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Home > Publications > Quill > Intro: New Year, New You


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Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Intro: New Year, New You

Resolve now to pursue that project or personal interest you’ve been putting off.

By Scott Leadingham

As 2015 approaches, ask yourself: What have I been putting off? Learning a new skill? Getting that side project rolling? Or, more personally, starting a family and having kids? The list goes on and on. Maybe it’s that book you’ve been meaning to write. You’ll get to it one of these days. Just when there’s enough time. Someday…

Fact is, there’s never enough time, and there are always plenty of excuses. Actually, “excuse” is the wrong word. It’s pejorative. There are always myriad other things — work, family obligations, sick kid — pulling us away from that project we’ve had tucked far back in our “to do” folder.

Ask yourself right now: What it that “thing”? It doesn’t have to be journalism or even career related.

A little secret: Working in journalism wasn’t my first choice of profession. Far from it. Throughout high school I was convinced (ask my mom) that I would be either a National Park Service ranger or, wait for it, music teacher. How’s that for odd bedfellows? I even pursued both early on in college before finding out they weren’t for me.

But both interests — outdoors instruction and music — stuck with me all these years. That’s why in 2015 I’m resolving to pursue projects in both areas. I’m picking up (and dusting off) my old trumpet to get back into a musical/creative outlet. And I’m doing independent journalism projects on the side that involve guides for outdoor pursuits in national parks and forests.

That’s just me. What’s yours? In this issue you’ll hear from three of your fellow journalists who made life changes — both personally and professionally — and pursued a new interest. You may not want to get into podcasting like Ashley Milne-Tyte or write books and design food apps like Mark Briggs; or “settle down” and have kids like Mónica Guzmán. But there is something you’ve been meaning to do.

The new year is upon us. And with it all the talk of resolutions that will, almost certainly, fail before they really start. You may even cover some of those annual resolution stories at work. (Trend story on gym membership spikes in early January, anyone?) Isn’t it time you stop talking and writing about what other people do and start doing it yourself?

Yeah, it is.

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