When I drive away from Boston Sunday morning, an era will come to a close. Bound for McAlester, Oklahoma, and a full-time sports reporting job, I find myself on the verge of the next step in a hopefully long and successful career in sports journalism.
But first, a look back.
I published my first post to Goose’s Gabs on July 12, 2009. Over 15,000 visitors – nearly 11,500 unique – have since clicked through to my blog, checking out the 645 blog entries I wrote leading up to this one. That’s translated to over 25,000 page views.
And for each and every one of those views, let me just say: thank you.
Like any craft, writing only gets better with practice. And like any art form, writing only reaches its zenith when exposed to the public. My writing’s improvement over the last almost-three years is as much a testament to all of you as it is to BU or any of the outlets I wrote for.
Without all of you, my writing would’ve stagnated. Wanting to keep you interested forced me to make my writing, from the structure to the style to the topics, more interesting.
I wanted Goose’s Gabs to be a catch-all writing archive that could show potential employers my breadth and depth as a sports writer. I don’t know how much my blogging directly impacted my employability, but I certainly think practicing certain skills – recapping games, covering a diverse selection of sports and writing columns and editorials – over and over again have helped me improve from a novice to a near-professional much, much faster than not blogging would’ve.
But without all of you checking these stories out, I’d forever wonder if anything I’d tried had or hadn’t worked. I’d never be sure I had the chops to make it if your repeated decisions to “check it out,” as I so often requested, didn’t show me I could indeed build an online following.
So after five-plus months of job-hunting, I’m finally going professional. Now I’ll be writing multiple articles for publication five days a week, taking charge of not just McAlester’s high school and recreational sports, but also those of the surrounding towns in southeast Oklahoma. This job will be more demanding than any I’ve had so far, but I feel ready for the opportunity.
Unfortunately, that opportunity means Goose’s Gabs is going to change. During the school year I published something five times a week, and I ramped that up to six times once BU ended back in December. Given the long hours every professional reporter I’ve even spoken with talks about, I just don’t think I can maintain that kind of blogging schedule in McAlester.
Don’t get me wrong: Goose’s Gabs isn’t disappearing. I plan to share the stories I write for the McAlester News-Capital with weekly links round-ups. I also plan to continue my semi-regular book reviews, and I hope to occasionally reflect on my new adventure, sharing the trials and tribulations of working for a small-town paper.
But the nearly everyday updating you’ve all gotten used to just won’t join me on my road trip. I plan to post an NBA Finals preview Sunday, plus a final Celtics article later this week or the week after (depending on how far they go). And whenever Brookline Access gets its act together, I’ll be sure to post a link to the baseball game I commentated for them. Plus maybe one more USA Ultimate story.
After that, however, I just don’t know when next I’ll post. Maybe my first few days will leave me with plenty of nighttime energy, and I’ll just come home and bang out another blog. Or maybe I’ll come home too exhausted and sick of computer screens to do anything more than collapse into bed and read.
At this juncture, no one can say. But if this is one of the last times y’all hear from me for awhile, let me just say this once again: