Where Do I Go From Here?

For those of you interested in my own personal future here and elsewhere, read below the fold.  For those not so interested, move along, nothing to see.

I think at the end of the Democratic primaries I was ready to stop blogging politics completely.  I started my own personal blog and got a gig as a contributor at the excellent Jay Is Games casual gaming blog.

At my own blog I not only was managing to get pretty solid traffic (much better than the traffic I got when I started my first political blog four years ago), and I had started posting a novel I was writing based on a bed time story I tell my daughters when I’m home to put them to bed.

And then I put everything on hold to come back to write here for the general election.  I think I always intended to leave here after the election, but as Matt Bastard told me when I was feeling this idea around, don’t close any doors.

So here I am, a novel that’s only at best a quarter finished, two other blogs I’m eager to get back to, and a strange realization; I can’t give up political blogging.  Not completely, not ever.  I will continue to write here at Comments From Left Field for as long as Mike is willing to keep shelling out the change each year to keep it up and running.

I do intend to step back a little bit, maybe cut down my contributions to only one or two posts a day, and maybe a longer article on the weekends.  I do want to get back into writing for Jay and working on my novel.  So to this end, as I take my political writing down a notch, I think this is great because this gives more of the spotlight over to my fellow writers here.

I think one of the downsides to being a contributor here is that I tend to drown out the other great voices with whom I share this little bit of internet real estate, and it’s exciting for me to watch Kathy, Matt, tas, Mac, and Gail own more of that spotlight along with our other, less frequent contributors such as Dustin and Terry.  I’ve picked each and every one of these folks to write here, and I did it because I’m a huge fan of all their work, and one of the great things of me quieting down a bit is that it gives the rest of you a better chance to see why I’m such a big fan.

So I’m going to keep writing here, just maybe not quite so much as I have in the past.

For starters, in the coming days and maybe even weeks I’m going to start a series of posts on the 2008 election.  This has been such a wonderful experience, especially if you are a student of political science.  I think we as a country learned so much about how we elect those who govern us that the treasure trove of lessons to be learned deserves lengthy discussion and study.  I intend to go back to the primaries, to take a cold hard look at both sides of the aisle, what people did wrong, and what they did right.

Another thing that I am anxious to do is something that Mike and I have been mulling for quite a long time; starting up a regular podcast.  So if there’s anyone out there that has experience with mixing and production and can help us get started with producing a podcast on the cheap even though we live in different countries a few thousand miles apart, that would be much appreciated.

And finally, I guess I’m going to have to learn how to blog about actual issues again.  It’s going to be tough, but I managed to do it before, I guess I’ll probably figure it out again.  Jebus, I have to learn how to live without a presidential election going on, whatever will I do?

Well, I know what I’m going to do tonight.  With absolutely nothing going on here at my office, I think it’s about time to cuddle up with the pizza the dayshift people left for me, and veg out like I haven’t veged out in nearly two years!

Thank you so much to all of the people that have made working on this site worth it.  You have all been so amazing, and I hope that in the coming years we just keep getting better!

6 Responses to “Where Do I Go From Here?”

  1. tas says:

    I’ve got experience with quitting political blogging. As you can tell, I failed.

    There’s not just a certain mindset needed for the gig, but a certain life-set… When you get into the blogging habit full time, your life becomes molded around it… This happens unconsciously. You’ve entered your comfort zone. But once that’s usurped, you look at all the time political blogging eats up and think, “Shit, I need to do other things!” And the pattern is always usurped — usually because of employment situations.

    So then you quit. It feels good and freeing until you start getting that blogging itch again… Then you’re in limbo.

    One sad fact about the blogosphere is that readers are very fickle. All of us are. And if a blog stops producing fresh, new content, we stop reading it. So it’s a vicious cycle: you want to partially stop blogging, but doing such means losing readership. (Unless you’re Billmon. Everyone awaits the return of that guy for another 3 month stint before he goes into hiding again. But that’s besides the point.)

    I’ve found it’s good to keep your fingers in the blogging cookie jar by joining a group blog — hence why I’m here. I don’t have the worries of blog administration, posting ten times a day to keep readers happy, site redesigns (coded by hand in HTML, of course), fixing the blog’s database when it inevitably blows up (at this point, I could list MySQL as a skill on my resume), etc…

    I’m glad to hear you’re keeping your fingers in the jar. It’s the best way to go.

  2. Dynamic says:

    Keep at it! Even with no election, I’m sure there’ll be things to liveblog.

    Maybe the Bush-Cheney impeachment trials?

    A guy can dream, can’t he?

  3. Jay says:

    I’ve heard Jayisgames is an excellent site! Surely you’ll have more time to play a few games now anyways. I look forward to reading more of your reviews over there! 😉

    Thank heavens it’s over. And I am so grateful to finally have my country back. Still a lot of work yet to do, we’re still not that perfect union. But hope for a perfect union has never seemed more palpable than now.

    And we now know who the “real” Americans are (if by no other metric than majority rules).

    Hooray for President Elect Obama!!
    (and First Lady Michelle Obama!)

    What excellent role models they are.

    (Please excuse my ranting)

  4. Thank you guys, everyone so much! It’s so weird now, I don’t feel this urgency every day when I get up, and I’m thinking to myself, gee, what do I WANT to do now?

    tas: You are dead right. I’ve had that same experience before; I will give it up, thinking, yeah, this time I’m quitting for good, and every single time it always ends the same. Usually when I come back, that’s when I’m at my most intense, the eighteen hour days hit, and it’s almost like I’m trying to make up for lost time.

    But this time, I think I’m going to really try and craft a nitch for myself. I think I went a long way into establishing my focus in the political blogosphere, and I can continue to grow from there as well as teach myself how to blog on issues again.

    Dynamic: Hell yes there are going to be things we can liveblog again. Hell, I’ll liveblog about paint drying if we get drunk enough and I can wax poetically about my belly button again!

    As for the quicky impeachment, well, if Al Franken pulls out a miracle and topples Norm Coleman, it’s possible. He even wrote about it in his book The Truth.

    Jay: You know, it is a pretty decent site, and I was wondering if the illustrious owner of said site would give me dibs on the upcoming Mystery Case Files game? Also, if that owner would be so kind as to email me all the tip sheets on posting and picture formatting, that would be equally awesome as the old emails are now buried under a virtual mountain of Obama, MoveOn.org, and DNC emails, trying to find them could cause an anneurism!

    Seriously, though, I’m really glad you took an interest here and have jumped in on some of the conversations, I really and truly appreciate it. I think your words about the Obamas and the upcoming Obama administration ring particularly true and powerful here, and are echoed by all of our thoughts.

    I can’t get over the beauty of the new first family, the sense of hope that though we are facing dark times we have a leader that is up to the task. And I can’t get over the feeling that I can be recognized as a patriot once more, even if I am a commie fake American living in the fake Virginia which is far less patriotic and god loving than Western Pennsylvania! I don’t think it’s going to be easy, but I think the challenge is something that as Americans we should be more than willing to tackle.

    And I look forward to contributing at JIG again, and my own site, and my novel, and here. God, I’ve had this silly grin now for two days, and I love it!

  5. I will continue to pay as long as all of you continue to write… can we say Catch 22?

  6. Kathy says:

    There’s not just a certain mindset needed for the gig, but a certain life-set… When you get into the blogging habit full time, your life becomes molded around it… This happens unconsciously. You’ve entered your comfort zone. But once that’s usurped, you look at all the time political blogging eats up and think, “Shit, I need to do other things!”

    Oh, you mean, like, how I was reading stuff to blog about just now, and it was about 7:30 pm and I had just eaten dinner in front of the computer, and I glanced at the time at the bottom right of my monitor screen, and I saw: 12:14 AM.


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