Note to GL and D3: I wanted to contact you privately before writing this, but I lost your addresses in October’s computer crash. Please forgive the surprise notice; you deserve better for your faithful, long-time support of me and this blog.
I dread writing this. But … I’m done.
I’m finished blogging.
The blog will remain online for the foreseeable future, but I’ll no longer be posting regularly. Or even semi-regularly. I don’t know whether I’ll be posting at all, but if I do, it will be more in the style of a hobby blog than a serious endeavor.
Since August, when Amazon de-platformed me, the blog has garnered no broad-based support.
A few readers, old and new, jumped in to become Patreons, increase their existing Patreon pledges, buy coffees, or make one-time contributions. I’m more grateful to that handful of people than I can say. I’m especially grateful to GL, who strapped a parachute on me while I was in post-Amazon freefall. He and S saved me from disaster.
But it isn’t right that a few generous souls should keep this blog going.
Amazon made it seamless and painless for a lot of readers to send a little bit of support every single month. There is nothing else equal to Amazon.
Almost immediately after the de-platforming, I also lost the biggest regular monthly donation I ever had. I don’t regret that loss; that contribution was always a gift, not an expectation. I was fortunate to receive it as long as I did.
But the upshot was, and is, that even with the new and enlarged Patreon contributions the blog brings in one-fourth what it brought in five months ago.
Long-time readers know that this is not the first time the blog has abruptly lost half or more of its income. I simply don’t have the energy to fight those losses any more.
I’ve received an offer of non-writing work and I’m going to take it. The new work doesn’t take a lot of time, but it requires tremendous commitment and energy, leaving less for blogging. It’s intriguing, too. Something entirely new, something that exercises more than my brain.
I feel as if I should make some grand parting statement about freedom and its future. But I don’t have it in me tonight.
The simple (or not so simple) fact is that we will be free if we put our minds and lives to it, and we can be free despite anything our alien overlords do.
I hope I’ve made some difference to some people, offered inspiration and useful ideas. I hope many other freedomistas come along — determined, clever, insouciant, and strong. I’m encouraged that so many people in all parts of the spectrum are finally realizing that politics and big government aren’t the path to freedom.
I hope I’ve played a part in that, but it’s really just history and reality in action.
I expect you dear Patreons and my one SubscribeStar supporter to cancel your pledges. If you want to keep them going for another month or two to help cover next year’s domain registrations and hosting fees for the blog and the Living Freedom Forums, great.
If not, I thank you for what you’ve given in the past and what you were willing to give for the future.
By March, I’ll probably cancel my Patreon, SubscribeStar, and Buy Me a Coffee accounts.
The Living Freedom Forums will remain open and active. I may try to spend more time there, but even without me around, there’s a lot going on.
Oh, about the forums …
When my computer crashed, I lost access to the email address used to accept new forum applications. I finally recovered that addy last week and found quite a few people applying for membership (and probably wondering why the heck the membership team was ignoring them). The recovery owes thanks to MP, C^2, JB, and others.
Those neglected apps are being reviewed as we speak. Thanks to KP for invaluable help with that.
If you think you might miss the blog and you haven’t yet joined the forums, consider applying. The forums are a congenial, active place for discussion.
Also, forum member rockchucker is in the process of converting some of my best older pieces to .pdf and making them available to forum participants who’ve been active beyond their initial three-month provisional period. Maybe that’s some incentive.
It’s been a long, strange, often gratifying trip.
Because this blog is the last remaining “public” writing I’ve been doing, ending the blog also means ending my writing career (such as it is). I won’t stop writing. Writers write and that’s that. But I have no plans ever to publish again. If I do, it’ll be something completely different.
I have felt loved for 23 years (the precise amount of time since 101 Things was published. Even when I’ve been hated, it’s been interesting. Entertaining and instructive. But mostly I’ve been blessed with kindness. Readers have become friends. Supporters have become neighbors, even from thousands of miles distance.
I have truly gotten by with a LOT of help from my friends.
Of all the things I’ve done, I’m proudest of the fact that I’ve surrounded myself with the most decent, caring, articulate, thoughtful, civilized audience any writer could wish to have. Even as the Internet turns into a sewer and political discourse becomes nothing more than a contest to see who can out-shout, out-sneer, out-whine, outrage, and demand the most vulgar attention, the blog Commentariat and the people on the Living Freedom Forums continue to rise above the sludge … and go right on thinking, building freedom, and agreeing to disagree with respect.
Given the condition of our civilization, this is as near to a miracle as it gets.
I’m tired. I’m done. But I’m fully aware how lucky I am … thanks to you.