Farewell, at least for now

Hear me, America.

(One of the cool things about being on American Idol has got to be the opportunity to address the entire nation as one. It’s not just host Ryan Seacrest who gets to drop the frequent imperative “America, do this” or “America, do that.” Even the contestants are allowed to implore all 307 million U.S. citizens to “vote for me, America.” Since I doubt I’ll ever have the chance to appear on this top-rated talent show (not because I can’t sing — that hasn’t stopped the current crop of would-be Idols — but because I have a pathological fear of Jennifer Lopez), I’m using my blog instead to address the .00009% of America that views my writing on any given day.

Today, I announce my retirement from DavisW’s blog. This will be my last new post for the foreseeable future. I’ll continue to toss up some stale retread of a previous posting on a daily basis for a while, at least till I lose interest in that. Then, I’m out of the blogging business.

There are several reasons why I’m making this move at this time.

One, I’m tired and I’m stressed out. Since December of 2008, I have written a fresh post virtually every single weekday. In over two years, I missed only a Tuesday in February ’09 when my son had major abdominal surgery, and a week at the end of 2010, during which I suffered a complete physical and mental breakdown, or maybe it was just a head cold. It’s become too much pressure to produce something new on a daily basis.

Second, the concept of “blogging” has become passé. It’s yesterday’s news, something grandpas do to keep their friends and families apprised of their bowel movements. I was never able to fully get into the likes of Facebook and Twitter, and am too technologically backward to try to anticipate the next big thing. I thought for a while that the latest in new media was going to be sneaking up behind people and shouting into their ears, but I’m not sure my 1,200-word essays lend themselves well to that format.  Seems likely I’d get punched before I was halfway through my treatise on the commercial that sells “privately-enhanced” two-dollar bills, in which five-year-olds color pictures of Yellowstone National Park all over Thomas Jefferson’s face.

Thirdly, I’m not getting a lot of comments from the readers indicating how enthralled they are with my prose. A kind word from someone who got a chuckle out of my observations goes a long way in re-energizing me, and these have become few and far between. About a year or so ago, someone contacted me online and said I’d get a lot more response if I went into the “settings” portion of WordPress and checked some box. I waited and waited for the avalanche of feedback he said I should expect, and instead the three or four comments I had been receiving each day trickled down to next to nothing. In retrospect, I have a feeling this person was up to no good, and actually convinced me to sabotage my own site, and now I’ve forgotten which box I checked. I still get occasional comments from a deranged ex-roommate, though that’s proven more frightening than rewarding.

I’ve tried to “monetize” the blog by offering it for sale on Kindle, and have actually made a number (47) of sales. How pathetic this revenue stream is became clear the other day when I met with my CPA to review my income taxes for last year. He asked about the W-2 I received from Amazon declaring an amount of $21.65 as taxable income, and I told him I made this money as a professional blogger.

“I guess we should report this,” he said reluctantly. “I’m seeing more and more of these online sales: there was a guy just in here who made a couple thousand dollars last year selling half-used cans of old paint through Craigslist. Maybe that’s something you should look into.”

Finally, I’m dealing with some undisclosed personal matters that require me to step out of the limelight for a time. Like Disney singer and actress Demi Lovato, I’m currently trying to resolve ongoing physical and emotional issues that I prefer to address in private, away from the glare of publicity. Like Demi, I too am a sensitive artist who has rocketed to international fame at a trajectory that my psyche has had difficulty keeping up with. Demi reportedly had eating disorders, was beginning to cut herself, and exhibited inappropriate behavior such as punching out a back-up dancer travelling with her on last fall’s Jonas Brothers tour. My issues would be viewed by most as less severe (I don’t even know any back-up dancers, as their presence isn’t widespread in the financial printing industry where I work), however they are plenty serious for me.

Also going on indefinite hiatus will be my so-called “mini-blog” http://davisontv.wordpress.com/. A third blog that I announced at the beginning of the year never materialized. I had hoped to be selected by the Charlotte Observer newspaper to be a part of their “Pounding Away” series, in which a trio of husky Carolinians would chronicle their weight-loss efforts, but my application was passed over in favor of the three goons seen below.

At least I didn’t have to pose for a silly photograph.

What kind of retirement I’ll have I cannot say. It could be a Brett Favre-style affair, and I’ll continue showing up day after day to miss wide-open receivers despite the fact they’re wearing Wrangler jeans. Or, it could be something more along the lines of what Johnny Carson did, slipping out of the public view with incredible dignity and conveniently dying a few years later.

If the urge to write humor returns, and I can view the exercise as exhilarating rather than obligatory drudgery, I’ll be back. If not, I’ll see you around.

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5 Responses to “Farewell, at least for now”

  1. Valerie Says:

    I know that blogging takes an incredible effort and then to add humor to the mix in the correct amounts must be really a task. I don’t think professional stand up comedians have generated as much fresh material as you have in your blog. I have enjoyed it immensely,(on those days I have had the time to read it) and shared it a few times. I am sorry to hear about your overdue va-kay. Enjoy. Update us when you can. Be well.

  2. deyank Says:

    Sorry to hear of your decision, Davis. I’ve always read your blog every day as part of my ‘wake-up-and-smell-the-web’ routine. I hope you come back every once in a while if only to see if we’ve snuck in a comment or two behind your back.

  3. Kym Kemp Says:

    If I promised to comment as often as I laugh, then your comment section would be littered with lol’s–not a pretty sight/site.

  4. Paul Dixon Says:

    Davis, I am saddened to hear of your decision, but I perfectly understand. I often wondered how you could hold down a full-time job AND blog AND be deliciously creative and humorous, day after day. I don’t think many people could do it.

    And I hope that you haven’t interpreted my quietude as of late to be a lack of interest in your blog. Quite the contrary. I have simply gotten extremely busy with work lately, and I still have about 14 of your blogs queued up, ready for reading. I have enjoyed commenting back almost as much as I have enjoyed reading the blog itself.

    I hope that an extended rest might revitalize your creative juices and perhaps someday you’ll take up the pen again. You’re far too talented to completely abandon the writing field. Far too talented. I understand about the lack of feedback, and when you get your settings figured out on WordPress, go back and look for all the comments that probably didn’t make it into your site. Since it’s the internet, I’m sure they’re still out there somewhere in cyberspace.

    I want for you to succeed at writing in a palpable way. Somewhere there is an outlet for your ability. Thanks for all the wit and laughs, (and I fervently hope that I haven’t out-snarked myself in my commenting), so rather than ‘goodbye’, I’ll say “á bientôt”. (Look it up…)

    I’m proud to say that I personally know such a gifted writer. Good luck.

    -Your ‘Deranged Former Roommate”-

    • davisw Says:

      Thanks, Paul. I really appreciate your kind words. Don’t quite give up on me yet, though. I’m just trying to get out of feeling obligated to produce on a daily basis and go back to writing when it feels like it might be fun. I frankly don’t expect my output to drop all that much. I’m just eager to get out from under the daily pressure. My son is sicker than ever with his Crohn’s disease, and I want to make that my priority.

      Keep watching for new posts, possibly as early as today. Thanks again for all your support.

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