Closing One Chapter, Starting Another
2004 – 2014 were great, but everything has to end
It’s a sobering experience when you realize that over the past 16 years you’ve written at least 2000 posts you can put your finger on. I’m guessing if you throw in all the posts I wrote as a professional blogger and for clients over the years I’m pushing twice that.
But times have to change. And I need to let go of the person I was back then.
Canada’s first professional blogger has a lovely ring to it, but doesn’t mean too much anymore. Hanging my hat on all that work, all that writing, the books—fine, writing four books isn’t something to dismiss—now out of date and little chance of being updated.
I was chatting with someone about my work history recently and realized how different I am now. Even ten years ago I didn’t consider myself a marketer. I built websites. I blogged. I wrote. I tried to squeeze out the little bit of internet fame I had for all it was worth.
And I don’t think it’s served me well to use those days as a foundation for my career now. Yes, I’ve gotten several opportunities—the chance to write a few books for one—because of my early work, but I think those times have passed. Today I look at brands and voice and tone. Readability and SEO value. You might even say I’m a little more conservative about how I’d approach a business blog today.
I was talking with folks at work how to help and write about the current health crisis. There were some good ideas. And a couple posts that a few years ago I would have encouraged someone to write. Something a little edgier. Off brand, off message, but timely and human. Oh yes I would have had that post drafted in an hour and posted in two.
But I counseled against it. I said, I don’t think it’s the right post for us. It’s not my call anymore how that particular product is marketed, so if the post ends up seeing the light of day. I have no say in the matter. And reflecting on how I didn’t automatically say—write it!, post it!—I see it as what it truly is: I’m not a blogger anymore.
The end of the world as I thought I knew it
I hit fifty last year. One of those milestone birthdays. One of those times when you’re allowed a certain amount of stock taking. Looking back and looking forward. Knowing you have fewer years ahead than behind you.
Leading up to the big five-oh I made career decisions based on a strange calculus that by this time I should have this title and that position. Well, I only took one semester of calculus (reluctantly and in grad school) and it showed. I don’t know if I was “wrong” about what I should be or do or achieve, but I don’t think I was “right” either. I think I let some of my old biases of work and career get the better of me.
Oh and jealousy. Let’s not forget the green-eyed monster. It’s hard to look at where you stand, compare yourself to others, and think—hey, wait a second, I should have that. Of course life doesn’t work like that. And comparing yourself to others is a great way to drive yourself mad.
The past six years have been a roller coaster to put it mildly. Some great stuff. A lot of not so great stuff. And more than a few times feeling my family and I just can’t catch a break. A few times we thought; okay, this is good. this will be good; and realizing we were on Candid Camera with the host jumping out to say “Gotcha!”.
In the last month I had a two-act upending of my career, with an encore of a global pandemic. Part one was realizing I wasn’t on the right track and on a trajectory towards failure. Part two started with someone else’s career upending as the prelude to the conclusion of my career reset. I’m hoping this was a simple two act play and everything is settled for a while—at least at work—but who knows today.
Which brings me to clearing house here on this site.
I’m closing the chapter on Tris as social media guy. Tris as professional blogger. Tris as photographer. Tris as a guy who writes books.
I’m opening the chapter as Tris who does marketing. Tris who writes. Tris who connects technologies together. Not sure about including Tris building websites—my tech chops aren’t enough to do complex things, but I’ve realized I’m not too bad at it either. I’ll see how that one pans out over time.
Yep, the posts are gone
To make this change “official” I took drastic measures. After making an archive of my site, I deleted all the posts older than 2015. I’ve gone from 2000+ posts to 48. I can’t remember how long ago it was when my blog had only 48 posts. Probably when I still used Blogger. Probably around 2004 or 2005.
Yeah, there was some good stuff in there that’s gone. But, there was also a lot of stuff I just wanted to close out. I wanted to take the bold stand to say—that isn’t who I am any more. To put it all behind me, I needed it all gone. I needed to cut the cord.
I might have said I was doing it to speed up my site, but really all those old posts nearly 2000 of them were weighing me down mentally. I didn’t want to have them around reminding me of that past or to be saddled with it either.
I might have gotten to where I am now from the body of work the posts represent, but it doesn’t mean I have to keep them around to prove it. The work I have on the site now, is a much better representation of my writing and who I am as a professional.
Now, let’s see where this chapter takes me.Keyur Hardas