The end of the road

May 27, 2009 at 12:27 am | Posted in Blogs | 34 Comments

A few people have been asking me about the future of the blog, so it is about time that I officially addressed it.  After a lot of thought and consideration, I’ve decided that my days of blogging are now over.  It was a fun ride while it lasted, but all good things must come to an end at some point.

In a way, I’m surprised that I was able to keep up with it as long as I did.  I first started reading sports card blogs in early 2008.  I was very entertained by what I read and I thought that it would be fun to start my own blog, but I knew that it would be a challenge to find the free time to do it.  Of course I eventually decided to start my own blog anyway.  It was a fun experience.  I love to write and share my opinions with people, so the blog was a natural outlet for me.  Along the way, I was able to share my experiences as I jumped back in to the baseball card hobby and share my thoughts about the Rays amazing run to the 2008 World Series.  And I was able to interact with many like-minded collectors all over the country and the world, including several people who I now consider to be friends.

But it was always difficult to find the time to blog.  I have a relatively busy job and a wife at home.  It was common for me to stay up for several hours after my wife went to sleep to either write blog posts or try to keep up with my collection.  I wasn’t getting enough sleep and it would take a toll on me.  And as my blog grew, the responsibilities that came along with it grew too.  There was an increase in the number of comments on my posts and in the emails that I received.  I tried to keep up with them all, but ultimately I failed.  And then there were the trade requests.  Looking back on it, I should’ve never started trading cards through the blog.  I reached a point where I was getting multiple trade offers through email and several packages in the mail every day.  Sometimes cards would arrive out of the blue from people who already had my address.  I struggled and failed to keep up with it all.

By early 2009, it got to the point where keeping up with the blog and all of the responsibilities that went with it seemed like a second job.  I’d spend all day working at my real job, and then come home and work all night blogging about cards.  It wasn’t fun anymore.  I’d set unrealistic goals for myself, like writing at least one blog post per day and trying to get to 100,000 hits in the first year – and those goals would only increase the pressure and decrease my level of fun.

At the same time, I became somewhat disenchanted with the card industry itself.  The shenanigans that are going on internally within the card companies and at Beckett are well documented all over the internet.  On a personal level, I’d buy multiple hobby boxes of cards per month, some of them simply so that I could video tape my breaks and write about them, and I’d almost always be disappointed with the cards that I received.  And then the 2009 baseball card products started coming out, and I felt that every single one of them was totally unoriginal and uninteresting.  I completely stopped buying new boxes and packs of cards, and now the only cards that I buy are singles (mostly of Evan Longoria) on eBay.

That’s not to say that every aspect of card collecting is negative.  There are many positives too, and I’ve adapted my collecting habits to focus on the things that I enjoy the most.  I loved collecting baseball cards when I was a kid, and I loved it when I resumed the hobby as an adult.  I think that I’ll always stay somewhat involved in the hobby, even if it’s only to buy new Evan Longoria cards.  But I’m never going to let card collecting dominate my life the way that it did while I was actively maintaining this blog.  For me, reading about cards and spending about an hour a day looking at card listings on eBay and organizing my collection, is reasonable.  Spending five or six hours a day on it is too much when there are other priorities in my life that are much more important.

Anyway, I first started to realize that I needed to cut back sometime in February.  I somehow wrote 47 blog posts in January and 39 in February, and that was a pace that I knew that I could not maintain.  By early March, I started to feel burned out, and I cut back.  On the blog, I mentioned that I was busy planning a vacation, and that was true, but as you can see that was not the only reason for my decrease in posts.  After I returned from my vacation at the end of March, I only wrote a few more blog posts.  I began to think a lot about what the future of the blog would be.  Originally, I thought that I’d continue blogging but just post a few times a week.  But the more time I spent without blogging, the more I realized how much better I liked my life without the burden of my “second job”.

And so I recently decided to stop blogging altogether.  Sure, there are topics that have come up that I’d really like to write about.  But I have a feeling that if I started posting again, I’d get sucked back in and it wouldn’t be long before it was dominating my life again.  It’s possible that I might start blogging again at some point in the future, but it won’t be any time soon.  The blog itself will stay up, and anyone who has enjoyed my writing can continue to visit it and read my old posts.  And who knows, maybe someday you’ll come back and find that I’ve started writing again.

I’ll finish this up with a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who has read my blog posts, left a comment, sent me an email, traded cards with me, linked to the blog, or interacted with me in any other way since I started writing.  It is because of you that my experience was enjoyable.  You can continue to stay in touch with me through email or facebook.  And of course, I’ll continue to read many card blogs, and you’ll still see comments from me on some of them.  And now, in the immortal words of Porky Pig … “that’s all folks”!

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