Explaining a long hiatus

Ink-Drained Kvetch is back, with a new look and feel and what I hope is a fresh outlook as I resume posting about journalism, media and digital trends and how mid-career types like me are adapting to them.

My absence here was far too long and not intended, but I found out the hard way what many bloggers discover — these things are easy to start and hard to maintain.

My last post was a few months after I had begun working as a local editor at AOL’s Patch community news initiative, and what happened after that became the most consuming job I’ve ever had. I loved it in so many ways, but it was unlike any job I’ve ever had.

That position was eliminated in January, quite a few months ago, but I also encountered another common blogging experience: Not feeling like you have anything worthy to say.

One of the reasons I posted less and less often here was that I preferred doing the news rather than writing about doing it. There are so many sharp, perceptive people out there commenting about these matters, people whose insights have been invaluable to me.

But I’ve learned, as I skimmed through old posts, that writing here did help me in my work, and in my understanding of what was happening in news and media innovation.

So I want to revive this blog as I embark on yet another phase of my journalism and media career. I’ve got several options I’m exploring and know that coming back to these topics here will be helpful in these prospective endeavors.

Ink-Drained Kvetch also was the first blog I ever started, launching shortly after I left The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2008. So much has happened in my profession and industry since then, and I remain as energized about these challenges as I’ve ever been.

So I decided to give the blog a face lift with a new design, and I’m updating my links and blogroll to reflect what’s transpired in these six years. WordPress.com has gotten so much better too, with snappy themes like the Twenty Thirteen look here, and improved dashboard features that make blogging simpler and more enjoyable.

I was up all night — until 5 a.m.! — retooling this site, and I’m not quite finished. I haven’t done an all-nighter like that in years but I was so happily immersed in the process. You know the feeling when you’re perfectly in your element: You forget to eat and bring in the cat. I’m paying for it today, but I feel like I’m starting over again, and in many ways I am.

It remains hard as hell to continue doing a living in a business that you love, and especially a business that has been brutal to so many practitioners who have loved it even more. What I learned from my last job was how to become resilient in truly profound ways. The Patch experience also rekindled a love for local news, and I saw the possibilities to revive community journalism and civic engagement — and that is best done in independent fashion.

Indeed, it was a pleasant surprise to rediscover the joys of the work I did at the start of my career,  when my perspective was that this was a stepping stone to bigger and supposedly better things.

I’ll be writing about all of that very soon.

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