Four years, one hundred stories and more than 150,000 words ago, I began this blog.
The discipline of writing a new story every fortnight had a big impact. It killed my career. Or, to be more accurate, it led me to decide to put an end to the most recent stage of my career.
Late last year, after long discussions with my partner, I decided to leave academia (I haven’t quite left yet). My university is fantastic, my colleagues wonderful and the pay packet hard to refuse. But it is time to grow and learn new skills.
The skill I’d most like to improve upon is: to work out how to write better stories about nature, the environment and our place in it, so we can save more of it.
So this year I went back to uni as a student rather than as a lecturer. (At the moment I’m still juggling both tasks, but soon I’ll be ‘just’ a student.) I am studying a Masters degree in journalism. My aim is to bring journalistic skills to ecology rather than the other way around.
Ironically, while the impetus for a change in career was to write better stories, the short term outcome has been exactly the opposite. Since going to class, I’ve haven’t posted a single new story and I don’t see much chance of doing so. Which leads, of course, to the title of this post.
I have decided – reluctantly – to put this blog to sleep.
This blog may not be completely dead, but it is about to hibernate for a long, long time. Please don’t unsubscribe. The odd story may enter your inbox one day, but a new post will be a surprise rather than a regular event.
Before bowing out, I’d like to thank you all for sharing, commenting, linking and – most of all – for reading so many posts over the last four years.
The thing I’ve found most humbling about blogging is – before I wake up on a Sunday morning (I’m not an early riser), many of you have read my new post, shared it on social media or written a comment.
I don’t find that engrossing from an egotistical point of view. Instead, the realization that we can write positive things about the environment that people want to read first thing on a Sunday morning, over coffee and toast, blows my mind. If we can learn how to do that more often, we’ve got it made.
I have no idea what the future will bring – that is the attraction for doing something new – but I’m sure I’ll find more ways to deliver better stories in the future. In the meantime, you can re-live some of the most popular posts by clicking on the images above or by visiting the Greatest Hits page.
Thank you all once again, and keep up your wonderful work in caring for our amazing environment. Best wishes, Ian.