My wife of 34 years thanked me the other evening for talking with her after I got home from work and not immediately getting online to start blogging.
Hi, my name's Mike. I'm apparently a blogoholic.
I'm thinking about what to do about this and I need some advice from you. I do enjoy blogging and have greatly valued the response and the friendships that have come my way from doing this blog. But I've walked away from one blog (arts, politics, BS) that most of you never knew about so I know how to do that, too. I need to readjust my scheduling, clearly, but I'm thinking about moving away from this altogether. I would appreciate some feedback from you regular reader types to help decide whether that would a good idea.
I don't have illusions about the value of what we do here. Nothing significant in the corrections sentencing discussions has changed in the going on two years this blog has been up so we can't claim to have changed the debate as we planned when Kim Hunt and I started this up. We certainly haven't generated the wide-ranging, "open source" conversations that we envisioned. There are other blogs that do what this one does, maybe more specialized or regionalized, but covering most of what we do here. And (here comes some ego-busting) blogs that haven't been around as long have lately been justifiably and deservedly been announcing total hit rates that have already caught or surpassed ours. We get probably 3-4 times as many people as we did when we started (more on Paris Hilton days!!) and more than any NASC conference I've ever been to (although the San Fran one this coming August will probably make a lie of that, too). But we aren't reaching so many people that I can use that to explain why my wife thinks it's a good day when I'll talk to her before blogging that evening.
As you probably can tell, blogging takes time, especially when you have a day job that doesn't permit it. It's usually 2-3 hours each night for me to write up and then transfer to post the posts I do, just like a part-time job. I'd gladly do it for money, but those positions apparently don't get advertised in my local paper and the deep pockets and schools are into yet one more report and study after another. I still think the resources we provide would be useful to me if I were starting in the field, but I don't know for sure that the daily posts tell anyone anything they don't already pick up from others. I mean, between Berman, Clifton, Grits, NIC's Corrections Community, and Corey Rayburn Yung, I figure I could keep up with everything in the field I need to know. If that's true for you, too, then, really, why should I keep doing this when there's a lovely woman who'd like to talk to me (something that doesn't happen much anymore as my hair gets thinner and . . . blonder)?
I hope this isn't too personal and certainly don't mean it to be maudlin. I can rearrange other things (such as my famous tin whistling) to rebudget my time if this is worth doing. I'm not asking for ego-stroking, I promise. I've received enough for this blog from my devoted readers (both of you) and presume that I would continue to do so. I seriously need to know whether this is the best use of my time, that you get enough out of what we do here to be disappointed in me or lose something that you use if we drop this. So, if you have time, please let me know if you've found something valuable in the last few visits that you haven't read or thought about other places. Those of you I talk to or who send me things regularly, consider yourself exempt. It's the folks I don't hear from whose input I'm seeking. If all I'm doing is echoing what others do or offering something helpful at most only once every couple of months or so, then I'll keep whistling or doing other writing or maybe take up origami.
When I'm done dancing with my wife.