Friday, January 28, 2011

New year, new motivation, even new links

Nothing like waiting until nearly the end of the month to write my first blog post, huh? Especially when I haven't written one for more than three months. What a slacker...

Well, I'm back, folks. I won't be writing as often as I did during the bicentennial, but I will try to write more often than I did in 2010.

Redefining my mission
One of my biggest questions these last few weeks, months has been what my mission should be going forward. During the bicentennial year, I devoted nearly every waking, non-working moment of my time to my Lincoln mission. I wanted to make sure you, my visitors, had all the information you needed to get to the events in your communities, know of the tributes across the country, not miss out on celebrating Lincoln at 200 years. I had a blast! Hope you did, too.

From October 2008 through December 2009, I did more than 200 blog posts, attended more events than I can remember, met many people I never imagined I'd meet, and visited Lincoln sites I'd only dreamed of ever seeing. Most days, I was lucky to get four or five hours of sleep a night. And, you know what? It was worth it! I loved what I was doing. I did it as much for me as I did for you.

The reality of it, though, was that I couldn't keep that pace up forever. In 2010, I caught up on family, home renovations and more. I did a lot of soul searching trying to determine what my role should be going forward, what this blog should be. I knew there were several big years coming up between fall 2010 and 2015 - the sesquicentennial of Lincoln's inauguration, journey to the White House, Presidential years, assassination and train trip home. Add to that the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, and it makes me want to take a nap just thinking of how much there is to be learned, rediscovered.

New motivation
Don't worry. My mission has always been to use my passion for the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln to inspire yours. That hasn't changed. What has changed is the medium through which I feel I can best do this and move toward my dreams.

I love Lincoln. If you've read one blog post or 100, you know that with all certainty. I have another love, writing - and this blog has been an incredible outlet for that. But, last fall I had an opportunity of a lifetime - a chance to write my first book, one about Lincoln. My manuscript finished, I sent it off for some review, and am now back at work on revisions.

It was time to reassess where I need to put my time, my energy, my talents. I struggled with this. I love my readers, I loved blogging, but I knew with the sequicentennial coming, to cover it, I'd be back where I was in 2008 and 2009. I just can't do that - and write my books.

And, besides, the Lincoln I know best is the popular Lincoln, the Illinois guy who made it big against all odds, the self-made man, lifelong learner from humble beginnings who inspires and motivates. I don't know politics, I don't know the Civil War, I am not nearly as familiar with the White House years. So, it was time to step back and say, "Ann, you've got to let others do this."

There are other folks writing about Lincoln now, and even more writing about the Civil War. I urge you to seek them out.

In the meantime, I'll drop in from time to time, to alert you to a new book or a Lincoln event. But for the most part, my energy will be to finish this book and write the next one. Hope you'll all be around to read it when it's done.

New links
I have updated some links on my blog and you'll find I've also rearranged the left-hand navigation some. With the bicentennial past, some of those websites are no longer available. I've removed dead links. I also added some Lincoln sites I overlooked in the past. Because there are so very many Civil War blogs, I've provided you one-stop shopping with a link to one website which lists a number of Civil War sites.

I haven't forgotten you, folks. Please don't forget me. At Lincoln Buff 2. you'll still find links to lots of information you need and lots of interesting information about Lincoln in my more than 200 earlier blog posts. Thanks for visiting. Ann


ENNYMAN said...

Welcome back. It's a good work you are doing. Keep on keepin' on.
Best to you in 2011.

Lincoln Buff 2 said...

Thanks, Ed. Mine pales in comparison to yours, but thank you. Your encouragement and inspiration has propelled me much more often than you may believe. May your year be magnificent, too. Ann

Dave Wiegers said...

It is good to see your words out here in the blogosphere. I hope the new year finds you well. Perhaps I'll see you in Springfield during the Lincoln Association festivities.

Lincoln Buff 2 said...

Thanks, Dave. The new year is one of unlimited possibilities. The challenge will be having the wisdom to act on the right ones and leave the others for another time. I won't make it to as many events this year as in some years, but will be selective of the ones I do attend. Our paths will cross at least once, I promise. Ann