Taking a Step Back and Hitting the Reset Button

Cigar Booze and Blogging

Way back on January 1st of 2009 I sat down and started a blog. At that time I had been blogging for about 3 years as co-founder of Stogie Review. The popularity of that site was growing but I found that talking about cigars all the time was beginning to burn me out. I needed an outlet for the random things in life that interested me, so as a New Years Resolution, I started Walt In PA.

In the beginning I talked about anything and everything. It was a breathe of fresh air and suddenly I could sit down and write without feeling as though I had to cater to a specific audience. Writing for the sake of writing brought me a lot of joy.

As time wore on I began to focus a bit more on popularity. Why was the readership so sporadic? How do I boost comments? Perhaps if I shifted focus and leaned more towards a specific niche?

In 2009 I launched a Video Podcast called Shooting The Breeze. It was a catch-all podcast that allowed me to take my random writings and turn them into a vlog of sorts. The success of the video content we were producing on Stogie Review was going so well, this would surely bring in the readers, right?

When that didn’t go so well, I abandoned the videos – losing interest and shifting focus again. This time I went on a reading kick and began posting reviews of the various novels I had been reading. While I enjoyed writing about what I had been reading, I felt like I could never get ahead. I was reading thick Fantasy Novels and I just couldn’t read fast enough to produce reviews and gain any sort of traction.

In 2010 I tried my hand at writing fiction. I came across a blog which provided writing prompts and joined the community. I kept up with writing fiction for about a year and enjoyed the process of crafting stories while reading what others had to write about a given prompt.

I don’t know why I ever stopped but my motivation fizzled. I was in the process of raising a little girl and she took priority over everything (and still does). Posts began to come few and far between and this blog became neglected.

In 2011 I discovered the wonderful world of guns. I started off shooting at my local range and enjoyed posting pictures and video of my time there. When I was introduced to practical shooting (USPSA and IDPA) this blog became a full blow Gun Blog.

Match Video, Stage Breakdowns, Stage Design, and Match Talk became a staple. I even re-launched my Shooting The Breeze Podcast with a focus on firearms. I spent practically every weekend shooting a match and absolutely loved the community.

After a couple of years I find myself in a predicament. My wife had lost her job and there was virtually no shooting budget. I had to scale back my time at the range while she went to school and began a career change. I still try and keep up with the shooting community but I haven’t been to a match in over two years. I really do miss it.

With my wife working in the healthcare industry, weekend free-time became a thing of the past. I needed a hobby that I could get my then three year old daughter involved in. Thinking back to my own childhood, I opted for Archery.

The two of us began going to local 3D Archery Shoots. I purchased myself a budget Mission Craze compound bow and she had her little long bow. We walked through the woods and had ourselves some quality Daddy & Daughter time. This, of course, became the new topic of discussion here on the blog.

Because I have a habbit of jumping in with both feet, I got involved as a member of Stowe Archers. With my web experience I offered to update their horribly outdated website. Website work turned into physical labor (on top of the web work) and I was spending more time working than I was shooting.

With little to blog about, things around here became dormant once again. I was hit with a bout of depression and realized that I needed to get my health in order. I joined a gym and used the blog as a motivational tool to keep focused.

Things were going quite well up until a few months ago. My wife’s work schedule shifted and my very strict gym routine fell apart – as did my blogging frequency. Not hitting the gym like I was supposed to, and my wife being pregnant, lead to me gaining back a large portion of the weight that I had lost.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, brings us current on all things Walt In PA. To be honest, I don’t really know what the purpose of this post it. I suppose it is a way to get a couple of things off my chest and think out loud.

Going forward, as far as this blog is concerned, I want to get back to the way things were in the very beginning. I want to get back to writing for the sake of writing. Focusing on a given topic is great and all but it just doesn’t seem to be working for me.

I’m past caring about what my blog stats tell me and just want to enjoy a handful of activities and post about them as the mood strikes. With an almost six year old girl loving to spend time with her Daddy and another little girl due in about seven weeks, I’m sure I’ll have a lot of parenting things to talk about.

While my wife is on maternity leave I plan on taking a very aggressive approaching on getting back into fitness (I don’t plan on killing myself but I do plan on creating a strict routine and sticking to it). Those struggles will also be documented here on the blog.

The last major topic that intent to hit heavily is archery. My daughter loves shooting her little bow and I spent a ton of time at the club. I intend to turn those experiences (both the good and bad – I’m President of the club and have a lot to talk about in regards to the administrative aspect) into blogging material.

What it comes down to is this – If you’ve been following off and on over the years you can expect to see the return of random topics. I just want to write and I’ll be damned if the analytics of my own Personal Blog are going to determine what I can and can’t write about.

If you’ve gotten this far in the article you deserve a high-five (seriously, those need to make a come back)

8 comments On Taking a Step Back and Hitting the Reset Button

  • Just remember you have a lot of friends you’ve never met across the country Walt.

  • I have many random interests also. I listen to many podcasts and read lots of blogs but never comment or post . I’m so busy taking in content I don’t always take time to offer positive feedback to those that I spend time faithfully listening to each week.
    Writing, especially on this cell phone is not a talent of mine.
    Thanks for sharing Walt, and enjoy your wife and daughters.

    • Mark,
      I’ve got a bad habit of not commenting on blog posts. I tend to tell myself that I don’t have anything to add to the discussion and I don’t want to comment for the sake of commenting.

      Thanks for reading the post and dropping me a note. I appreciate it.

  • Sometimes a cathartic, just let it out post is a good thing. I know the feeling of “what’s this blog about?’ I’ve been reading your blog since about time it ‘went gun’ but enjoy the range of topics. Congrats on the growing family!

    • David,
      Thanks for sticking around for the past couple of years (It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since I got into guns and started blogging about them).

      Thanks

  • Hi Walt, I have followed along on various parts of your journey and can sympathize with the challenges life throws at us and how it impacts us on our own personal journeys. Writing these blogs needs to be fun and something you look forward to doing…not something you struggle with or that feels like a chore. If you make this the focus, then nothing else really matters. Looking forward to the next chapter and congrats on the upcoming bundle of joy!

    • Paul,
      I started writing about mid-week last week. I’ve lost track of how many posts I have scheduled already. Getting back to ‘just writing’ has been a ton of fun.

      Thanks for the comment

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