Happy Birthday, Exile Lifestyle!

 

It was a year ago today that I went live with Exile Lifestyle.

At that point I didn’t have a very clear plan of what I wanted the blog to turn into, I just knew that I wanted to create an asset that would allow me to keep investing in myself over time while also giving me the power to connect with people with whom I would otherwise never come into contact.

I also wanted to write and to be able to use profanity (which I was never able to do when writing columns for newspapers).

So: Crap Fuck Damn. Ah, sweet, sweet editorial freedom.

In this last year my life has changed IMMENSELY. A year ago today I was running a small-but-booming design studio in Los Angeles, living with my girlfriend in a two-story townhouse not far from the beach, working on a total of 5 suped-up computers and a handful of enormous monitors (spread out on 3 desks), wearing whatever I liked from a fully-stocked wardrobe of expensive designer clothing and working 100 hour weeks to keep it all going.

Today, I’m running a small-and-super-efficient studio and starting up a new publishing-related business while living alone in a one-bedroom, tiny-and-tidy furnished apartment in Christchurch, New Zealand. I’ve got a 13″ Macbook Pro and I usually sit on the floor or whatever table is available at the nearest coffee shop while working. My wardrobe is very concise, and though the clothing is high-quality, I don’t think anyone would call it flashy. I work a handful of hours a week, and the rest of my time is spent playing around with personal projects (this one included), exploring New Zealand, appearing on TV, hanging out with new friends and generally getting myself into all kinds of good-natured trouble.

I’ve realized in this year, too, that I want this blog to be different than the others that are out there.

I don’t say this as a criticism; on the contrary, as a business person I try to find spaces where there is little competition because usually there are so many highly-qualified people in a given niche, I’d just as soon not compete directly!

The same is true with blogging. There are a lot of incredibly talented and inspiring bloggers out there, and I try to stay out of their way so that I don’t have to compete with their greatness, as much as any other reason.

I also want to be able to communicate in my own voice, and though I started out blogging according to the advice I could find online (if you look back in the archives far enough, you’ll see plenty of lists and epic keyword-heavy editorials), now I’ve found my rhythm, and few things make me happier than being able to write like I speak and then have other people appreciate those words.

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment when I finally found my flow with Exile Lifestyle, but I think it was sometime shortly after I made it to Buenos Aires, possibly in October.

I say this time period specifically because it was around that time when I started to write story-lines more than essays. There was a guest post I did for Vagabondish called Beer, Lesbians and Going With the Flow that came out shortly after I wrote about how I Punched a Local in the Face. After these two posts, even my essays took on a decidedly more lyrical meter, while still maintaining a more rigid analytical underbelly that hearkened back to my days of writing news analysis pieces for newspapers.

It’s almost like looking at an archaeopteryx fossil: you can definitely see the dinosaur parts, but the bird feathers clearly indicate that this is a completely new species.

That’s not to say that my old style of writing is outdated or wrong, I’m merely saying that my writing style is definitely still evolving, and I’m excited to see where it goes next.

And I know I’ve been really dwelling on this lately, but I wouldn’t be evolving as a writer so quickly without you; even if you simply read and move on without interacting, you’re still contributing by putting pressure on me to continue to do better in order to keep you around, and I hope that you continue to hold me to such standards.

I would also hope that if I ever start to bore you, you’ll let me know. The last thing this world needs is one more ‘me-too blogger,’ typing away out of habit rather than passion, and if I ever fall into that pit trap, I’d much rather be put out of my misery than loll around, waiting for people to be impressed by my subscriber numbers and cewebrity status while writing gobbledygook and expecting a round of applause.

So long story short, I’m looking forward to another year of writing, interacting with you fine people and personal evolution. Thanks so much for helping me get to this point, and I’ll be doing my able best to keep you coming back for another year!

48 comments

  1. I like your party hat!

    And not nearly enough blogs mention “archaeopteryx,” so I think you’ve found another little niche you can fit into there. :)

  2. I like your party hat!

    And not nearly enough blogs mention “archaeopteryx,” so I think you’ve found another little niche you can fit into there. :)

  3. Man, its crazy that you have only been doing this for a year. I am coming up on my one year anniversary here in a few weeks, and it feels as though it has been so much longer than that.

    I feel like I’ve been reading Exile Lifestyle forever, and yet, its only been a matter of months since the days of your very customized Arthemia theme which put mine to shame. And then you outdid yourself and created one of your own.

    Its awesome to see how much has changed and how you have evolved over the last year, as I can relate having gone through similar transitions myself. Keep doing things your own way, and kicking ass in the process. Also, congrats on the new product launch!

  4. Man, its crazy that you have only been doing this for a year. I am coming up on my one year anniversary here in a few weeks, and it feels as though it has been so much longer than that.

    I feel like I’ve been reading Exile Lifestyle forever, and yet, its only been a matter of months since the days of your very customized Arthemia theme which put mine to shame. And then you outdid yourself and created one of your own.

    Its awesome to see how much has changed and how you have evolved over the last year, as I can relate having gone through similar transitions myself. Keep doing things your own way, and kicking ass in the process. Also, congrats on the new product launch!

  5. Insane man. You’ve seen great success because you’ve pinpointed your focus and stuck with it – that, and it helps that you talk the talk AND walk the walk. Cheers to a hell of a first year buddy.

  6. Insane man. You’ve seen great success because you’ve pinpointed your focus and stuck with it – that, and it helps that you talk the talk AND walk the walk. Cheers to a hell of a first year buddy.

  7. Great blog entry – I’m personally surprised it’s been a year :-)
    Keep up the great work Colin!
    Looking forward to seeing and connecting with you when the grand tour takes place this summer! :-)

  8. Great blog entry – I’m personally surprised it’s been a year :-)
    Keep up the great work Colin!
    Looking forward to seeing and connecting with you when the grand tour takes place this summer! :-)

  9. Wow, time really flies. Congratulations man, it has been an honor and a pleasure to be part of this community, I really hope we can see a lot more of your adventures and that subtle link to our growth.

    I hope we can enjoy a lot more than we did this year (well not the entire year for me) and I hope we will have awesome content here for a long long time.

    Congratulations Colin, now let’s party hard!

  10. Wow, time really flies. Congratulations man, it has been an honor and a pleasure to be part of this community, I really hope we can see a lot more of your adventures and that subtle link to our growth.

    I hope we can enjoy a lot more than we did this year (well not the entire year for me) and I hope we will have awesome content here for a long long time.

    Congratulations Colin, now let’s party hard!

  11. Hey, congratulations on the great success.

    I started reading your blog a week or two and I really like what I see. I’m not sure how I found myself here but I started reading because we share the same name… plus or minus an extra “l”. Keep up the great work, HIGH 5!

  12. Hey, congratulations on the great success.

    I started reading your blog a week or two and I really like what I see. I’m not sure how I found myself here but I started reading because we share the same name… plus or minus an extra “l”. Keep up the great work, HIGH 5!

  13. Um…You didn’t work on all five of those computers. One of those was mine! Just saying (if I weren’t here, who would keep you honest? :P).

    Happy Birthday to Exile Lifestyle! It’s amazing to me that we had ‘The Talk That Changed Our Lives’ (aka The Talk That Brought the World the Break Up Party & Wisked You Away to Far Off Lands) just over a year ago. What a crazy year! I know I’ve told you this before, I wanted to date you because I knew it would change me. It was scary and exciting and intimidating and encouraging and it makes me so happy and excited (can I put more adjectives in this sentence?) to see you now able to have that effect on so many other people through this blog and the community you’ve built.

    Bravo, sir. You have again outdone yourself.

  14. Um…You didn’t work on all five of those computers. One of those was mine! Just saying (if I weren’t here, who would keep you honest? :P).

    Happy Birthday to Exile Lifestyle! It’s amazing to me that we had ‘The Talk That Changed Our Lives’ (aka The Talk That Brought the World the Break Up Party & Wisked You Away to Far Off Lands) just over a year ago. What a crazy year! I know I’ve told you this before, I wanted to date you because I knew it would change me. It was scary and exciting and intimidating and encouraging and it makes me so happy and excited (can I put more adjectives in this sentence?) to see you now able to have that effect on so many other people through this blog and the community you’ve built.

    Bravo, sir. You have again outdone yourself.

  15. Congrats on your first year anniversary! I didn’t realize that you had only had this blog for that amount of time. I first came on here maybe 5 months and have been enjoying reading it at work ever since. You don’t have to worry too much about being boring over the coming year – you still have a big move in your near future. Keep up the great work Colin! Hopefully one day I can follow in your footsteps and live my own exile lifestyle!

  16. Congrats on your first year anniversary! I didn’t realize that you had only had this blog for that amount of time. I first came on here maybe 5 months and have been enjoying reading it at work ever since. You don’t have to worry too much about being boring over the coming year – you still have a big move in your near future. Keep up the great work Colin! Hopefully one day I can follow in your footsteps and live my own exile lifestyle!

  17. Dude! that’s awesome!

    It feels like I’ve been reading Exile Lifestyle forever – hard to believe it’s only been a year.

    Congrats man!

  18. Dude! that’s awesome!

    It feels like I’ve been reading Exile Lifestyle forever – hard to believe it’s only been a year.

    Congrats man!

  19. Happy Birthday! I too am surprised it has only been a year, that means I’ve been reading this for a very big percentage of its existence :-)

  20. Happy Birthday! I too am surprised it has only been a year, that means I’ve been reading this for a very big percentage of its existence :-)

  21. Well done. You are an inspiration. My feet are itching to do what you do [work and travel the world], so I watch and learn, just waiting to make my move. May need to get my ‘things’ down from 512 first though! Keep on truckin, you are rockin it!

  22. Well done. You are an inspiration. My feet are itching to do what you do [work and travel the world], so I watch and learn, just waiting to make my move. May need to get my ‘things’ down from 512 first though! Keep on truckin, you are rockin it!

  23. I completely understand your language!! Happy birthday. You should have a like button under your article like Facebook, me likes your articles and your recommendations in fb. You inspired me to sit on the floor and do work. thanks, I will give it a try and see if that works for me. cheers

  24. I completely understand your language!! Happy birthday. You should have a like button under your article like Facebook, me likes your articles and your recommendations in fb. You inspired me to sit on the floor and do work. thanks, I will give it a try and see if that works for me. cheers

  25. woah cool, you got on NZ TV! Happy Birthday! I was excited to see your product go out too. Was wondering when you would do something like that.

  26. woah cool, you got on NZ TV! Happy Birthday! I was excited to see your product go out too. Was wondering when you would do something like that.

  27. Crap Fuck Damn. Ah, sweet, sweet editorial freedom.

    Are you going to make a shirt out of that one?

    Congrats on a year of flying free! So many reasons to love the month of April…

  28. Crap Fuck Damn. Ah, sweet, sweet editorial freedom.

    Are you going to make a shirt out of that one?

    Congrats on a year of flying free! So many reasons to love the month of April…

  29. Pingback: OMFG Networking Awesomely Ebook | Exile Lifestyle

  30. Wow, a year has really flew by. I didn’t realize how long I have been checking up on you. I’m one of those who often reads but rarely posts. You’ve been an inspiration and I hope to do something similar in the near future.
    Keep up the great work,

    Rob

  31. Wow, a year has really flew by. I didn’t realize how long I have been checking up on you. I’m one of those who often reads but rarely posts. You’ve been an inspiration and I hope to do something similar in the near future.
    Keep up the great work,

    Rob

  32. What, ONLY 5 suped up computers and 3 desks and a measly 100 hour week. God, standards are slipping with the youth of today.

    Happy Birthday Blog, behave and don’t drink too much.

  33. What, ONLY 5 suped up computers and 3 desks and a measly 100 hour week. God, standards are slipping with the youth of today.

    Happy Birthday Blog, behave and don’t drink too much.

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