Life goals, etc

I need to learn to write more for myself

Personal blogs are supposed to be indulgent, right? Here’s hoping.

This short post is relaxed, and I didn’t strain myself trying to polish it. It’s also Holden’s fault to some degree, as he’s always listening to my ramblings on the phone and offering encouragement that I am not a complete shit. So, tweet him the typos: @holdenthepage.

I didn’t intend to take time off right after the Verizon Media transaction closed. I certainly didn’t plan on being offline when the newly-reconstituted Yahoo announced a new CEO.

Similarly, I didn’t aim to take the week off in which my friend Katie Roof broke the news that Stripe is finally deciding to put on big-kid pants and go public. Or the week when PayPal bought a BNPL provider.

God, I want to run the numbers on that last one.

But I did take time off on purpose as after a frenetic few months on the finance/tech beat my brain was a blob of goo. And because my parents were coming to visit. In personal terms the timing of my break was perfect. It proved less so in professional terms.

It’s been odd to sit on the couch and not write during this approved work hiatus — vacation is too strong a word, I’ve largely been at home. Not writing is a strange thing to do at this point in my life because writing is what I do most days. And when I am done writing I try to read. News and novels mostly.

Aside from a few tweets and texts, I’ve hit far fewer keys in anger during the last week than usual. And I haven’t exactly loved it.

The things I did instead were good. I learned to play Pickleball, which is its real name. I spoiled my parents a little. I chased the puppy around a field in Massachusetts near a river. I took the parents to the beach and walked them up and down the sand in the breeze. I got to watch a F1 race with my dad for the first time. My mom taught us how to play her version of Euchre. Again.

It was good. But the last week did not include writing, so it wound up feeling a little flat.

It’s neat that I get to write for a job. TechCrunch loves it when I write lots. The more the better. Bring it the fuck on.

Short hits? Yes, please. Longform dives? Hell yeah. Podcasts? As many as you want. Snarky, joke posts? Fuck it, it’s Wednesday. It’s essentially a workplace designed for the way my brain works, with its attention focused on the particular niche of the business world I find the most interesting.

All that said I do want to shake up my writing life a little in the next few years. I want to write a little bit more for myself.

Recently while trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up, I wrote up a little Google Doc entitled “Dream Job,” which I’ve pasted below. I tell you that it is verbatim as it could use a tighten. But, when in doubt, post what you have:

Make money writing about tech/money
Soothe soul by writing about books
Stay angry by covering fascism

That’s my long-term goal.

Taking a break has been illuminating. I am pretty excited to get back into my regular rhythm of writing and podcasting with my friends. And maybe do some scribbling for myself on the second two topics listed above.

Here’s to writing. And the ridiculous good fortune of loving what I do for work. Even the days when I finish work feeling like I’ve been in a blender. It’s far better to be busy than bored, and if you can be busy at something fundamentally joyful — like writing — all the better.

Hugs — Alex