In August of 2004, I got started on this blog, asking "will I be the careful blog-gardener or the apathetic blog-slum lord?"
In five-plus years and 1126 posts, I was mostly the former. But lately, I've mostly been the latter. In fact, only my commitment to finishing the State Memories Project has brought me here at all lately. I haven't even been posting Letters to Hedgehog for the last couple of months.
I think there are three reasons.
First, life with a baby is quite crazy. It takes away from the quiet, solitary time I used to spend crafting my thoughts for public consumption.
Second, my Facebook account has become my go-to place whenever anything happens that I want people to know. I've had interesting thoughts to share in the past few months, and when I can do that in a few lines, it becomes a status update. On the half-dozen-or-so occasions when I've wanted to say more, it has become a Facebook note. I have more readers there, and they're all people with some connection to me, so I also get more response there.
Third, anonymous blogs like this one have become faded considerably in the past couple of years. My friends with blogs (like Jack Bog and Jim) blog under their names, and they still move along with surprising fruitfulness. I still read them--and I will as long as they're writing. But most of my friends who blog anonymously have given it up. While I have succeeded in maintaining anonymity here--in that first post, I was convinced it'd all fall apart one day, but I was pretty vigilant, and it never did--that anonymity makes this blog less likely to develop any kind of readership (not that it was ever a goal to get readers) and also, importantly, a little less fun to write.
Make no mistake--I've loved doing this. I've enjoyed it just about every step of the way. I think I'm a better writer, thinker, and friend. Indeed, much to my surprise, I've met many friends through this blog--actual people I hang out with (pankleb and Butterbean). That alone is worth the time I've put in. And the rest of you who are out there and have read me and even responded: I thank you. It felt good to be able to talk to people about the big stuff (I went pretty haywire for the last two presidential elections, as well as my new baby) and the little (see how often I write about Life Minutiae?).
But my default reaction to stuff I that crosses my mind, which for so long was "I have to blog about this," is no longer that. It has both been reduced and transmogrified into something that Facebook does more efficiently and for a better, more set audience.
So this is it...the announcement that anyone who has been paying attention knew was coming:
I'm hanging 'em up. I won't be coming back, at least not as TRP.
I'm actually feeling a little sad about that last sentence, since this has been a big chunk of the way I've expressed myself for so long. But I'll still be out there--just on different parts of the web. The referee website will continue. The new baseball website is gorgeous--I'm prouder of it than of anything I've ever done on the old web. And then, there's Facebook, where I'll occasionally write stuff that used to belong here.
But just like thousands of others that are ending lately, this page as it exists no longer suits my needs or wants as a writer or a person. And since I've always believed that a blog is there to serve the purpose of the writer, not the audience (not that I have much of an audience), there's no reason to continue.
If you read this regularly and are not friends with me on Facebook, feel free to send me an email (to the gmail handle of bloggingref). If you tell me who you are, I might fire off a friend request.
It's been fun riding out the blog fad with you, from near the beginning to here near the end. Surf around the past as much as you'd like--I'll keep this on-line, at least for the foreseeable future. But we've reached the end.
You know--the place where the love you take is equal to the love you make.
And we leave it there...with those last few chords of Abbey Road.
Now, I'll take the needle off before "Her Majesty" begins.