March 15, 2005

Giving It Up (Mediocre Fred's Farewell)

Today's Musical Selection: "Backs Turned Looking Down the Path" by Warren Zevon

Hello, everyone! Well, my still-erratic posting schedule has really been making the natives restless. Loyal reader Brett, for instance:

"At any rate, that about kicks it in the head for today. Something else tomorrow!"

Something I've been seeing alot of recently.

(As I read the same posts over and over, anxiously awaiting the new post)

But at the same time it's nice that you're keeping yourself busy. Hope things are going good for you.

Things are going well for me, Brett. For instance, this. And this. But that's not getting any more blog entries written, is it?

I don't know what to do about this, either. It's not that I lack material. I want to write about Russ Potts and the coming split in the GOP. I want to write about the latest shenanigans of the ABA. I want to write about my dad's stories of growing up. I want to right about some of the curious commercials I've seen. I want to write about what a fraud the Pepperoni Trio pizza is. I want to write another big NCAA Tournament preview, like last year. I have plenty of things that I'd like to write about.

I just have trouble finding the time. If I was a true blogger, the type to jot down quick bursts of thought several times a day, that would be one thing. But it takes me three paragraphs to clear my throat (as you've noticed, I'm sure). It usually takes me at least an hour, usually more, to write a regular-length post. And I just don't have that kind of time any more, at least not on any consistent basis.

As a result of that, I've made the difficult decision to hang up my keyboard and quit writing this blog. I'll pause to give you a moment to recover.

(Hey, stop celebrating! And what do you mean, "How will anyone know the difference?")

Truth be told, I suppose I've seen this coming for a while. Ever since I agreed to become President of the Nats Fan Club, I wondered how I'd find time to get everything done. Then once the Fan Club really began taking off, whcih was wonderful but also extremely time-consuming, I knew that something was going to have to give. There just aren't enough hours in the day.

I always knew that it would be time to go when posting stopped being fun and started being a chore. And unfortunately, that day has come. I never stopped enjoying the conversations with you, The Reader, reading and responding to your comments. But producing original material, even as sporadically as I've been doing lately, has become tedious. I think of the other thousand things I have to do each evening, and suddenly I've started to dread blogging where once I enjoyed it. And I know from experience that writing with your teeth clenched rarely produces anything memorable or worthwhile.

When I started the blog a little more than a year and a half ago, it was largely as a joke. The Smart Lady had sort of introduced me to the blogging phenomenon, and my quick take on it was pretty negative: mostly loudmouths spouting uninformed opinions with little or no factual backup. So I came up with an idea for an opinion-free blog. Why not blog about why you don't have a position on something? It seemed funny enough as a concept, which was frankly all I intended it to be. But The Smart Lady encouraged me to give it a whirl (one of the great things about The Smart Lady is that she always encouraged me to try new things), and one July evening in her apartment, I sat down and started typing. I didn't have any particular idea what would become of it, so I thought I'd see what happened.

Well, it didn't take long for me to become hooked. And it didn't take long for me to start expressing a few opinions of my own. The idea of having a public forum to express one's own views is pretty intoxicating, and gradually I shifted from humorous pieces to more serious-minded fare. And so began the conversation with the readers, which I found and still find to be the most enriching part of the whole thing. Were it not for the quality of the comments I've received, I'd probably have given this up long ago.

Did I change the world with this blog? No. Did I make much of an impact? Doubtful. But I like to think that I've helped to further the worldwide dialogue on a lot of issues, hopefully in an enlightening way.

I want to hand out a few thank yous to the people who helped this blog along the way:

- To all the folks in my life who provided material for my writing: my parents, The Smart Lady, Papa Shaft, the Mad Prophet, the Gentleman's Gentleman, the Gamer Girl, the estimable Ms. Wizard, and all the other bit players who popped up here and there.

- To the Cast of Thousands who made their way through the blog at one time or another: "Deadline Danny" Goodwin, Coach Bum Bolbridge, Senator Blutarsky, Mayor McCheese, Hammerin' Hank, and of course Uncle Millie and Aunt Beatrice. (America's Sweethearts are now without a home for their romantic advice, so if someone wants to offer them a good blog home, I'll be happy to make arrangements.)

- To Frinklin and Ensie, who helped rescue me from Blogspot and get me over into the MuNuniverse. Thanks for believing.

- To Open Source Politics, who gave me a shot at political commentary on a wider stage. I never was able to devote as much as I'd hoped to it, but I hope they'll keep on trucking.

- To my loyal commenters, the ones who helped maintain the high standard of commentary around here: Frinklin, Ensie, Tripp, Carl, PG, arrScott, Papa, Brett, and others.

- To everyone who stopped by to read my rantings, even the crazy rippers who misunderstood everything.

- And one last thank you to The Smart Lady, who was my guiding light on this blog and off. You inspired me to reach farther, dream bigger, do more. And you made my days brighter whenever you were around. I hope New York's treating you fair.

I'd like to stay in touch with all of you. Those of you who have blogs, I'll probably be stopping by from time to time. If you'd like to keep the conversation going, you can always reach me at mediocrefred1979 -at- yahoo -dot- com. And if you get lonely for my commentary, feeling free to check the archives here or at Blogspot.

I think I'll wrap up with a snippet of today's musical selection. I chose it because I've always thought of us, you and I, walking along and having this ongoing conversation. Thanks for sharing a few miles with me.

Some may have, and some may not
God, I'm thankful for what I got
With my back turned, looking down the path
We'll go walkin' hand in hand
Laughin' fit to beat the band
With our backs turned, looking down the path

Goodbye, my friends. See you sometime, I hope.

Posted by Fred at March 15, 2005 11:14 AM

Sorry to hear it, but quite understandable. I'm sure we'll meet up at a Nats game or other baseball-related function sooner or later.

Posted by: Carl at March 17, 2005 04:43 PM

This is depressing. You'll be missed! :)

Posted by: Jennifer at March 18, 2005 10:21 AM

Fred! I'll keep an eye out for you on the TV as Pres. of the Nats fan club. I'll miss you, but hope you'll take Finklin up on his offer from time to time. If we're ever in the DC area we'll look you up. :)

Posted by: ensie at March 18, 2005 07:31 PM

Best of luck with the fan club thing! Please note how I'm all happy for you and not complaining about how all my favorite bloggers are retiring!

Posted by: Ginevra at March 18, 2005 08:37 PM
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