Following a pattern well established by the Soviet leaders of old, I launched Trail Baboon on June 3, 2010 with a grandiose five year plan for world domination.
I had just been tossed from a job I’d held for twenty five years at the place where I’d worked for more than thirty. During most of those years I’d been writing fake ads, joke essays, sing-song poems, and phony conversations with preposterous characters.
It was fun, and while my employers weren’t exactly paying me to do it, they didn’t withhold my pay to make me stop. I took that as tacit approval.
So when the gig ended I felt a strong desire to maintain my daily writing habit in case a sudden demand surfaced for random acts of topical whimsy.
The plan in the back of my mind was this – that the blog would become a widely-read creative and conversational spark plug and the audience would grow to such levels that the entire enterprise would turn into a financially self supporting side industry that could continue whether I was otherwise employed – or not.
Today it is my delightful duty to declare that thanks to the tireless work of the People’s Blogging Army and a prodigious daily output of pithy remarks by the People’s Baboon Commentariat, our ambitious five year plan has led to spectacular successes on every front and all our dreaded foes have been humbled.
Which is Soviet shorthand for this – not a single one of the above mentioned goals was achieved.
But in the process we’ve had some wonderful fun while a loyal community has gathered to meander down the Trail Baboon. With an occasional hiccup, I have posted either here, or at the companion site, The Baboondocks, six days a week, every week, for sixty months.
The most rewarding aspect has been the fine writing and camaraderie that has developed in the comments section, powered by a diverse cast of characters that no one could invent.
Today you are reading post 1,397. Lest anyone think I am claiming credit for all that, 231 of those posts were written by readers – the famed Baboon Congress. But at the end of this week we’ll hit 1,400 posts – high time to take a bit of a rest.
So after posting this Saturday, June 6th, I’m giving myself a three month sabbatical – some necessary time and space to take a look at how I schedule my days and where I spend my energy. And an opportunity to enjoy these precious summer evenings doing something other than hunching over a computer – just to see how that feels.
I’ll weigh in from time to time if the moment is right and other commitments align. Some baboons are working on guest essays – I’ll happily post them when they come in. But one of the beauties of a blog is that it need not follow any set schedule. Trail Baboon and The Baboondocks will remain in place and open for comment while I rest.
And the internet is wide and deep and there are many other places to go where like-minded Baboons can have a conversation.
I know I don’t need to remind you of this – but like Dorothy and that thing with clicking her heels to go home, everyone has the power to create a blog. Some already have – note that in the left margin of the screen we have existing links to Blevins’ Book Club, A Neo-Renaissance Writer, and The View From Birchwood Hill.
Describe a sabbatical you took and what it meant to you.