Dec 27, 2003 1:43 am


Well I guess it’s about time to come clean folks. I’ve loved this blogging thing over the last fifteen months but, I’m afraid to say, it’s time to hang it up.

There are several reasons for stopping it now. First of all, I’m spending way too much time on it and it’s time for me to use that time more productively. I promised myself that if it ever became an obligation or began to feel like a job, I’d have to quit.

And I’ve reached that point I’m afraid. I’m thoroughly burned out. Rick Shenkman, my editor here at HNN, suggested an extended hiatus but I’m not sure that would do any good. My wife is right. I can’t sort of “half do” this thing. I’ve either got to go forward full bore or hang it up. I am also beginning to feel like I’m repeating myself a lot of the time on this blog. In my opinion that’s a sure sign that I should hang it up.

I’ll admit that at one point a few months ago I believed I could turn this into some sort of a semi-paying gig or something. However, that apparently isn’t going to happen. I’ve faced the fact that I’m not ever likely to be an Atrios, an Eric Alterman, a Kevin Drum, or a Josh Marshall. Furthermore, I’m not sure I’ve got the time to do so even if I wanted to – and still teach my four classes every semester and do research.

And, speaking of research, I have just recently received a research grant from my university and I need to start spending my time working on that project. I applied for the grant last year but, due to budget woes, they canceled all research grants at my university. Well folks, I got a grant a couple of weeks ago and I need to work on that project. I plan to present a paper at a conference next April and it’s high time I got to working on that. I also need to start working on my next book. The research project is part of that. An essay anthology I’ve edited is hopefully coming out next year but I need to start working on an actual book. It’s about time to do so. Blogging has been a fun thing to do during the year that I didn’t get my research grant, but it’s time to start working on my project. I love doing research and scholarly writing (it’s why I became a historian after all) and it’s now time to return to it. I simply can’t keep working gratis on this blog while neglecting my research.

Furthermore, I am a great deal more busy now than when I started this blog in August of 2002. I have just been elected to serve on the Missouri Humanities Council and I’m more active in my church (I’m now a Deacon and I sing in the choir). I was doing neither of those things when I started blogging. I’ve also been exercising for at least 4-5 hours per week (I’ve lost more than 30 pounds since May) and that’s taking a fair amount of my time. During the fall and spring soccer seasons, I coach two teams and referee a game or two every weekend.

Therefore, after a lot of thought, I’ve come to the painful conclusion that something has got to give folks – and this blog, I’m afraid, is what’s got to go.

I’ve achieved a lot with this blog. Since I started this blog, I’ve had almost 500,000 (more than 497,000) unique visitors and right at 700,000 hits. I’ve been mentioned in a magazine article about the John Lott affair. I’m consistently listed as one of the top 80 or so blogs out there in TTLB’s blogospheric ecosystem – and I’m humbled by that. I’m actually hanging it up at the point at which my blog is getting the largest number of hits per day since I started last year. I spent the first four or five months struggling to surpass the 10,000 visitor mark. I now routinely get 2,000-3,000 visitors and more than 4,000 hits per day.

For my readers, I’ve appreciated your loyalty and hopefully we only have a little more than a year left in this unmitigated disaster called the Bush presidency. I know many of you use my blogroll. I believe the blog will stay here folks so you can keep coming here to use it.

As for my fellow liberal bloggers, please keep up the faith and fight the good fight. I’ll keep reading you and I’ll probably leave comments on your boards every now and then. I don’t know how to tell you all how much I’ve appreciated the blogging fellowship and reading you all every day.

I may still write the occasional piece for HNN and, who knows, I may eventually blog again (I never say never to anything) but, at the moment, it’s time for me to focus my time and energy on other things.

Happy trails everyone.


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More Comments:

Don tejas Guillermo - 11/20/2005

Yea Seuss Chris Toast. Ole Don spoke too soon. I knew the signoff had to be premature given that kind of passion and addiction. Must have got the grants and found the other activities too boring.

Ole Tom has been back in full force and style for some time at Corrente (

What brought him back? Was it in part the reasons in this reprimand?

Don tejas Guillermo - 11/12/2005

Yea Seuss Chris Toast, Geez Us Key ice! Sad, sad, sad. Discount everything this person has posted. I don't know what it is, but symptom pervading our current culture. Lack of committment, no responsibility for what is said that may influence many, no follow through.

This copout is simply a diatribe in whining excuse making, dropping back to virtual world of self-accolades, hits, time spent, etc. If you are not willing to sustain, take responsibility long term for your opinions thrown out to the public, don't do it in the first place.

Blogging is a public service, the revolutionary vehicle called the internet is a democratic platform available to all to freely give their wisdom or foolishness without compensation. But it does not come without responsibility for impact.

Geez Us Key Rice, I hope this Spencer was not a so called "Liberal" perspective, if so he has hurt us all including his own opinions by reverting to the self-centered profit-making survival mode oriented mode of the so-called Conservative philosophy reverting to the trinkle-down grant-oriented profit making culture of the very establishment he has blogged about.

Peter - 1/19/2004

I just started blogging three weeks ago and I already feel like I'm all used up. Blogging takes over all of my free time. But, I've opted to scale back to better, more pointed posts. But, thanks for the info while you were around!