2012 in review

2012 has been a year of blogging – I’ve started five blogs this year (OK, so . . . maybe six or seven), but have only consistently contributed to two:  The Weekend Philanthropist and The Accidental Atheist.

For this blog, I traveled to Nicaragua twice, interviewed six philanthropists (abroad and local), and did a lot of reading.  I’ve found a lot of joy in learning to express myself more clearly and look forward to another year of writing in 2013.

As a cap to the year, here are the 2012 articles from this blog I’m the most happy about, along with an annual report from WordPress down below.  Enjoy!


1) The 3 Donation Projects Funded By You! and 4 Donation Projects Funded By You!  Two days before my first trip to Nicaragua I had the simple but powerful idea to have others donate through me.  $10, 25, or 100 at a time (or whatever they wanted), we pooled together $250 on the first trip and $775 on the second.  I looked for chances to use that money for donation projects while in Nicaragua, and the result was amazing.  I feel like I’ve learned so much from those experiences and have gained lifelong friends in Nicaragua as well.  What started as a simple and random idea has become the best part of traveling and has given me, donors, and recipients some of the best memories from 2012.

2) A Plane, a Reader, and an Alien Country.  I’m always trying to get better at expressing my wonder for nature and for the people I meet in a way that captures my feelings and thoughts in a sincere and meaningful way.  This article is one of my favorites so far.  Writing the first draft was very clunky and disjointed, but I gave it a few days and was very happy with the result.

3) Travis and Sophie – Hippie Capitalists – PW #3!  Half-way through the year I decided to dabble in some quasi-journalism.  I wanted to give a spotlight to people who were doing great work as well as have a good excuse to ask them a million questions.  The first article I wrote was so difficult.  I sat with writer’s block for about an hour-and-a-half with the fully transcribed interview and notes in front of me before the words finally started to flow.  As I did more of these interview articles it became easier and more fun.  This one, on Travis and Sophie’s business, Teysha, was the most popular by views.  They and the other philanthropists I wrote about have become great mentors and friends, full of great advice as I approach the launch of my first nonprofit.

4) Chapter 2 – Volcanoes, Drunks, and Polio.  When I got back from my first trip to Nicaragua I had a lot I wanted to write about.  Life and distractions slowly but surely distanced me from the memories, and I never got around to writing my experiences down in full.  I didn’t want that to happen again, so on my second trip I pushed myself to do a five-chapter memoir including interesting and boring detail, I’m sure.  In my fixed pursuit of the goal to write it all in a week, I went too quickly and didn’t make the memoir as good as I would have liked, but it still turned out OK.  This chapter was the reader favorite (and yes, I still have one more chapter to go to finish it).


As 2013 approaches there are many new exciting plans I have for this blog.  Thanks for being a part of it!  Please let me know what you think about it, what you’d like to see, or whatever else you’d like to say.  🙂

If you’re curious, you’re welcome to read the full report from WordPress that shows some of the stats from The Weekend Philanthropist.

Also, again if you’re curious, you can check out the annual review of my other blog, The Accidental Atheist, along with the four posts I’m the most happy about and the things I’ve learned from them.

3 thoughts on “2012 in review”

  1. Jeff, I loved all that you wrote this year except for not yet getting to the journal from your last trip. (And I will.) One of my very favorites was A Plane, A Reader, and An Alien Country. Being able to raise up feelings and memories in another human being, one who has not experienced the exact moment you’ve described… is a gift. It’s also a way of bringing people together, of getting us all to see that we have more in common than otherwise. You’re a gifted writer. And I know you’ll keep it up!

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