Seasons Of Change
Eventually, you start struggling to make connections, and in order to have enough content, I had to pre-draft numerous interviews ahead of time.
This was especially critical since I work at a bike shop and I'm seasonally very busy with #bikeshoplife, and free time is a sweet luxury that I'd rather use to go mountain biking than sit at my laptop. In 2018 my world was rocked in a terrible way and I faced one of my greatest losses ever. Losing my dad had me sit and reflect on life and goals.
I had to tell myself that taking a break was okay and necessary.
I realized during that time, that I had put a lot of pressure on myself to deliver content, and while that was a good thing for JBL, it wasn't the most positive for me.
I had battled mixed feelings for a while now due to the challenges of maintaining JBL as it currently was. I can't tell you how many partly started interviews cluttered my inbox, more than not, they would never come to fruition. Life got in the way for some or things changed, and it's all understandable, but many times I wouldn't receive communication either way. I was left hanging. I started a new policy of sending an email asking if the interview was still an interest, and if I sent it 3 times without any communication back, I would delete it.
As I'm writing this, I literally went through a purge of my inbox and deleted all of the half-started interviews. Honestly? It's refreshing to have that space freed up! It's bittersweet because there were folks I was super excited to feature, but sometimes life and other things get in the way and I know that email isn't everyone's preferred method of communication.
One might ask why I chose to do interviews by email, and the short answer is that it was just easier for me time and schedule-wise. I do not have all of the fancy tech tools in which to record audio, and I also have a hard time typing while someone is speaking. The couple interviews I did via phone conversation I felt took a lot longer for me to get buttoned up. It was typing up my notes, sending them over to the person for proofing/editing, and making a draft. It gave me more anxiety over my messing something up; having the person write out their own answers makes it a bit more foolproof.
Obviously, folks who enjoy reading will enjoy JBL and those who prefer shorter, more visual forms of entertainment like YouTube videos and the like will probably find JBL to be boring. My art form is writing and storytelling, so I have chosen to create a hobby that allows me to express my art in the way I see best.
For folks who have come to JBL strictly for the interviews, fear not! I plan to keep interviews a part of JBL, but on a more spread out scale. I want the interviews to be published as soon as possible after I receive the answers, therefore, eliminating the month-long backlog that would happen throughout the year once enough folks started emailing back.
JBL is going to return back to the original intent, and that would be for it to be a creative outlet for me in my Bike Life journey. With everything that happened in 2018, I discovered in 2019 that sharing the stories of my Bike Life experiences were something that brought me great happyness, and in order to be happy, I had to have space. For years I wanted the voices of the folks I have interviewed to be in the spotlight, now it's time to shine some of that spotlight back on myself. I'm a humble person, but I have things that I want to share and stories I want to tell! I've missed that part for quite some time.
I do plan to step into the YouTube world again, with my very own Josie's Bike Life channel. I'll keep the Fearless Women of Dirt channel up because I'll admit that I don't want to go through the pain of uploading those same videos to a new channel. I want to start fresh, figure out an editing software that jives with me, and create content. It will be a channel that will share my rides and experiences elsewhere with possibly some shorter product reviews.
Josie's Bike Life was born because I needed a place to share my journey, then it became a place to share the stories of others, and now I'm figuring out a way that I can balance both while allowing myself to explore other avenues. There are a lot of mountain bike/bike life content creators out there- you can find a plethora of YouTube channels, blogs, and the like. Some folks are legit social media influencers who make a living doing what they love. I won't be in that category, but I love finding creative ways to tell my stories.
So I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to those who have made Josie's Bike Life a wonderful community filled with awesome stories filled with inspiration. It has been a pleasure to share words with you, and I'm grateful that this platform was used to share so many #BikeLife stories.
Thank you to those who have followed me over the years, and continue to do so. I am pretty unaware of how many folks actually follow this blog site. I know there are some, and I am happy that I have been able to provide content that is enjoyable to you. I'm grateful to have an audience, however large or small it may be. Thanks for believing in me and all of those who have been kind enough to share their stories!
In closing, if you wish to be part of JBL and have your story featured, please send me an email and I will be in touch! If you would like to follow me on a less blog-intensive platform, you find me on Instagram. Thank you for riding bikes and happy trails!