The following is an unedited, stream-of-consciousness personal journal used to experiment with different subjects outside of assignments and to practice free-writing. It shouldn't (at all) be viewed as a portfolio of polished work.

To see examples of my professional writing, please visit For photography, please visit or my Instagram channel @ginabegin.

New Year. These Goals.

2014 New Years Blogging Photography Resolution
2013 ended. Isn't that just so typical?
Taken somewhere on America's "Loneliest Road"

When you write for others for a living, you don't really get around to your own blog. Well, I don't; perhaps I'm just the slacker of the writing bunch. Because of that, this blog took a huge hit in 2013 with me not dropping in to update it (sorry, blog). Since 2007, it's gone through various stages of my life with me, from crafting to gardening to opening a bakery to living out of a car. I figured it wasn't fair to abandon it.

But how do busy folk find time for everything they are passionate about, such as writing on a personal level? Or taking photographs for pleasure?

I put on my thinking cap. I love goals. Ambitious ones. And I've heard plenty of times that writing (and photography) are like muscles; you gotta do it regularly to strengthen your skills. The problem with posting daily is that some adventures require time away from the internet. I know: Armchair adventuring is readily available without leaving the comfort of wifi, but believe it or not, it's tough to write a compelling account regarding the hours and hours of GoPro video you checked out on YouTube. Go figure.

So I concocted a compromise. (Is it a bad sign that I've already hit the compromise stage on day 3 of the New Year?) I'll write daily and take a photograph of my surroundings as well. No problem there. But to remove the "overwhelm," instead of posting daily, which would bore both of us at some point around mid-month, I'll wrap all the daily content into a tidy "Week in Review." Well, like that but with a catchier title.

And if I am on some extended adventure and can't post that week, give me a Hi5: I'm out doing something awesome.

I hope 2014 brings lots of missed weeks.

I anticipate that this will motivate me to write more deeply (and regularly) outside of my weekly wrap-up post, but I am putting no further expectations on myself outside of that. I want to write more, be more creative and put my brain to work in new ways. That's my real goal for 2014; these are the small steps I'm taking to get there.

And if the content that comes forth from all this daily-ness is less than stellar, I'm blaming Ben Fullerton — mostly because he told me, in 140 characters or less, that this was a really good idea.

2014 New Years Blogging Photography Resolution

And so we begin.

. . .

The photo heading the top of this post shows how I spent New Year's Eve — the last day in one of the best years of my life. 2013 was filled with adventure and progress; more than I can recount (read the blog, though it's sparse). To sum it up:

  • ski touring eastern Canada and New England; 
  • living another year from my car (yes, that's exciting to me); 
  • getting my first dog (who, very sadly, was taken from me a few months later; but that's not part of the good so I'll move on); 
  • finally getting a taste of my dream of living in a mountain cabin (3 months in a tiny lofted cabin in Teton Pass. Jimmy Chin was my neighbor [he didn't know it]); 
  • having a set of talented and capable interns join my Outdoor Women's Alliance (OWA) team (thank you, +Laurie Tewksbury +TIffiny Costello and +Kimberly Dallas);
  • getting my Canadian citizenship; 

  • getting published (more than once but less than three times) in Outside Magazine; 
  • getting paid in 2013 by Mountain Magazine for a 2012 article I wrote which marked the first time I was able to take the "free" out of freelance
  • becoming part of the blogging team at Liftopia, Sierra Trading Post, and Teton Sports (with some others currently in the works); 
  • pulling off some successful collaborative events with OWA and big skioutdoor brands;
  • publishing my first mini book;

  • touring Canada's Powder Highway; 
  • being invited to test gear on the Outdoor Research #ORInsightLab team; and, most importantly
  • spending lots of time with the two men I love most in life (my nephews). 

None of this crossed my mind as I drove west into that sunset (romantic, isn't it?). All I thought was: "This is the quietest New Year's Eve I've ever experienced. Oh, and I need a picture of that sky." Driving to the 9th least-visited park in the National Parks system on the country's loneliest highway made for a decidedly un-celebratory feeling. But I liked it.

Walking the streets of Ely, Nevada later that night, I looked for a clean motel with seedy prices and settled on something between the two. I tucked in at 11:00pm and called it a year.

. . .

First week of 2014 to come.

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