Thursday, May 5, 2022

X Plus One


It all started eleven years ago with these words. 

It's May! Time for all the good folks to gather at the Village Green--if only we knew where that was...

Yes, today’s the eleven year blogiversary for Village Green/Town². That adds up to 3,221 posts. No, I’m not going to make you read that first post all over again. I’ve done that enough, I think.

If you enjoy the blog I want you to know I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my friend Mary Kate who one day remarked, “You should write a blog,” while we were discussing local issues. Equal credit goes to David Greisman, then of Patch, who told me, “Yes, you can write a blog and I can get you started.” If you don’t* enjoy the blog; please don’t take it out on them. I take full responsibility.

I continue to divide my time between the Big Issues and the Good Little Stories. The big issues are important. The more controversial they are, the more clicks they get. The good little stories remain my favorites, though they often gain less traction overall. That’s okay. They may be my less popular children, but, I love them.

At any given time I have at least two or three really brilliant blog ideas in my head that will probably never make it to the page. It is perhaps the equivalent of the fisherman’s claim, “But you should see the one that got away!” You may never see them, but, I want to assure you: they are epic.

And another thing…

Once I convince myself that a certain post must be perfect, I might as well throw it away. I have grown in many ways as a writer in eleven years but this one obstacle hasn’t budged much. I still have perfection paralysis. In addition, I must learn to refrain from saying, “I’ll write about this tomorrow” unless I have already written that second post. I’m not quite sure why this is the kiss of death but I end up having to chase myself around the block and subsequently get down on the ground and wrestle with myself to make good on my promise.

Go figure.

Recently I’ve seen several prominent people make the case that Columbia/HoCo is in dire need of real, professional, local journalism. I agree. Bloggers and podcasters and online social media communities do a lot to inform, interpret, and advocate but they are not journalism. Like most people I know, I don’t have the answer. I just know how desperately it is needed for our communty.

Rest assured that I will never claim to be a news source. I want to work alongside the news and think about it, have discussions about it. That’s mighty hard to do with a weekly newspaper that is growing ever thinner and where pickleball makes the front page and the life of Millie Bailey does not. 

In the world of journalism we are probably far too small for anyone to invest in us. I still want to see it happen.

Over the last year I’ve been influenced a good deal by the work of Marlena Jareaux with Howard County Lynching Truth & Reconciliation. And recently my tour of Elkridge has motivated me to learn more about this oft-neglected piece of the county. So you’ll probably be seeing more of both in the year to come.

And, elections? Unavoidable. There will definitely be some political commentary as we work through local campaigns and candidates.

Lastly, I’ve been having fun with Free Form Fridays and readers have, too. I think F ³ is here to stay. 

By far the best part of the blog is you. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

*If you don’t enjoy the blog but are reading it anyway - - thank you? Also, maybe we should have coffee. - - jam

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