Into The Sunset

5 Sep

riding-into-sunset

On April 5th (five months ago today), I launched this site as an experiment in community.

I didn’t know if it would take off or blow up on the runway, but I sent invitations to the four winds and solicited every writer I could find to join my cause.

I wanted it to be a community where men would disciple men and we would all collectively grow in our understanding of parenting, marriage, and biblical manhood.

For a while, it worked for the most part: MTAB tallied 13,353 reads from 86 countries in the span of just a few months, 36 authors contributed 161 incredibly insightful pieces, and we launched the uber cool “Alphabet Of Manly Virtues” series.

While things were going super slick on the site, they weren’t going so well for me. After the initial flood of contributions poured in and blast of enthusiasm wore off, I tried to keep things going by my own efforts.

Here’s the two things that happened as a result:

1.)    Instead of being a community of men, it became the Dave Wonders show. A few weeks ago, I heard someone recommending More Than A Beard as “Dave’s blog”. While I have enjoyed writing for the blog, I’ve ended up taking on a much more substantial presence than I ever wanted. Instead of being the general editor, I became the primary author. Instead of it being, “A multi-authored, multigenerational look at the facets of manhood”, it became, “Dave shares some of his very faulty and finite perspectives on manhood.” The site is so far from what I wanted it to be when I created it.

2.)    As I was trying to maintain a website about how to become a better husband and father, I was gradually becoming a worse one. I kept rationalizing to myself that the hours of work each week were worth it (and I’m sure the articles on this site have blessed many folks), but looking back, I am ashamed of how often I shirked my responsibilities to my wife and my daughter and put MTAB first. There are of course ways that I could maybe cram website writing/administration into other parts of my day other than evening family time, but I am having another baby in less than 13 weeks and I am seeing the writing on the wall that my time/energy/life is going to be even more maxed out than it is right now.

In light of this, I am hanging up my hat as the general editor of More Than A Beard.

If anyone wants to take up the torch of what we built here, I am more than willing to hand over the keys to the back door, but my chapter with the site is closed. If that effectively signs the site’s death warrant, than I am sorry to see it go.

Good things happened here. Great insights where shared. I, for one, learned and grew a lot.

As I take my final bow, I want to say a huge thank you to the authors that poured themselves out here and to the thousands of visitors that came by to read the posts and say hello.

An extra special thank you goes out to my partner in crime Aaron Pearson for being a sounding board and ever present helping hand to the site.

An extra, extra special thanks to my wife for giving me the green light to go forward with MTAB even though I think she secretly knew it would suck me dry and that I would drive it into the ground after only five months. Your continued love and patience with me is always appreciated! You are a treasure, Amanda.

Always remember: No one has it all together, and that is nothing to be ashamed of.

Keep seeking to deepen your relationship with God (Hosea 6:3) and seek out people who can help get you to where you want to be (Proverbs 27:17), but don’t forget to rest in the grace and mercy that is offered to us in Jesus Christ when you aren’t where you want to be.

Thanks for everything and God bless you on your journey.

-Dave Wonders

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6 Responses to “Into The Sunset”

  1. ignitetruth1 September 5, 2013 at 18:43 #

    I hope this will survive. I believe it can be run with you at the helm. Priorities first, God, family, work…blog. I know I would like to contribute more to all that is going on in my life but to step back and see what is really important is the best way to go. Please do not give up the ship, just slow it down. Tremendous blessings have been started here and need to continue.
    God Bless and keep up the fight.

  2. For the Love of God September 5, 2013 at 19:03 #

    My initial thought is that I can do it, but it would require me to get up earlier in the day. Dave, can you email me some more details of what’s involved? I definitely don’t want to lose this. I do think that its ok to have a primary author to keep it sustainable, but its definitely part of this sites foundation to have an open forum of contributors.

    Great post by the way. Love the fact your putting family first with this site, hate to see you go.

  3. pamela hodges September 5, 2013 at 22:21 #

    Dave, just post once a week. And find some famous beards to guest post. Ask some of the Duck men on Duck Dynasty to guest post.

    So much work, so little time.

    I say don’t kill it, just post less. How often do you do it now?
    Or mentor some young writers from your church. I will pray someone wants to take it up. A great idea.

    All the best,
    Pamela

  4. Lance Wonders September 6, 2013 at 09:44 #

    Dave, you are making the right decision under the circumstances. No beard necessary: you are showing true wisdom as a man, a husband, and a father. DAD

  5. Eärdil September 6, 2013 at 09:48 #

    I just came to this blog a month ago and it has blessed me a lot since. I hope you get to spend more time with your family and that someone takes the lead of this blog for it to keep blessing and encouraging us.

    God bless.

  6. Jeremy Riley (@jeremydriley) September 14, 2013 at 18:48 #

    Happy trails, Dave! Appreciate this space, and you’ve made the wise decision. Best of luck to you in the future!

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