Sunday, April 02, 2006

Good night and God bless

I purposely waited until this morning, April 2, so people would know this is not a joke.

For all intents and purposes, this will be my final post at the The Gad(d)about. As much as I have enjoyed blogging, it has become far too much of a distraction from my professional life that I must now unplug before it proves costly.

I began this blog for no good reason -- I wanted to show someone what a blog looked like. Before I knew it, I was posting regularly as somehow likeable, intelligent people such as yourself found me and encouraged me to continue.

It's unlikely someone who has never written professionally can understand this, but a writer of limited focus and creativity such as myself only has so many valuable thoughts in a day. I began to notice this at the tail end of my journalism career, as blogging became of greater writing value to me than the work I was employed to do. Here, I could write freely on topics about which I cared deeply. My energy was spent here. My professional work was a chore, and it showed.

Switching careers to real estate was something I was anxious to share here. It was primarily a move to support my family, but a tertiary benefit, I thought, was it might allow me to write a better blog. Real estate, after all, is not a creative venture.

What I found, however, is I am a poor multi-tasker. Although I staved off the temptation to post throughout the day most days, my mind was elsewhere when it should have been on my work. Furthermore, I'm discovering creativity in business is a bonus when combined with skill and effort.

This past week I was responsible for costing my small company no small amount of money and heartache. It wasn't negligence -- it was, in fact, ignorance -- but perhaps I could have salvaged some of the mess if my mind had been focused on business as I once was focused on being a professional journalist: With great desperation.

It's hard to quantify this quality of mine to people who are accustomed to receiving an assignment, doing the work, and going home. I have to be the best or I want nothing to do with it -- I'll have no motivation to do it. Right now, I am far from being the best property manager or real estate agent. It's eating at me that I am not beating people to the office, not anticipating problems before they happen, not outworking our competitors. What's worse is I haven't seemed all that concerned about my mediocre performance in the face of flagging results.

While I'm far from an abject failure to others, I'm failing my own expectations. Worse yet, I'm failing my family as the sole breadwinner by not securing some kind of stability in my job.

I need to rediscover that desperation that motivated me to climb out of the abyss I was once was in, this former functionally illiterate high school dropout that became a professional writer.

I have been working 12 to 16 hour days for two months now with ineffective results. I would like to cut back the hours and be more productive. After this rocky weekend (when the mess became all too prevalent), I am wholly convinced the distracting effects of my blog outweigh any personal benefits I receive from it.

The Gad(d)about will remain up and archived as long as BlogSpot decides to keep it up, but I will never post here again. I reserve the right to return at some future date with a different blog, but I have no timetable, and am in no position to suggest when that might be. I only know I must pursue security and stability, and to honor the primary objectives here and now which I know God has entrusted with me. Unfortunately, that is not blogging at this time.

This is not to say I'm going to disappear off the face of the earth. I value all of my blogging companions too much. I expect to make cameo appearances on more than a few blogs. But it will be part and parcel with putting this habit in place: A brief diversion when I have nothing else going on.

I love all of you so much and I appreciate the entertainment and affection you've offered to me. More importantly, so many of you have had made a personal impact on me and helped me grow in the Lord. I can think of no greater accomplishment for any kind of endeavor.

With all my hope in God,

Matthew Self, a.k.a. Gaddabout