Last Ditch Effort

For those who follow me on the Tavern, you may have noticed a substantial drought in the articles I’ve written and published since late last year, outside of WordPress Weekly.

In the last 4-6 months, I’ve been in a pretty low place emotionally, mentally, and at times, physically.

The Tavern started out as a fan site, a blog all about WordPress. A place to discuss what was happening. A place to help each other out. In the past five years, the Tavern has grown from a hobbyist blog to a place of professional journalism thanks in large part to Sarah Gooding. Sarah has done an amazing job, has a great work ethic, high standards, and has taken the site to new heights.

I have not faired well in the Tavern’s transition. In the past few years, I’ve struggled to find a place, maintain my written voice, and become more of a traditional journalist. I’ve admitted in the past that I’m not a good journalist and I still feel that way. I enjoy writing how I feel, what I think, and evolving the narrative over time. But with the Tavern becoming a more serious and professional industry source of news, that kind of writing is getting phased out.

The way in which I write stories on the Tavern now a days is akin to Ben Stein’s voice. Dry, boring, accurate, no personality, that I sometimes wonder if it could be accomplished better by AI.

One thing that I’m proud and that I’m good at is WordPress Weekly or podcasting in general. I get to be myself on the show and I enjoy talking to people about WordPress and learning about other’s experiences. I’ve had a few pep talks lately and I’m going to try expanding my reach and produce three different WordPress podcasts a week.

  • The first will be a daily podcast that covers the pressing topics of the day.
  • The second is WordPress Weekly
  • The third will be a Friday night podcast where for one hour, I’ll invite members of the community to join me on a public Google Hangout to talk about whatever WordPress issues they want. I’ll literally be giving people in the WordPress community a chance to have their voices heard.

I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to expand the Tavern listener base while at the same time, trying to bring back some more community elements to the site. Most importantly, what these shows will do is give me a sense of purpose. Let me tell you, when you feel like you have no purpose, no sense of well being at work, it’s draining.

So, that’s what I’m working on. I realize there are already plenty of other podcasts that cover the things I mentioned above, but only one of them involves me. I’ll still be writing but I’m hoping that the podcasts provide enough time for the site to be redesigned and install some sort of community software such as bbPress. This way, I can move into community management or something and not just a writer.

6 thoughts on “Last Ditch Effort

  1. Do what you need to do my friend. We all go through these times and those lows can be tough. Sounds like a great plan you have in place and will be looking forward to hearing and seeing you more on the airwaves. Cheers and sending you the best.

  2. When it’s time, it’s time! I definitely know what you mean about being in that ‘low place’. I don’t feel people talk about it enough in our line of work. Before you do, please take a nice break away just for yourself even if it’s for a few hours or a couple days and just take care of yourself. 4-6 months is way too long to be stuck in that, I just went through something like that myself. I picked up yoga and it’s helped me pull through. Please take care of yourself!

  3. P.S. Please reach out to me (that goes for anyone else reading this) if you would like to talk about it. Always willing to lend an ear to anyone in the WP community and exchange experiences, etc.

  4. Stephen Cronin says:

    Hey Jeff,

    I really think you should continue writing and put your voice back into it. Not everything has to be neutral and unbiased journalism. There’s plenty of room for opinionated editorial pieces as well and you’ve always been great at those.

    Just mark such articles as editorials so people know they are an opinion piece. Give the WP community some of it’s character back!

  5. Stephen already said what I was going to say. Create an “Editorial” category so that folks know it’s your opinion.

    Editorials are a time-honored tradition of journalism. Too many people think journalists must write unbiased stories that just present facts and quotes. That should be true for “news” articles, but journalism is broader than that.

    I’d rather see you doing something you’re passionate about. It’s OK to go out on a limb and share your opinions on things going on in the WordPress world, even if you decide you’re wrong about it a week later. Don’t discount what you bring to the table.

    I’d love to see a Tavern that was more of a blend the the kind of hobbyist-regular-Joe editorials along with the news stories. It’d provide a better balance.

    I’m cool with more podcasts too. I try to catch all of them.

  6. Steven Gliebe says:

    For what it’s worth, I enjoyed WP Tavern more when it was all yours. What you chose to write about was more interesting and the way you to wrote as a human to humans was more enjoyable.

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