth Godin and Eddie Arthur, and have a lot of respect for that daily discipline. Still, when I'm brutally honest with myself, I recognize in the current configuration of my life, a daily blog isn't realistic. And the responsibilities I presently have (research, recruiting, etc.) are too important to me to drop in favor of a daily blog.
In addition, I've come to recognize--after trying some experiments--that anything beyond the current Weekly Roundup and Things I've Learned isn't going to happen on a weekly basis, either. Even weekly activities consume a lot of energy. The same, unfortunately, is even true of monthly publications, except that I do seem to be able to generate significant essays and analysis in a 30 to 60 day period. (It's not just the writing: you have to identify the topic and gather the data...)
All of this thinking has led me to circle back to *Momentum*. I'm not thinking of resurrecting the magazine. It took a lot to recruit the articles, to do my own original writing, research and editing, and to do the layout work on top of that. I can't do that now.
But, I realize the periodic publication idea (monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly) is not without merit. Having certain "regular pieces" (columns) that repeat gives some consistency and makes it easier to gather data for them. Themes for an "issue" allows for flexibility of content while providing a skeleton--so many essays, each one of a certain length. A *long-enough* production period would allow me to gather significant material, and might even allow me to recruit some guest articles. Finally, a periodic "publication" would give a framework for organization: a snapshot for the "home page" that serves as a kind of table of contents without having to stress about updating every day.
I've decided this year, my website will launch itself into this experiment. This year there will be at least three "issues," in a quarterly format. (If I refine my processes enough to be able to go faster, we may later switch to bi-monthly.)
This doesn't mean that either the Weekly Roundup or Things I Learned will change. Both will continue to go out weekly, and be found on this site.
I hope you enjoy this experiment, and if you have comments, please feel free to drop me an e-mail.