This will be my last roundup of stories for the McAlester News-Capital. I summarized my thoughts on writing and working in McAlester pretty well in the last story listed here, so no need to repeat myself.
Instead, let me talk about how writing professionally affects blogging recreationally.
I moved to McAlester planning to continue regularly blogging on Goose’s Gabs. Maybe I wouldn’t match the five or six stories I wrote each week between the end of grad school and the start of my job in June 2012, but I figured I’d blog at least three or four times a week.
When you’re paid to write and spend all day doing it, the last thing you want to do is come home and then do it for another hour or two. For the most part I don’t even spend my hours watching sports, let alone writing about them.
The sports journalists who get off work and then go home and watch ESPN for another three hours astound me. I check ESPN.com daily and watch the occasional Patriots or Red Sox game, but that’s it.
I devote most of TV viewing to science fiction, superhero and fantasy shows. It’s how I create a clear line between work and home, and I’d like to think it leaves me more energy for the writing I get paid to do.
I started out blogging News-Capital roundups every week. Within a year that number dwindled to once a month.
I also soon realized ideas that would make for good blog entries would also make for good columns. My blogging creativity went down as my professional creativity went up.
I watched a lot of the 2012 Summer Olympics and blogged about them, but those occurred just two months into the job. Covering the Olympics is also one of my career goals, so it behooves me to watch as much of them as I can now so I’m better prepared when I get the chance.
But even that urge couldn’t rouse me to blog when the 2014 Winter Olympics aired. It also didn’t help that a) the United States didn’t do that well at Sochi; and b) Russia decided to invade Ukraine on the second-to-last day of the Olympics, killing any interest I had in watching two more days of Russian self-adulation.
I’m leaving the News-Capital for the Cape Cod Times, a paper that puts its digital product first in a way I think McAlester wants to but doesn’t yet do. And without a sense of how much actual writing I’ll be doing on a daily basis, I can’t predict if I’ll blog less, more or the same amount.
So maybe I’ll have the free time to start rebuilding this blog’s audience, which I’d guess has shrunk dramatically over the last 2.5 years. Or, maybe I’ll just abandon this blog entirely save for three or four Best American Sports Writing reviews each year.
All I know right now is that I’m about to begin my second job as a professional sports journalist after an almost three-year, extremely prolific and successful first job.
I’d say I’m on the right track.