By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

Yes We Can

With the Halloween season having wrapped up, the monsters have been taken down, it’s time to focus on an ending…. and a new beginning. I don’t regret the loss of 2020 soon passing into personal history, but I’ve become more reflective on how it’s changed me.

I missed the moments of going out and talking to people, hearing their stories, and sharing them with others. I’ve always tried to put the “journal” aspect into journalism, and starting this project just two months ago has put me back in the right headspace.

This week, I took a walk though downtown. The city is already putting up Christmas decorations. Still a little “too soon” for me, but there’s a comfort in the color this time of year provides, though a little mixed with everything going on. I catch myself shaking my head at times without even thinking about it.

But I’ve made a decision, and for me, I think it’s the most logical progression.

I’m going to be spending more time working on the Gazette. Granted, I do “something” for it daily now, whether it’s checking statistics, answering e-mails, interviewing people, or writing. There’s a lot of writing, as you’ve probably noticed

But it’s time for this project to grow, and that’s going to need me being more hands on with all of this. The site you’re reading now is the “basic” version of the idea John and I started. While we regularly put out our words and images, we’ve been spending weeks behind the scenes working on our next phase. There’s going to be a handful of features coming to make the Gazette a more customizable reader experience, and we’ve been cultivating the right talent to help us get there.

The Gazette is meant to be a “for everyone” page, which is why we have been “Nope” about covering some topics. I love stats. We could have had some great ones recently, but as much as I like watching growing numbers, we chose to foster our work in other ways. Turns out, people getting to know each other brings in our most readers. It’s also why we’ve been so gung-ho about Halloween. We’ll be the same about Thanksgiving and Christmas. People need the break. And it’s been such a weird year to the point where feeling normal has become invaluable.

Working on this site made me feel “normal” again.

So I’m going to follow the “normal” path for a while, a decision made last night after an old boss and friend of mine made a simple gesture that let me know this is where I was meant to be. There’s a lot of great stories right here where we are. Some we forgot about. Some many never knew.

With my impatience, I want to launch all the new stuff right now, but it’s why I chose my best friend as my business partner: He keeps me tempered. Not settled, mind you, but it gives me time to add some extra shine to our product before we do put it out.

It’s coming soon. I’m hoping you’ll like the changes that come next.

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