2014 results in purchase of monthly magazine, other big events

Wichita Family Magazine
This is a screen shot of the homepage of www.wichitafamily.com, which is the magazine I am now the publisher of.
This is a screen shot of the homepage of www.wichitafamily.com, which is the magazine I am now the publisher of.

It has been far too long since I darkened the doorway of this blog, and for that I am full of regret. A blog is like a plant. It must be fed and watered to be kept alive. The difference is instead of plant food and water, a blog is sustained by carefully crafted posts.

Well, with the close of the year fast approaching, I am going to resolve to improve upon that. I’m not going to let this blog go the way of the actual plant I have in my kitchen.

However, this post isn’t about New Year’s Resolutions. No, it is a much-needed update on what has been going on, which is the reason for my blogging neglect.

That reason is simple. I bought a magazine.

I am now the publisher of Wichita Family Magazine, which is a monthly publication serving families in the Wichita (Kan.) area. I, along with my good friend Jerod Horchem, established Lucky 7 Publishing LLC in May, and our first action as a company was to purchase and take over operations of Wichita Family Magazine. Our first issue came out in June 2014.

This was a big move, and it has kept me exceedingly busy. I am now spending a majority of my waking moments thinking about the magazine. Sometimes I am worrying about getting enough ad sales to cover costs for the month, and other times my mind is focused on what content I will have in the upcoming issue.

Sure, sometimes it is a bit stressful, but journalism is in my blood. Despite any negatives, I love being the publisher. Seeing all my hard work come out as a beautiful magazine is truly rewarding.

This is a screen shot of my students' Issuu site, which hosts the digital editions of the monthly newsmagazine they produce.
This is a screen shot of my students’ Issuu site, which hosts the digital editions of the monthly newsmagazine they produce.

As you may know, my full time job consists of being a journalism and English teacher (this year I became the National Honor Society sponsor, continued as the Career and Technical Education lead within my building, and I still drive bus from time to time . . . among my other duties). With my newly found company, I was able to bring something new to my class. My students now produce a monthly newsmagazine. It is awesome! The students love seeing their work produced each month, and the student body is hungry for each edition.

Because I am so busy with Wichita Family and my full-time job, though, I did not get to take part in National Novel Writing Month this year. I wish I could have. I miss writing creatively, especially under the exhilarating timeline of NaNoWriMo. However, as I promised after I finished the contest in 2013, I did finish the sequel to “Murder at St. Alfanus.” I am currently in talks with a publisher to get it produced as my second book. I’m pretty excited, and I hope you all are too!

Another activity that has been keeping me busy is the American Legion Boys State of Kansas. I’ve written about my involvement before, and I have been moving up within the ranks. Last year I was the Curriculum Coordinator, which meant I was in charge of the curriculum of the entire program. At the end of last summer’s session, I moved out of that position and became the Media Coordinator, which is more inline with my previous role as the Head Media Counselor. As the head counselor, I oversaw all the media produced by the program delegates. As the coordinator, I will do the same thing, but now it is in a more official capacity.

However, that isn’t the only change I experienced within the program. I am also now the Marketing Director of the entire program. I am in charge of all aspects of branding and media relations and anything else to help increase the awareness and image of the program. It is something I am so grateful to be doing. It fits perfectly within my skills and interests.

Other than that, I am still the Director of the local American Legion Riders chapter, and in November I celebrated my one-year anniversary of dating the girl of my dreams (now that I think of it, she should probably read this post about dating a journalist such as myself).

So, as I said, I have neglected this blog, but I feel it hasn’t been for nothing. I have been busy embarking upon new adventures, continuing to follow my passions, and living a full life. I do plan on making more of an effort to post here more often. I think I might start commenting more on news events (such as politics, technology and sports) and journalism-related topics, as well as sharing insights into writing and my creative process.

I’m looking forward to getting back into writing here at The Voice of the Vogts. I hope you will enjoy it as well!

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About toddvogts 800 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, MJE, is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Journalism Education Association, among others. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at twitter.com/toddvogts or via his website at www.toddvogts.com.