This is the latest in an occasional series of blog posts commenting on upcoming retirement.
I feel compelled to give you an update on the status of this blog.
I call it High Plains Blogger because that’s where I live: on the High Plains of the Texas Panhandle; the Llano Estacado; or what I call — with great affection, of course — the Texas Tundra.
I created it in 2012 after leaving a career in daily print journalism. The end of that career came rather quickly. It wasn’t how I envisioned a nearly 37-year career would end. I’ve told folks for years now that all I wanted was a going-away party, with a sheet cake and frosting that had a message wishing well and thanking me for a job well done.
It didn’t happen that way … but what the hey, that’s life, man.
I created this blog and was able to transfer a lot of the blogging I’d done at the Amarillo Globe-News into High Plains Blogger’s archives.
My traffic of late has shown tremendous growth. Indeed, over the lifetime of High Plains Blogger my daily “hits” — which include page views and something called “unique visitors” — has increased about five-fold.
It’s not where I want it just yet, but it’s creeping its way toward a more acceptable level. I don’t have an end point. I haven’t said, “When it gets to a certain level, I think I’ll cap it right there.” Oh, no. You can’t have too many readers, too many followers, too many people willing to offer comment.
My intention is to keep self-promoting whenever I feel it is appropriate. Today seems like an appropriate time to call attention to this blog.
Full-time blogging is far more fun than I ever imagined it would be. Yes, I enjoyed writing for The Man. I did it for nearly four decades. I enjoyed some success. I had a hiccup or two along the way.
All told, it was a career made more fun by the people I have encountered along the way and some of the amazing things I was able to do: Flying over an erupting volcano in March 1980 on a picture-taking mission was one of them; landing on the deck of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier in 1993, the USS Carl Vinson, and then being catapulted off the deck is another.
Blogging, though, is a new career I intend to pursue for as long as I can as I enter full-time retirement. You see, this full-time blogging pursuit is something that co-exists quite nicely with full-time retirement. Neither title — blogger and retiree — is mutually exclusive.
So, with that, I say “thank you” to those who read this blog regularly and to those who have offered comment. Yes, I even want to thank the critics. You know who you are. I try my best not to take it personally, as long as the criticism doesn’t call me nasty names.
Let’s enjoy the ride for as long as we can.