Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Different Direction

Friends, I want to thank you for your continued patronage of this blog over the years. It has been, and continues to be, a privilege to serve you. At present, and for the foreseeable future, I find my life trending in different directions, and you will probably find fewer pieces of new content from now on. Please allow me to explain.

Most of the work I do to inform, educate, and fascinate is now done through social media, namely Facebook. I doubt I will ever indulge much in Twitter, or any of the other platforms, since I do not interact well with mobile devices (I am almost literally "all thumbs" on a tablet or smartphone). These platforms do, however, reflect something important that I must be cognizant of, and responsive to.

We are at a point where "instant gratification" is now possible through texting, internet messaging, and social media. The era of the blog may even be slowly coming to a close. No one wants to wait for a blog post when they are having a panic attack now over the spider crossing the kitchen floor. They can take a picture of it with their phone and send it over the airwaves to me or another expert immediately. This is the new 9-1-1, and 4-1-1, all wrapped up into one thing.

I honestly can't fault people for demanding information faster; and I would rather have it be me giving them a correct answer and advice than someone who does not know a brown recluse from a harmless wolf spider. Heck, I myself am "guilty" of using social media to get specimen identifications from authorities I trust. This is today's reality, and one must adapt or lose their impact and relevance.

Second, recent major expenses dictate that I must seek paying writing assignments and related work. I may even need to secure a traditional job outside the home, though I do not relish that prospect. Those who know me understand that I am not "greedy" or materialistic. Far from it. Still, even basic expenditures must be paid, and my income has increasingly stagnated. Doctor visits become more frequent as I age, with corresponding increases for medical bills. You get the idea.

Lastly, I have found increasing satisfaction from writing about topics completely unrelated to insects and spiders. So far, the outlet for this has been my other blog, Sense of Misplaced, but I am on the verge of seeking paying markets for personal essays and social commentary. I have loyal readers of that blog to thank for giving me the confidence and courage to believe that I can reach a far larger audience, and perhaps even influence cultural change and regulatory policies.

Our country, indeed the world, is in such a state of crisis that we need every voice to be heard. Every innovation, every idea, needs to gain an audience from those in places where those suggestions can be evaluated and implemented. I aim to be one of those voices for positive change, empathy, and leadership. I hope my audience here can transfer to my other blog, and on into mainstream media.

Meanwhile, I have enough posts in the Bug Eric archives that I feel it is still a sustainable resource. I continue to get positive, non-spam comments from new "recruits" delighted to find here the answer to that "mystery bug." I will still blog here periodically, at the very least to promote the work of others. Thank you again for your support.

7 comments:

  1. Will always keep your blog pinned to my home page to notice when a new one appears, even if randomly...and will look up your other blog in the meantime! The field certainly does keep changing...swapped freelance for full-time myself recently. Best of luck!

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments and empathy.

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  2. I am sorry that you are decreasing your blogging activity here, but I certainly understand that life changes. I enjoy your posts - when I get a chance to catch up on my blog reading. (We started caring for our newborn grandson last summer, which has significantly impacted my ability to spend time on the computer!) Thank you for sharing all your knowledge and enthusiasm with us via your blog. Like Christina, I will be keeping your blog on my feed so that I catch any new posts that you feel inspired to make. Good luck in whatever direction your life takes you next.
    Cynthia Abbott, aka Gaia gardener

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    1. Thank you. What I didn't include here is my continuing struggle to get past the "Bug Guy" label that has been placed on me. I have concluded I am a writer, not an entomologist, and trying to be an entomologist has been the source of many personal issues up until now.

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  3. I am impressed with your blog!
    I suspect it will be a valuable resource. Thanks so much for your time and for your intellect. Having just made this discovery, I am dismayed that you will be scaling back. However, I can empathize with you. Wishing you the best in your future adventures -

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    1. Thank you! Actually, you may not see much of a difference. I was only doing about 2-3 posts per week maximum anyway. Stay tuned. :-)

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  4. That's not so unusual. We all (nature blog writers) go back and forth between high frequency posting and highly busy times otherwise. For me personally reasons ranged from difficult and sad times within the family to highly positive developments that led to adventure and excitement in other parts of my life. The more reflective (and unpaid) activity of blog writing has to stand back during those periods. But if you have a true urge to share your excitement in natural beauty and discovery you'll probably come back to it again. The good part of not being on anyone's payroll is that it's your decision when to write and when not to. And you can even let momentary spells of bad mood get in the way without punishment. What glorious freedom!

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