Earlier this week, I wrote about the most popular blog posts in the two-year run of Newvine Growing and about the most common search terms that bring people here.
Studying those data points is part of some work I’m doing to refine my focus for 2011.
I launched Newvine Growing in January 2009 with broad goal: to have a forum for exploring what makes people happier and more fulfilled.
I’ve always been a girl who knows where she’s headed about two or three chess moves out. That might change if an unexpected opportunity pops up, but generally speaking, I like to think I’m facing in the right direction.
After we moved to New York, I purposely stopped looking forward to enjoy the present. I’d arrived at a place I had been working toward for many years and I wanted to savor it.
But eventually, my desire to contemplate what’s next returned, and thus, the launch of this blog.
After the first year or so of just blogging whatever seemed to fit with living life intentionally, I crafted some broad themes that seemed most interesting: career, creativity, food and drink, health and well being, home and family, lifestyle.
Now I’m planning to tighten the focus on three areas that have most excited me:
Creativity — I am drawn like a moth to a flame to creative folks, whether they’re writers or artists or musicians, and have been since I was a kid. As I’ve profiled creatives for my blog, I realize it’s their passion for what they do that really gets me. Most creatives will get neither rich nor famous doing what they do, so they do it for love. I’d probably enjoy talking to a used car salesman who sold cars for the pure joy of it, but since that’s more likely to be a choice you make to pay the rent, he might be harder to find.
- Jim Tobin, Jim Ottaviani, Lara Zielin,Bruce DeSilva and Jennifer Worick are all writers who’ve contributed Q&As on how and why they write, giving insight into their creative process and the challenges of turning out good stories.
- I’ve profiled Clint Maedgen and Ben Jaffe, two New Orleans musicians who are balancing tradition and innovation in exciting ways.
- I’ve also written about making it a priority to see more live music — we’re going to see Woody Allen play traditional jazz this Monday! — and to learn to make music myself.
- A post I wrote on painter Chuck Close reinventing himself continues to be one of my most popular.
Food and drink — I have long been a girl who doesn’t skip a meal, but in recent years I’ve become more interested in eating well and passionate about supporting sustainable food production. I feel strongly about the importance of eating well for our health and for the benefit of the environment, and because I just think it’s enjoyable to cook and eat good food.
- How I fell in love with farmers markets and began a tour of some of the best farmers markets in the country
- On watching Food Inc. and contemplating the American food production system
- Why I’m vegetarian, which is basically because I’m an animal lover who can’t in good conscience support treating living, breathing, feeling creatures the way our large-scale meat farms do.
- One of my most popular posts ever — on calling a truce with cilantro
I’ve also started a paper.li daily collection of news on Twitter about food, farming and related issues. Check it out here.
Career — When I added this category, it was a big, broad area that could catch anything that might land in the business section of your newspaper or in an MBA lecture. Now it’s come into focus as specifically meaning topics of good leadership and vision and of choosing a career path that’s consistent with the kind of passion in the creativity area. Often that means entrepreneurs, maybe because you have to be awfully passionate about something to take the risks associated with launching your own business — and as I’m writing this I’m thinking that really, creatives are entrepreneurs who sell their own work, so it’s all interconnected.
Some examples of career posts include:
- Profiling Lou Rosenfeld, who has redefined his career in the Internet space to include consulting, speaking and running his own publishing division
- Matt and Rene Greff left jobs they hated to launch a successful brewpub and microbrewery
- Joel Zeff turned getting laid off into a blessing when he pursued a career path he loves
- How love at work can help leaders succeed
- Corporate job versus entrepreneur isn’t an either or choice
- I wrote about the lessons I learned on my first job — doing children’s parties and balloonograms as a clown
So those three topics are the ones I’ll focus most on in 2011. That’s not to say I’ll never write about health if the spirit moves me, but I think each year we spend together, the more it becomes apparent what really excites me.
And that’s the whole reason I launched Newvine Growing. I love it when a plan comes together.