I left the news world back in 1999. I was burned out and quite frankly, didn’t like the turn away from “real news” and toward “infotainment,” which was taking place in the industry. Now, if you miss the first four minutes of the newscast, you’ve essentially missed the newscast. It’s over, except for the recap in the closing 30 seconds. The rest of the time is taken up with features, gossip and weather.
But even though I got out physically, my desire to know has never left. And up until a few months ago I still managed to start my day reading several newspapers (the internet makes it easy). I still read several magazines on both sides of the current issues, in my desire to find all sides of the issues.
I write a blog that most of the time reflects what I’ve read in the newspapers, magazines or heard on CNN or MSNBC. Still can’t stand to watch FOX. It drives me nuts. I ended my career working for the local Fox and a news director who thought that the perfect reporter was one who left the station with prescripted questions written by her or the assignment desk and stuck to script while doing the interview. She actually voiced that opinion in the daily news meeting. I told her point blank that, that would be the day I quit, and it was. She got fired shortly after I quit. It was okay, I needed a change....I needed to write without the constrictions of alleged news gathering, that was no longer happening. But I still carried on my personal search for information...reading and reading and writing and writing, as if I never left the business.
Lately, for the first time in my adult life, I’ve been tuned out of the noise. I mean really tuned out...no newspapers, cancelled my magazine subscriptions, watched less TV news, and I don’t feel all that guilty about unplugging. Haven’t been writing either. I do feel twinges of guilt when I don’t update my blog.
But, hell, I have to remind myself that I created the blog for me. Not for anyone else. I created it to keep in practice with my writing. If I don’t use it, I lose it, understand?
I love to write, it’s just that by creating the blog, I felt an obligation to write every single day, every time I had a thought. That’s good, but there are other things to my life. I play golf. I love to play golf. If I had discovered the game earlier in my life, I might have tried to be a pro. I love being outside, especially this time of year. I have a lawn that needs tending. I have flowers that need love. I have dogs that need exercise. I have me, that needs exercise. I have a car that needs washing. I have a house that needs fixing. I have travel plans to make and trips to take. I need to check out the local flea markets. I have friends and lovers that I need to see. I have wine that needs drinking and food that needs eating.
I have a life outside of my blog and I should never, ever feel guilty about living.
Everything I do and experience comes out in my writing. It will eventually come out in my blog...just not everyday. Maybe not every two or three days. But it will come out, when it’s ready.
So I will get back to politics and the war and having opinions about something. But only when I feel it. In my own time, period.