I started this blog in 2008, but soon let it lapse as I became an almost–weekly contributor to the New York Times Economix blog from 2009 to 2014. This felt pretty demanding on top of my regular job and I needed a while to recover and reconfigure.
Many of my posts there focused on care issues, and I’ve put together an annotated list of about 45 of them that fall into the same categories I use on this blog. Reviewing them was an interesting process for me. It helped build my confidence in what I’m doing here.
I learned a lot from my engagement with what I consider a very fine news organization. I gained a larger audience for my ideas. I improved my fluency as a writer. I also read enough rude personal comments online to gain at least some immunity to them.
But I have to say I didn’t love the format. I was asked to write an “analysis” rather than an “opinion” blog. I was discouraged from adopting a personal or informal tone. I generally felt constrained by the context. The copy-editing was great, but as a freelancer, I never got much editorial feedback on substance.
Ironically, it was a NYT article on family policy that rekindled my desire to resume writing on these issues for a broad audience. Even if it’s a small audience!
The email exchanges I got into as a part of a larger response to that article made me realize the importance of maintaining a strong on-line platform to discuss care issues. Thanks to all! I will summarize some of the things I learned from those exchanges in my next post.