Jeff Rich's Blog: My New Extra-Curricular
I haven't really written anything in a while, on this blog or anywhere else. Why is that?
Primarily, I believe I haven't had much to say, which isn't to be taken at face value. That's the simplest way to put it, the way that brings me less shame. The truth is I'm without the motivation to say what I want to say the right way. I'd almost tell you, I'm flat-out lazy in my efforts here, but I'm not sure I'm ready to sell myself that short.
My eyes are bigger than my stomach, in more ways than one. I tend to bite off more than I can chew, and order more than I can bite off. So, when it came time to get serious about having a website published, I thought it should be more than a place to dump the audio work we've been doing. It should have social media links, and tell everyone who they can hear my live broadcasts, and it should have a blog.
Once upon a time, I wrote, and it was a privilege to even be asked to do anything more--participating in forums with bloggers, appearing on podcasts, and eventually working as a correspondent on a syndicated radio program. All of the additional opportunities were brought forth by my writing. I'm not sure I ever had much of a following, outside of from a few loyal friends who did not learn of me through my written words, but it honestly didn't matter for the longest time.
I don't know that I would say writing served as any form of therapy, but it was mostly fun. I cracked jokes that I didn't care if anyone got or not. I put forth concepts and ideas that likely would die on the vine, if ever attempted. I shared history on a level that I thought someone like me would understand and appreciate. I often shared pieces of me, via my words. That's probably why the people who knew me were able to connect with the content, and that helped me to believe in myself.
My mistake was allowing myself to be stretched too thin. It takes a while to collect and organize these thoughts, and then fine tune the scribbles, before putting it out there for public consumption. Let me not understate how time-consuming just being a good author can be, without necessarily grouping myself with good authors. For me, it was often a choice between sleeping and perfecting an article to publish prior to sunrise...I would choose poorly.
I wouldn't turn anything down, which just meant more of a balancing act between the 9-to-5 and the extra-curriculars. I never got why Neil's dad forbid his son to take on additional extra-curriculars in Dead Poet's Society, but I totally get it now. Maybe Red should have just put his foot in Neil's ass before his thespian experience. What was I saying before about biting off more than I can chew?
The writing, I could handle. The radio show on Sunday morning meant earlier Saturday nights, or it least, it should have. The podcasts went from being once a week to a couple days a week, couple that with the time spent corresponding to build a blog-slash-podcast network, and it becomes a heavy load. Did I mention I work a 9-to-5, and more importantly, I'm married to a Jen, whose company I very much enjoy?
The result was inevitable burnout. I wasn't doing one thing great, just a bunch of stuff I did at a borderline subpar level. I stopped making time to write, became frustrated with the production side of podcasting, shuttered a blog shortly after taking the reigns from its founder, and frankly, the 9-to-5 wasn't getting the best version of me either. That left radio to be the focus, and the once-a-week gig evolved into 5 days a week of creating content for 1-hour programs.
The concept of a blog only works when it's updated on the regular. If I'm going to have the page for a blog, it actually needs to be a blog. We'll be updating regularly. I'm not setting a specific schedule, because I'm not putting out a crappy post to satisfy some artificial quota I would be setting for myself.
It certainly isn't for the first time, but I'm back.