amateurI've always considered my blogging habit to be a hobby, rather than work. While it has opened professional doors to me and taught me things that I use in my work, I've never made any significant fraction of my income from blogging, nor have I ever set out a career path for myself that blogging regularly about politics or world affairs was ever a meaningful part of. It's always been fun; I work ideas out in public, people correct them, I meet interesting people in the discussions - how can this be bad?
[am-uh-choor, -cher, -ter, am-uh-tur]
1. a person who engages in a study, sport, or other activity for pleasure rather than for financial benefit or professional reasons. Compare professional.
But for the last few months, it's been a struggle rather than a joy. I've tried hard to power through and rediscover the pleasure but with no success.
It's just not there. And worse, as my activity ramped down, traffic on the site ramped down and the interaction that really drove me to write started to slowly become thinner and thinner - which was no one's fault but my own.
You folks - who are reading this now - are a core group who I enjoy debating, learning from, and too often - lecturing at. I appreciate you more than you'll ever know.
But I don't want a job in a think tank writing the occasional paper and responding to the news - maybe when I retire, I'll try and start one. I'm not running for office, there's really nothing I want from you all except the pleasure of dialog.
And to get that, it needs to be a pleasure and I need to be a participant. And, bluntly, I've been an increasingly bad one for the last few months.
Facebook and Twitter have some of the blame here; I fire off quick thoughts on both and that serves as an outlet (not as satisfactory, to be sure, but better than nothing.
But I'm just bored and unmotivated. And since I've always been an amateur at this, the difference between a professional - who delivers when bored and unmotivated - and an amateur - who doesn't - is pretty significant.
So here's my plan. I won't be writing here for a while, if ever. I will move this site to WordPress, so that the archive can be preserved and maintained and others who have author raights may decide to pick up their participation. I will also relaunch the old content from my Armed Liberal site so it's available as well.
And then I'm going to take a break from all this and think about what interests me and where I might fit. I'd love to hear from you what you think I ought to do - suggestions here are most welcome!
For now, some of it will be on Twitter, and I encourage you to follow me at @marcdanziger.
In the interim, some of it may be on other sites - I'm looking around for someplace where I can do the occasional piece and the guys at Blackfive have more than graciously offered to let me post there. I feel kind of weird about it - first, I'm not and have never been a soldier, and I don't want to be perceived as something I'm not. It's also a different audience, although one I respect as well. I'm looking at other sites, and welcome suggestions as to who might appreciate an occasional piece from me.
I'm not done thinking or talking about these issues. We face immense problems - and opportunities - and out political class is as feckless as they have ever been. Radical Islam still battles for dominance within the Muslim world, and the outcome of that fight will matter a great deal to me and to all of us. Middle and working class people here in America have no party that truly supports them - and they should. But I'm not sure where or in what format I can best participate in a dialog about these things. Maybe I'll re-engage here or on a solo site. We'll see.
There will always be commentators worth mocking (hi, Matt Yglesias!) and worth following (hello Leah Farrall). So I'm sure that at some point something will happen.
But this chapter is, as others have said about other events this week, closing. I can't wait to see what the new chapter will bring.
So long, and thanks to everyone who had read me here, agreed with me or better still, argued with me. You're all my teachers, and I've learned a lot.