Mark Twain once said it's far better to keep your mouth shut and let people assume you're an idiot than to open it and confirm their assumptions. God alone knows what Twain would have made of blogging, but it's a sentiment I can appreciate and, for the foreseeable future on here you're all going to have to assume I'm an idiot. Or, to put it less obliquely, I'm halting blogging. Indefinitely. I may resume a few months down the line. It may even be a few weeks. Or it may not. But, frankly, it's probably better to write this than do a series of half-arsed posts, all of which that start with "apologies for the lack of updates...", an opening that rapidly gets tedious by the fifth letter of the first word.
There's no one particular reason for this, but if I had to point to one reason it would be a lack of time. That and being very busy at work. Yes, being busy at work, a lack of time and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope a lack of inspiration when the time is free.
Being busy, as Terry Duffelen said to me on Twitter earlier, comes and goes. But I've been hideously busy for around four months now, and I've been thinking about calling a temporary halt to blogging for about half that time.
It's not just the amount of time that I don't have - it's the desire to do other things with this time when I'm free. I spend all day working with social media, reading blogs and other internet-related things, and I'm finding in the evenings I would rather not have to open my computer, but cook, watch TV, read, go to the cinema, go to the pub, go out for a meal, go to the gym. And when I look at that list, there's not a great deal of that I've managed recently. Essentially, I need downtime to switch off. Blogging used to be that. It isn't anymore.
Usually it's only snatched time late at night anyway. As in common with most recent blog posts, this is being written after 11pm. Which means I don't get as much sleep as I'd hoped. Which makes me a bit irritable the next day, which makes me less likely to blog. And so on.
There's also a lack of time to cover topics, and cover them well. In the last two weeks I've had about half a dozen topics, both football and non-football I've wanted to write about. But I wouldn't have had the time to do anything other than a few snatched words.
What about something like Posterous, you may say? What indeed. I like Posterous a lot. I've had a play and think it's a very nifty little platform. If I were starting out or starting anew, I'd definitely consider it.
But I either write for other blogs or try and offer some form of analysis on here, that a shorter scrap-book post on Posterous wouldn't have been able to do justice to, even if I could post it on the train into work.
The bottom line is when I write, I research first. For every post, I'd say the amount of research done is equal to the time spent writing the piece, more so with the football articles.
I know what you're going to say now - how did you ever work in a busy newsroom? Well I did, and I could again, no problem. But this isn't a newsroom, this is blogging; this is something I do in my spare time, and something I rarely get paid for (certainly not on this blog).
There are so many bad bloggers - and journalists - who will knock something together in the blink of an eye without having done any research or checking any facts. Fine, this approach may mean I take longer over my posts but I'd rather be right than first, especially as this blog (and others) carry my name. I refuse to compromise on quality and accuracy for the sake of being able to knock out a couple of extra posts.
It's not that the joy isn't there - I still love words, and I still love writing and genuinely wish I could do more of it, or spend my days thinking of witty asides to drop into finely-honed articles - but as was said to me the other day, it's like I'm trying to do two jobs on top of other things.
And ultimately, my priority is to my job, because they pay me. And I work hard, so throw in an extra job on top of that... well, I can manage it if I really want, but in honesty, I'd rather recharge my batteries, unwind and be fresh for the next day of work. Shoot me for attempting a work-life balance.
As much as anything, I think I needed to put this down so that I didn't have the spectre of an unwritten blog hanging over me. The guilt feels far less when you actually announce you're not blogging any longer. And that way people cant go 'this is a bad example of a blog, he only posts once a fortnight.'
So that's it. Me and blogging are done for the time being. That's here, and with football blogging as well. You may see a few pieces pop up from me though - these will be ones I've nearly finished or have already committed to. After that, no more.
Well, maybe not that final. I simply don't know if I just need to abandon blogging for a couple of weeks to recharge my batteries, or six months, or if I just don't want to come back. I just don't know.
This blog will remain as it is - it'd be a shame to delete it and I may feel the urge to blog gets too strong.
Oh, and if anybody even thinks about trying to use this blog and announcement as an example of how blogging is drying, I'll personally take that lazy one-blog assumption and stick it... well, you get the idea. I'm just a blog. I'm certainly not, and never have been, indicative of any trend.
I'll probably need to change my bio now as well...