Hello 2015!

January 1, 20155 Comments

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Happy New Year everyone! 2014 was an amazing year filled with more ups than downs, and remarkable experiences than I ever thought it would be.

In fact, it was such a great year I have a feeling 2015 will be working exceptionally hard to live up to. But I suspect a year from now I’ll be writing the same thing, wishing 2016 good luck! Why am I so optimistic? I don’t know, I just am!

As 2015 begins today I want to share with you some thoughts about my plans for the coming year. I don’t have a lot of them fully formed yet, so rather than just regurgitating them all at once hoping it will force me to follow through as the year progresses, instead I’ll share a couple of things I won’t be doing. Confused? That’s okay, I am too!

The first thing I won’t be doing in 2015 is suppressing my opinion as much as I have over the last nine years. Are you surprised to hear that? It’s no secret I’m a self-described “fence sitter” when it comes to a lot of topics, but that has less to do with NOT HAVING AN OPINION and more to do with not wanting to be a jerk.

I don’t know how else to put it, so I’ll just call it what it is, I have a bit of an acid tongue. Ask any of my family or closest and dearest friends and they’ll tell you it’s true. The reason I’ve never shared it openly on the podcast is that nine years ago when I started the show I didn’t feel as confident in my woodworking opinions as I do now.

Don’t take that as my implying that I’ve somehow become some sort of expert woodworker with all the answers, because I haven’t! Instead, as someone who’s had a chance to interact with a lot of woodworkers (professional and amateur) over the years I feel more comfortable in what I’m currently doing than ever before.

I want to make it clear, my goal isn’t to use this as an excuse to give me license to be a jerk and say mean-spirited things just because “that’s the way I am!” (which by the way is the lamest response to being called out on being a jerk, next to “in my humble opinion.”)

Instead it’s just to inform you that if you ask me a question about a topic I’m comfortable with, I’m going to give you as true a response as I possibly can (not that I haven’t in the past,) even if it means I simply tell you “I don’t know.” But I can reassure you that I’ll still make every effort to point you in the direction of someone who might be able to help you!

The second thing I won’t be doing in 2015 is sticking to a regular schedule of content release. This has always been a struggle for me, because I love producing content. It’s always been a way for me to learn more about the techniques I’m trying for the first time or even for the ones I’m continually honing after years of doing them.

My world...

My world…

The number one reason I’m planning to not stick to a regular schedule is simple, family. Podcasting and woodworking are not my primary source of income. My kids are both teenagers and my wife and I realize more than ever how close they actually are to leaving us to start their own lives, so it’s important to make the time to enjoy our family the way it is now, before it becomes one where we only see each other on holidays and special occasions.

I don’t intend to suddenly drop content down to an infrequent dribble, but I ask for your patience when content becomes a little more sporadic in its release.

There are a few other things I won’t be doing in 2015 related to the show, but they’re so minor I’ll just stop doing them and you probably won’t even notice.

To end this post on the bright side, since I’m worried this may come across as being all negative, I should mention a couple of the “for certain” ideas I have for things I WILL be doing in 2015.

Without a doubt, 2015 will have more large-project builds. I have a list of furniture pieces I’ve put off building and it’s time to take care of business (after all the kids will need stuff for their first apartments in a few years.)

In 2014 there was more of an emphasis on small, quick projects thanks to a misreading of the feedback from some rather vocal audience members on YouTube. By “misreading of the feedback” I mean simply put, trying to satisfy the loudest voices who didn’t like long form videos.

Yes some of the videos will be long”ish” but I’m making a promise to all of you that it will be something that helps to teach a lesson or reinforce an existing technique. And some of it will even be interspersed with attempts to answer direct questions you might have.

Something else I’m planning to do in the new year, as soon as possible in fact, is to make some changes to the Patrons of Matt’s Basement Workshop campaign. As far as I’m concerned it’s been wildly successful and I’m still very excited by it, but I think the way it’s currently set up makes it hard for everyone to participate and support the show.

So in 2015 I plan to make it more inclusive while still offering all the great benefits current Patrons are already enjoying.

Thanks again for making the past year as amazing as it was, Happy 2015 everyone! I look forward to hearing from all of you over the next twelve months and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you want my real opinion, CHORTLE!

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Comments (5)

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  1. Stan P says:

    Happy New Year to you. Looking forward to what you will bring to the woodworking community in 2015.

  2. My New Years resolution (at least one of them) is to show more appreciation for the teachers in my life. Since my classes are all done and I’ve (supposedly) graduated, this means going back to all those who have shared inspiration and insight over the past few years.

    Yes, that includes you, Matt.

    I haven’t been very vocal about it, but thank you for everything you do. My goals include a more physical form of this appreciation…and finally I have the time to create them. So, I look forward to expressing that gratitude, one project at a time. From razors to cabinets, thank you.

    (And Happy NotLast Year!)

  3. chris says:

    Yes! to everything you said, Matt. Really looking forward to the larger scale and longer video projects, those are my absolute favorites and I’ve noticed less of them in general lately (not just your site). I heard you, Marc and Shannon talking about this on the podcast and got excited about the possibilities.

    Happy new year!

  4. Matt Hartley says:

    I happen to really enjoy long-ish videos and am very excited for the new honest Matt

    I constantly struggle with the family vs shop issue, so I completely understand the inconstancy in content

    Thanks for all the hard work, and the fantastic advise that you provide.

  5. Joe Forner says:

    Have enjoyed your videos and podcasts over the years. Please keep up the good work I will look forward to all you have to say in 2015.I like Your ideal of larger projects. Thank Matt

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