10. January 2007 · Comments Off on Mission and Metamorphosis · Categories: General, Site News, Working In A Salt Mine...

So here we are then, we few and happy few at the Daily Brief, standing in the middle of a cleared space and wondering where everyone else has gone. I looked back into the archives, and realized that I have been an active blogger for nearly four and a half years. I posted my first entry at the Brief’s predecessor, Sgt. Stryker, in August of 2002, after having been a semi-regular reader of it for a couple of months. When the war began in Iraq a few months afterwards, Stryker was one of a handful of military blogs, and readership soared. I am not sure exactly to what heights, but pretty far up there, and not at an altitude to be maintained consistently over a long period. Nothing in this world remains static; everything evolves.

Blogging is a hobby for most people, even those who take it seriously. Like all hobbies, people get bored and drop it, or find the discipline of providing content on a regular basis all too much. Or the persona they have developed is a bad fit, or they have changed and outgrown, or said all they wanted to say; mission accomplished. The original Stryker had other interests; he still blogs at another location, under another name, but many of first generation of contributors, and the second as well… they did it for a while, and moved on: Sparkey, Group Captain Mandrake, Kevin Connors and others, some of whom only contributed for a couple of months. Joe Comer, “HerkyBirdMan” died. It was the same with other blogs, some of which I read devotedly: Stephen Den Beste and USS Clueless, Diplomad, the Gweilo Diaries… and who was that movie producer, who was blogging most amusingly from Budapest, or Prague? They stop updating, and poof! They are gone, flying “forgotten as a dream flies at the opening day.” Vodkapundit is ill, and so is Cathy Seipp, Cori Dauber is on hiatus and writing a book, Rob “Acidman” Smith died. Nothing stays the same, everything moves on.

Which is not a circuitous way of saying that I am pulling the plug also… certainly not! Not after all the hassle of changing over to a new domain name! I don’t deny also that sometimes I am stuck for something to write about: after four years, I have pretty much covered all the endearing stories about my grandparents and my family, about Blondie as a child, and our adventures living and traveling in Europe. Practically everything I could write about current politics, and the war, and the military in general I have written before: three entries a week for four and a half years, it does add up. I hate to think I am repeating myself… especially when it was pretty good, the first time I said it.

As of this month though, I am ten years retired from the Air Force and Blondie is a year out of the Marines. We are milbloggers only in the sense of being veterans. We have both moved on, my daughter to college, and me to… well, that’s the point right there and the reason I am carrying on with The Brief. If I had quit every time I couldn’t think of something to say, in an interesting way, I’d have done it eight or nine times by now. Everyone has moments like that. I am sure James Lileks has moments— certainly he blogs about them… but he carries on. He’s a pro.

The thing that I came to take seriously over the last year was that I thought of myself as a writer, and not an office worker who did a little writing on the side. I upped my writing to a whole other level thanks to The Brief, and those readers who thought enough of what I wrote to encourage me. So, I can’t quit, it’s just that I am interested in other stuff; stuff like… oh, where Americans came from, and the people and events that shaped us, a hundred and more years ago. (Oh, yeah… and getting published by a real-live dead-tree no-kidding publisher,) My personal strength is telling stories. It’s what I do, what I want to do. If it’s what you want to hear, stick around, I’ve got some doozies. If not… there are a million stories in the naked blogosphere.

(PS Oh, I’ll do popular culture, and such events as catch my notice and interest, and the other contributors— Proud Veteran, Dragon Lady, Radar, and Timmer (Wow! That was the shortest long break in the history of this blog)— they’ll cover their own interests. It’s the way we’ve always done things here.)

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