Two months ago, I wrote a blog titled What Should I Do? and posed a question about whether or not to separate "Levi Macallister" from "Levi The Poet"? To date, I think it elicited the most interaction I've seen on any blog I've posted, ever. Responses were mixed, but graciously given, and clearly articulated as to why you believed I should, or should not, create a clearer distinction between my work as Levi The Poet and, well, everything else.
Today, I broke up with myself. Let me explain.
For the past six years, I've done almost everything as Levi The Poet. I attached any and all content I released to that name, wrapping myself entirely up in it. Those of you that have followed me since Werewolves days (some even before that) know that LTP has acted as an autobiography, and one that I have joyfully embraced and sought to invite others into. The Lord has done amazing things since my first tour with In The Midst Of Lions back in 2009, and I don't believe that he is done yet, which is part of the reason I decided to change some things.
There comes a time when you need to take a step back from working in something to working on it. Truth be told, I have often felt stifled by Levi The Poet, as though it were all of me, and not just a part of me. Though I have always sought to pour all of myself into this project, this project is not all that I am.
Levi The Poet is bigger than Levi, the poet. That's one of the things I love most about it. It is a collaborative community of artists, musicians, sound engineers, pastors, friends, spouses, fans, you…
You. None of this would be anything without you.
We have big plans this year. I am hoping that making this distinction will allow me to take a step back with a more objective vision for the project. I have a lot of things that I want to create, both in and outside of Levi The Poet. I am also hoping that clarifying this change - if for no one other than myself - will give me the freedom to have fun with writing and creating again, without the pigeonholed borders of what may or may not be specific or appropriate to audiences solely interested in "Levi The Poet."
So here's a new website for you to check out, from regular ol' Levi the person: www.levimacallister.com.
And in regard to Twitter, my favorite form of social media, follow @levimacallister
To those of you concerned that I've completely abandoned everything I've always claimed to stand for, let me assure you, it's entirely the opposite, and there will be a lot of overlap. I'm planning on both personal journal / blogging that will be exclusive to the site, as well as direct links to all other posts released elsewhere as it comes from me - whether that be through Levi The Poet, XXXChurch.com, or a myriad of other content in the works as I write this. In fact, I spent the last couple of weeks collecting and organizing the past few years' worth of blog content across various platforms into this website, and linking it back out to where it came from, so that you have an easily searchable database of all things LTPoet/Person.
Eventually, I will have a mailing list organized for this new site. For the time being, you will continue to receive updates about LTP-specific news as you have been, and, when the time comes, you will be automatically added to the personal newsletter, as well. Until then, feel free to follow the twitter for new posts, or check in periodically as you wish. The point is to have fun with this thing and invite you to participate in it, not drown myself in even more work, or badger you with it.
The main thing that I gleaned from your responses in March was a fear that separation would mean a loss of authenticity, transparency, personality and connection with the things that Levi The Poet fans have always loved and come to expect from me. I respect that, and frankly, this is far from an attempt to remove them. I believe this shift will help me increase those facets of my art that you value.
So, maybe "breaking up with myself" is the wrong way to put it.
It's not a divorce, merely a distinction.
Thank you for all of your input during this conversation. I'll end this the way I ended the initial question: I genuinely care about you, and I hope that you are able to trust that I am making this decision within the context of a desire to grow and see others grow.
As always, I welcome your feedback. Here's to keeping connected for a long time to come.