— Jenny Neill

Well, Hello There 2014!

It’s January what already? Whoa. The end of November and December came and went in a flurry of social engagements and assignment deadlines. The first public evidence of what I’ve been up to as a journalist graced the virtual pages of Sprudge.com earlier this month. Soon, I’ll hold a copy of the latest STiR Tea and Coffee Industry International in my hands. The first issue for 2014 contains more stories I wrote based on traveling to Let’s Talk Coffee, Let’s Talk Roya, and Sintercafe.

Line of dry ground coffee in sample cups with two spoons

Coffee samples, ready to be cupped.
Photo courtesy of Mike Russell Foto. All rights reserved.

In the meantime, I have had a chance to reflect back a bit on 2013. It was, for me, the year of slow transitions coming to fruition. I entered 2013 with some ambitious writing and financial goals. And, as always happens, little obstacles popped up along the way. Plans changed, but still, progress was made. The big milestones were met. My editorial portfolio grew, I learned some important lessons about working with sources and editors, and I found a few new blogging clients along the way.

I firmly believe that staying nimble as a professional writer requires periodic infusions of education. Some of that I get to do naturally as I research and report a story. A lot of it comes through keeping up with my professional networks. I also invest time, money, and attention in classes or workshops. Already this year, I’ve taken a three-day intensive at CreativeLIVE to learn Lightroom Essentials. I’m presently involved in an online writing class. And, I’ve set up a self-study program using materials available through Seattle Public Library to learn Spanish.

Since I launched this site, I’ve struggled with what to blog about and how often to publish posts. As long as I’m still able to write, that will continue. I’ve failed to come to a conclusion that sticks every time I take a moment to review what I’ve done, what people are reading, and what purpose having this forum serves for me. Here’s the truth: I still don’t know.

In 2014, my blog plan is to drop in once or twice a quarter to summarize what I’ve been up to. House Cocktails has been a fun series to research and write, so I expect to add to that. I’m still kicking around some ideas for Dunged. There’s a good chance I’ll have something to say on occasion about more serious subjects. Beyond that? I’m letting this be an organic process. As it has been from the beginning.

Disclosure: Travel to and accommodations for the coffee shows were sponsored in part by a coffee importer and a magazine publisher. I was granted access to Lightroom Essentials course materials in exchange for my participation as an in-studio student during the broadcast and recording of the workshop.