The absence of new content here for the past few days has not been the result of any tragedy or work implosion.
I have been thinking seriously about multiple commitments and where in my life I can make the most difference.
Two years ago I started this blog on something of a lark, primarily to see what would happen, and to inject some of my own ideas into that whirlwind we all call the blogosphere. Several thousand posts later, I came to the realization that ... I'm done.
Not that it hasn't been fun, intellectually challenging, or even may have changed the minds of a few people on a few select issues... it has.
But as a whole, I've recently discovered, it's a never-ending personal commitment to an enterprise that neither pays the bills nor makes a significant enough change [as compared to other venues in which I work] to be worth continuing.
I only have a certain amount of time and energy available, and here's where it will be going in the near future:
1. To my family, first and foremost--a few extra minutes each day as my twins go through the teenage years.
2. To Delaware State Unversity, which needs some heavy shoveling to get out of the mess that the Sessoms' administration left us in, and which--as an organization--has finally recognized that fact. I have been spending multiple hours each week in labor negotations for a new faculty contract, working on personnel issues, and supporting my own dean. These are real projects, with real impacts on people, and I need to carve out some more time for them.
3. To my own serious writing--which has directly suffered thanks to this blog. I am hanging fire on three book contracts, and I have finally gotten started doing the serious work to meet some deadlines. It feels good, and there is actually a chance that some of my work might have serious impact on how America looks at its Civil War, or how the world has contextualized the Russo-German War from 1941-1945, and what that means for foreign policy and genocide studies. There are only so many books you can write in a career, and I've only written nine so far. Before senility hits I aim to double that number, but I cannot do it if I am pounding the keyboard here.
4. To my commitment to the News Journal's Community Advisory Board, which gives me a less frequent but much larger audience for commentary [no, A1, it won't be specifically libertarian-oriented commentary].
Not that it matters, but this has been a difficult decision, and I only really crystalized it last night while talking to Dana Garrett, who has recently reached the same conclusion.
I won't rule out doing this again some day in a different format, and I certainly doubt I will give up the habit of checking and commenting on local blogs. Maybe if I have something to say I will ask somebody for some space for a guest post every now and again.
But I've just reached the point where it's time to say, Thank you, to friends and critics alike, and to move on to other parts of the world.
I owe a special thanks to Tyler (for whom this is coming blindside out of the blue) and the two Brians who wrote so much good stuff here as well.
As Benjamin Disraeli once noted, much of being a successful party guest revolves around having the wisdom to know when it's time to leave.