Looking back at 365 days of blog posts, documenting everything from the local tech industry to my family’s occasional shenanigans, I’m certain there’s a poignant lesson and great epiphany to be had. Right now, though, as the illegal fireworks startle our cats in relatively peaceful Mililani on New Year’s Eve, the only thought that’s reverberating through my head is, “What was I thinking?”
This blog, which was a spinoff from a blog-free personal site, marked its fifteenth anniversary earlier this year. (I had been writing an online journal at the time, and resisted the whole blog thing for a while.) Seeing this milestone coming for a few months, I got the wacky idea late last year to try and write every day in 2015.
I have a mixed record when it comes to long-term goals. Can I get my ham radio license? Yes. Can I teach myself to program? No. Can I get my real estate license? Yes. Can I teach myself to program? No. I’ve managed to quit soda for more than a year (after downing as many as three or four cans of the stuff a day), but fell off that wagon pretty hard a while back. I was able to walk 10,000 steps a day for almost a year, but that was mostly because I was obsessed with Ingress, and when I stopped playing, I stopped walking regularly.
Things looked good for blogging. Halfway through this year, I definitely felt like I’d built up some momentum, and once I had 200 daily posts under my belt, I was feeling confident that I’d make it, in part because I didn’t want to “break the chain.”
But here on day 364, I’m feeling a little fried. Part of that is seasonal, as real life inevitably gets busy, yet it sure feels like stories also dry up, during the holidays. And part of it is definitely the quintessential challenge of a daily deadline: writing even when you feel like you don’t have anything to say.
Some blog posts were a blast to put together, doing research, conducting interviews, finding or taking photos, and finally publishing a complete story with context and dozens of relevant links. But sometimes, I wouldn’t get a moment to myself until bedtime, and then it was a 90 minute scramble to find a topic with at least a little meat on its bones. Sometimes, my infamous verbosity would turn what I thought would be a 1,000-word blurb into a 10,000 word essay. And sometimes, the time I took away from my family to blog made checking off that daily task a little less satisfying.
To be clear, I love to write, and often write something every day — a habit of many writers that I love and admire. But writing in public, for an audience, isn’t quite the same as spinning words in a contemplative, personal ritual. I’m too much of a perfectionist and a wanna-be journalist to take things I post publicly too lightly.
I want to want to write, not feel like I have to write. And I also have other things I that want to challenge myself to do in 2016. Maybe this will be the year I learn to program?
I won’t blog every day after today, but I will blog often… and I think the more than 10,000 posts in my archives suggests I’ll stick with it. I get deep satisfaction from telling stories that I think need telling, highlighting interesting things, or adding my voice to a broader conversation. And I love connecting with entrepreneurs chasing a dream, artists creating new things, and activists trying to change the world. There is always something interesting happening in Hawaii, and I’m lucky to be able to write about them.
If you’re reading this indulgent piece of end-of-the-year navel gazing, I want to thank you for reading. And most importantly, if you’ve got something that you think would be worth writing about, I want to hear from you.
As an epilogue, because no retrospective is complete without a Top 10 list, here are the ten most viewed Hawaii Blog posts of 2015. (Of course, posts later in the year are at a disadvantage.) It’s always interesting to see what draws people here, and how that differs from what I expect will be the most popular!
- Anthony Bourdain Revisits Hawaii
- Isle Firm Accuses Oculus of Stealing VR Tech
- Uber Under Fire in Hawaii
- New Energy Storage Startup to Take Hawaii Homes Off-Grid
- Cameron Crowe’s “Aloha” Coming in May
- Venturing Into Vintage Cave
- Planned Comic Con in September is ‘Amazing’
- Gallery: Drones Plus Opens Honolulu Store
- Drone Hits Honolulu Skyscraper. Twice.
- Comic Con-fusion: Hoku Rebrands, Amazing Remains