Time was, I sat down nearly every day of the week to contemplate a blank page – and a few hours later, more or less, I’d hit “publish” in the WordPress backend, and a few hundred (or thousand) new words would appear on this site.
It’s been a while since I’ve done that. I love writing, a process I’ve often called “thinking out loud,” and my relationship to this site was one of the most productive and important connections to the world I’ve ever had. But it’s atrophied, badly, and not a day goes by when I don’t miss it. I’m writing today not because I’ve had some insight or itch to scratch – I’ve had a million of them over the past few years, and developed an annoying habit of ignoring them all. But to be honest, I’m writing today because I can’t stand the tumbleweeds and dust bunnies dancing around this place. My email signature – the one for battellemedia.com, anyway – still has a link to this site, and this morning I considered taking it off.
Instead, I’m writing this, both a mea culpa and a promise to all of you who followed my work over the past few decades. First, the apology: I’ve met dozens of you in the past year who’ve asked me what happened to my writing, and it both pleases and pains me to hear that question. It’s something of a mystery to me why I stopped – I still write three pages a day in my personal journal, why did I fall out of practice in the public realm? Certainly my move to New York four years ago, starting another company, wrestling with my own demons as it relates to what I feel is worth paying attention to – all of that contributed. But I think in the end I just lost confidence that I had anything interesting to say. So to those of you who still believe I might, and who’ve encouraged me to start up again, I am sorry for my absence, and I will strive to make amends.
And now the promise: I’ve found myself at a place in life where I’m asking rather big questions. Our last child left for college last week, my wife and I have re-located to our family home off Cape Cod, I now commute weekly to New York, which is a situation I vastly prefer. Living in the city was invigorating but exhausting. I suppose I should have known, coming from Marin County, that the cacophony of NYC would wear me down. I’m back in a place that feels right again, and dipping in and out of New York’s mad energy allows me to keep connected, but not lose myself to the noise. So I promise to lean back into writing on topics that interest me – regardless of whether anyone notices or responds. It’s meditative, it’s healing, and I miss the hell out of it.
I promise to be a bit more personal here, to acknowledge my ignorance and blind spots, to raise more questions than answers, and to reflect on the lessons learned over more than three decades covering tech, media and business. I also promise to answer every single one of you who reaches out, should you care to. It was just such an outreach which spurred me back to this blank screen, and to the publish button – which I’ll press now, thankful that I have the opportunity to do so. See you online.
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