This year was remarkable in that I considered ending the blog, repeatedly, and for good cause. There are many personal reasons to write a blog and there are many personal reasons not to write one. The latter category kept stacking up while the former stayed the same. And you know this because the vast majority of you do not write a blog and have any number of reasons for making that decision. This year, I thought a little bit more like you.
I will say that the last month has been particularly fun. I remembered why the blog kept a hyper-local focus and that its greatest utility was in writing about things no one else was discussing. You don't need me to talk about foreign policy or the US Congress. You are more interested in the machinations of the County Council and Executive, how state policy affects local affairs, and the small things that make Howard County an interesting place to live. When I tapped back into that, I tapped back into my inspiration. It was invigorating and, from my perspective, constructive to the civic dialogue.
It is easy to be humble about readership with a blog like this, but I never for a minute have thought that what I write "doesn't matter". It's read by people who do this work, care about this work, and are affected by this work. This consideration weighs on both sides of the scales when evaluating the merit of continuing to write. Why step out onto that field, for free, and put personal and professional relationships at risk? Just to say "hey, let's talk about this"? It is irrational.
The contra is that but for this blog I would be living a much different life. Much much different. I would have different (and fewer) friends. My interests would likely be more focused on national than local politics. And I would not have had the same civic and professional opportunities that I've been able to enjoy over the past six years. I say that completely discounting whatever influence my writing may have had on decisions made by our leaders during that time.
That's why March 18th is a big date for me. I am appreciative of every bit this little space has done for me and often feel like I owe "it" something for all of that. But that's ridiculous. It is a blank space - a receiver. I get back what I put in.
As I start out into my seventh year, I can say there are significant life changes that have already happened, and those still to happen, that will affect what you see here. And frankly, I think I'm almost done.
That's all for today. Have a great Wednesday doing what you love!