If you're reading my blog, this post is not the first, but it is the inaugural post of Pen & Lens Collective.
A few months ago I was notified that my previous domain was going to expire. While I still wanted a personal site, I had no desire to renew under that domain name. In the two years that I ran the site the way I curated my thoughts and photos changed.
I had two options - I could rebuild the site with the content as it stood and rebrand or start from scratch. Being a glutton for creative punishment, I chose the latter.
Even if my readership remains an intimate group, I wanted a site that reflected the things I've learned over the past few years. I spent several years working in marketing - the least I could do is create a site map that made sense for the user experience I wanted. Not to mention all of the life lessons I've collected at the same time.
What I learned during my time as a marketer is what inspired this change. That coupled with my constant mission to keep my life relatively clutter-free, I wanted to simplify things. Gone are the attempts at posting daily adventures while I'm traveling (sorry, Dad). No longer will I set goals for myself based on quantity over quality. Though I know Google's algorithms favor frequent post, that's not my end game.
Thoughtful content - that's what this site is about. Be it my writing or photography, I want to put thoughtful content into the world.
So to that end, I made some changes.
For the most part, I've kept my archived blogs as is. Blogs I kept aren't necessarily evergreen and forever relevant; they're just a little more thoughtful and reflective rather than ranting and reactionary. The biggest updates made were to my travel posts. Over time, the blog style of mine that changed the most was how I talked about my adventures. Somewhere in 2016 the current style began to take shape and I really found my groove in the summer of 2017.
Even how I approach writing blogs like this one have changed. Since I work better with deadlines, I used to set them for myself with every blog. But they felt rushed and offered little insight or perspective. I wrote this over several weeks as I redesigned the website. When an idea crystalized and I thought it was important to share, then I added it in (or edited something out).
Photos are organized in a similar fashion, by geographic regions, however I've designed it so only one photo is consumed any given moment. One of the things I've enjoyed about this redesign is that it forced me to go through my collection of work and see how my creative eye has changed over the last ten years. Even though my older photos might not be up to the same creative standard I set for myself these days, they hold some of my favorite memories.
Some things to look out for:
All that being said, please peruse and enjoy!