Is This Thing On?
To borrow quote from Pink Floyd, “Hello? Is there anybody in there?” Does anybody still read this blog? It’s been 13 years since I started it, and launched a career I’d never even imagined possible. Now, I’m back, blowing the dust off of it and trying to figure out what’s next.
Thirteen years ago this week, I started this blog. We were just about to round the bend on our first year of parenthood, and after discovering the blogs of some friends of mine, I decided to start one of my own. I’d always been a writer, and it seemed like a great way to create an outlet for that, and maybe even reach an audience.
It reached more people than I’d imagined. Six months later, I was recruited to be the Blogmaster for a new progressive internet firm called EchoDitto, Inc. (Now known as Echo & Co.) Suddenly, I was a professional blogger, one of a handful of people who had parlayed blogging into actual paying work — not necessarily making money from our own blogs, but getting jobs with non-profits, or new media, on the strength of our blogging.
I was swept into a new world so quickly, that I don’t think I stopped to fully appreciate my success. Instead, suddenly in a field where everyone seemed to be a least ten years younger than me, and about as many years ahead of me, I feel my shortcomings and deficiencies more acutely than ever, especially the time I lost due to untreated ADD. It took years before I could appreciate how I’d accomplished.
I left EchoDitto after about four years. The company’s business model was changing. It no longer made its money from the things I’d been hired to do. There wasn’t much of a need for teaching people about blogging after a few years, and business was moving towards more of a project management model. I was laid off, and hired as a consultant to deliver a training that I’d developed for the company, though I think I only developed one.
After about six months, and one failed adoption that consumed that summer, I was hired by Campaign for America’s Future, as an online producer. The position didn’t initially include a great deal of writing, but I eventually became a full-fledged member of the writing team.
Two weeks later, we became parents for the second time. A new job and a new baby delivered a one-two punch to this blog. I posted here less and less often. There just wasn’t time. When I did post, I mostly just crossposted things that I wrote for work, just to have some content to keep the site alive. I also found a way to post daily digests of stuff I flagged from my Feedly account.
Suddenly, I wasn’t writing about LGBT issues, which was what I think many readers came here for. Instead I was writing about economic issues and civil rights issues that weren’t specifically LGBT-focused. Over eight years of this, I watched the readership of this blog fall to 10 percent of what it was at its peak — if that much. At this point, I think more of my traffic comes from Google searches than anything else.
Well, here I am again, eight years later. Campaign For America’s Future merged with another organization this year, becoming part of People’s Action. Unfortunately, some of our staff was “made redundant” (to borrow a word from the Brits), myself included, and were laid off. I was hired as an independent contract worker, to continue writing for three months, which on September 30.
It’s taken me a week to even think about blogging and writing again. I’ve spent most of my time writing cover letters and emails. But I writing is something I need to do, like I need to breathe. So I’ll be doing more of it here again, even if there aren’t as many people there reading it.