Sunday, August 07, 2005

For those of you who were wondering 

Thank you for all your comments, emails, and nice things written about me on other blogs and sites since I announced my impending blogging retirement over the weekend. Your kind words (even from my intellectual enemies!) make me feel better, yet at the same time worse, since I feel like I'm abandoning a very large and extended family, one I've never met, but one that is nevertheless very close to my heart.

While I won't go into too much detail, a lot of you wanted to know more about my future direction:

1) many of you assumed that I've landed a "dream job" of some sort. Let me assure you, it's nothing as romantic as that - I haven't been drafted to be President Bush's new speech writer, or haven't landed a job as a columnist for a major daily - it's really just a next step up on my current professional ladder.

2) the ban on blogging and writing relates to the fact that when you're on a relatively junior level (as is your immediate boss), it doesn't particularly matter what you write - as long, of course, that it's not defamatory or inflammatory - but as you move higher up in the chain, the powers that be get increasingly paranoid that you might write something that might embarrass or reflect badly on both your (now higher profile) boss and the government in general, so no risks will be tolerated at all.

3) yes, I will be writing for a living, but it won't be anything in the public domain, and furthermore, even if it was, the topics I will be working on would not be of much interest to all of you who came to this blog to sample my views on international events, the war on terror, Iraq, or popular culture.

4) in the end, the decision - difficult as it was - came down to a simple choice: should I continue to stay indefinitely in the same job (which I enjoyed, but where I was standing still professionally) just because it allowed me flexibility to write outside of it, or should I try to move up professionally, even if it means having to give up my passion. Sadly, the passion didn't look like translating itself into a decently paying full time career, and so the majority view among the friends whom I asked for advice was that I should choose the "sensible" rather than the "romantic" course of action.


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