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JOURNEY’S END (A Cold, Hard Look)

June 11, 2013

Seen as Simul-blog (with Newsletter)

emerson 

Sometimes it’s important to take a cold hard look at your journey, appraise where you’ve been (from the time you’ve started doing what you’re doing) and, based on your present trajectory, energy and speed, where you’ll likely find yourself one, three or five years hence.

 When you’re as old as I am one year increments count mightily.

So, as a result of  today’s scrutiny I asked myself:  WHAT IN THE HELL AM I DOING?  

You see, a couple of years ago I committed myself to my blog, JaySquires’ SeptuagenarianJourney, pouring a lot of thought and energy into it so it would be the best product I could create at that moment in time, given my allotted energy and the press of other projects.  People tell me I’ve done well with it.  Also, I’ve been working on a couple of legs of my social media platform, keeping my name and views in front of the public through Twitter and Facebook.  I have almost 50,000 followers on Twitter and over 500 friends on Facebook.  Then, about six months ago I launched the JaySquiresNewsletter.

The other thing I do is write 2 hours a day. Some mind-gazers might ask, “If writing were really so important to you why didn’t you mention it first, before your blog, Twitter and Facebook.

red manGood question.  For what it’s worth, here’s my answer: I’ve been writing for better than 60 years now.  I was writing before there were any of the other social support networks.  For most of that time there wasn’t even email. Think about that for a moment.  No email!  I had, I believe, three friends who were writers.  One lived in the same town, two I had to correspond by snail mail over our latest writing projects.   That all important feedback was slow in coming.  It was difficult to stay motivated.

Back then, I might write for six or seven hours straight, but there were also longer stretches — weeks at a time — when I might not write at all.  But, that was back — way back — at a time in my life when time was an abstraction.  Now, time is concrete.  Blocked.  Tangible.  Time is very real to me!

So, I write my 2 hours a day.  But, I do that day in and day out — without exception!

I am also married and I love my wife.  She can not be part of my 2 hours daily writing regimen, though.   But, what, then, is the reason for living if not to love and be loved and be goofy and have fun, to laugh and to cry together — and I could wax more poetic about it, but you’ve been there.  You get the picture.  There has to be together time.

The important point I’m trying to drive home is that all these things take time.  Just as there is a price tag ontime consumables, there is a time tag on doables. 

Folks, I can no longer pay the time tag.  Something has to go.

Over the six months I’ve been publishing my newsletter, I’ve grown to thirty-one subscribers.  My last published newsletter I had thirty.  Of those thirty, fifteen actually opened it (those are good statistics, by the way).  But, compare the stats of my newsletter with my blog:

The total number of subscribers I got for my newsletter over six months I get regularly each month on my blog.  Of the fifteen souls who opened my last newsletter there is no way of telling how many actually read it.  I got ten comments on my last blog post.

Finally, the newsletter takes at least twice as long to compose as the blog, largely due to the number of sections or departments, each requiring pictures.

To me the answer is obvious.  I must discontinue my newsletter.  For those of you I had begged and cajoled to subscribe, I hope you can accept my reasoning, above, and will continue as a subscriber to my blog.

I shall continue to do the best I can to create quality posts.  Most all of them will have something to do with the creative process.  It is my life, after all.  I know it is the good life for many of my readers, as well. 

The JaySquiresNewsletter … any regrets?

None whatsoever.  It was a worthwhile, albeit short journey.  I thank you for taking the brief ride with me.

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25 Comments
  1. You are too cool, Jay!!! It is your life and I admire you for making it what you want it to be. No worries, be happy. You surely deserve it!!!
    😀

  2. I’ve really enjoyed reading your newsletter in the brief time I’ve been subscribed, and yes I open and read each one. I will continue as a blog subscriber. Time is precious and not to be squandered. I think you’ve made a wise choice.

    • Jay, thank you for your support of my newsletter and being there for each one. It’s lonely being a newsletter that doesn’t get opened! I appreciate the fact that you’ll continue on supporting my blog posts. You are a good friend. Thank you.

  3. You put this so eloquently! It is a tough thing to give up something, especially when you put so much of yourself into it. But I agree, beyond a certain age, time is pressing. You have to ditch things and concentrate on the most important ones. I enjoy your writing and I hope to read a lot more of it. All the very best in the days ahead.

    • Wow, Earl, you really know how to puff up a fellow! LOL, thanks though for your kind words and your hope to read more of my writing. I appreciate your support for my decision.

  4. It’s all about priorities…and you have yours in the right place.

    • Thanks, James. You have no idea how I hated to give up the newsletter. I even considered ditching the blog and keeping the newsletter, but I like the broader baseline in content for my blog. That means there should be a broader interest base. I’m honored that you are slotted in there.

  5. Felicia permalink

    Your wife is blessed. Sometimes even doing what’s best for oneself is tough or require tough decisions; however, if you don’t take care of yourself and what’s important to you, who will? I totally understand and I just recently found you, but will not throw a tantrum. =) I ran across your blog (through your link in Twitter). After the first read, subscribed to all possible and bought the book, and awaited patiently for your next entry. I looked forward to your next entry. (It is hard to be patient sometimes, but it lowers stress lol) I love how you read, know what I mean? Your insight… Ok, how about… you’re far from boring, I’m glad the blog stays. (Short version)
    I think time is an issue for everyone, just few realize it. When young, we think we have our whole life ahead of us, but there are no guarantees.

    • My dear Felicia, you had me at “bought the book”! Just kidding! No, no I’m not–well just a little. It is so heartwarming to read comments like yours. Like most bloggers, I’m sure, I spend hours on a blog post, trying to make what is difficult to say sound effortless. Of course that’s not just with blogging, it’s with any writing. We are writers, aren’t we. We invite people, through just our words, to come into our minds and sit a spell. It’s wonderful when you’re saying you feel comfortable on your visit. Bless you, Felicia!

  6. Yeah. Time is consumable so you have to make the decision on how. Good for you

  7. I appreciate your agreeing with me on that one, John. It’s tough to abandon a project you spent so much time on. There is definitely a different learning curve with a newsletter compared to a blog. So thanks for your support in my decision.

  8. J. b. Villegas permalink

    Jay, I came late along the road trip of yours. Will read your trails, as I move ahead where you’ve been.  Namaste-jb

    ________________________________

  9. Thanks, J.B., for stopping by. As you follow my trails be careful you don’t step in it! LOL, I always appreciate hearing from you. You have a rare writing gift. I hope others have a chance to read “The Third Reason.” It was one of the highlights of this year for me!

  10. This reminds me of friends who are too busy. When they return…..

  11. I almost never read newsletters and it annoys me when someone nags, begs or pushes me to subscribe. I do not need more clutter in my email in box. I have far more noise in my email than actual email. I delete newsletters and subscribe continually. There always seem to be more of them. These days I prefer to follow blogs via Twitter or RSS feeds which I keep online in one place. This way I can pick when I want to read them versus just being annoyed at all the stuff I don’t want in my email.

    • Hi, Laura … Wow! Thank you for your candidness. That’s how we grow. I got a kick out of your self-deprecating humor with “I delete newsletter and subscribe continually.” We are a complicated lot, aren’t we? Thanks, though for your comments and please come back.

  12. Missus Tribble permalink

    I was writing before I even started going to school. I can’t imagine my life without a groaning bookshelf, a pen and paper, a dictionary and (now) a keyboard. It’s something that I’ve just always done, been able to do and enjoyed. One of my poems from childhood – about wanting to become a writer – is apparently framed in a display cabinet at my junior school all these decades later. The children attending now, know the name of a child who attended thirty years previously and wanted to become a writer. To take writing away from me would be akin to depriving my lungs of air.

    Despite a growing (and positive) reputation, I’m probably never going to be famous, but that’s okay. My family are proud of my achievements and my way with words, and that’s enough 🙂

    • Missus Tribble, Missus Tribble, Missus Tribble … you are a marvel! And, you are already famous in my eyes. Your words are SO inspiring for a lot of writers. I wish all could read my post just to absorb your comment. Thank you for being here, Missus Tribble. You are welcome in my bloghouse any day!

      • Missus Tribble permalink

        Thank you for such supportive words, fellow writer!

        You, also, are welcome in my bloghouse whenever you wish to stop by 🙂

  13. Reblogged this on Justin Kassab.

    • Justin, this is indeed an honor. You have reblogged the last two of my posts — and I am stoked! I don’t know what you’ve been seeing in my posts, but I’m tempted to say “stay at your current level with it. Don’t dig any deeper or you may stop — you may even go back and Un-reblog. Of course, I’m only out and out LOL kidding. Giddiness does that to me. Thank you so much, Justin.

      • If I didn’t enjoy them I wouldn’t share them. Keep up the good writing.

  14. Thank you so much, Justin. The days just keep getting better!

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