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Daniel W. Drezner
This will be my last blog post for Foreign Policy — indeed, in all likelihood, my last blog post, period. Let me explain.
Astute observers of FP might have noticed some changes — not just the fancypants-new website, but the shifting of the original roster of bloggers to a weekly column format. I was the last holdout, for reasons I’ll explain below, but as of now I’ll be transitioning to that format as well. So I’m not leaving Foreign Policy — a readership tailor-made for the voodoo that I do — but I am leaving the blog format.
I’ll confess to some bittersweet feelings about this. I’ve been blogging for eleven plus years now. It’s comprised a quarter of my life, and I think I was getting pretty good at it. If nothing else, I was used to the practice. Wake up, think of something, type it out, click and publish. Even on the days when I accomplished nothing else, getting a good blog post up felt like a tangible accomplishment. Furthermore, I usually did craft other things. In my experience, the practice of blogging on a regular basis greatly improved my ability to write for an array of audiences, from the super-scholarly to the Comic-Con crowd.
Now, that said, there are other aspects of the practice I won’t miss. I won’t feel nostalgic for that panicked sensation of "I have nothing. NOTHING!!" at 9:30 AM. I won’t miss worrying about not blogging while traveling for work or leisure. I look forward to not re-reading my posts and wincing at the typos, bad grammar, inchoate thoughts and other foul-ups that are part and parcel of blogging.
Over the past year I’ve begun to write longer columns for FP, and so in many ways this merely accelerates a slow-motion transition. I don’t feel entirely comfortable about it — a good idea for a blog post is not necessarily sustainable for a lengthier column. Then again, perhaps writers should not always feel so comfortable — it’s how we avoid falling into cognitive ruts that soon become chasms.
When I started this enterprise, I noted that, "I have no doubt most of [these blog posts] will be bad, but they won’t be boring." The pressure to avoid bad columns will be a bit stronger — I can’t come back the next day and erase the aftertaste of a bad blog post. Readers should hope that the extra time given to cogitation will cancel out that risk.
Now would seem like an opportune time to talk about What This All Means for the future of blogging. The thing is, I got bored by that conversation after 2005, and see no reason to dredge it up now. Rather, looking back and looking forward, this seems like the appropriate way to close: