Dark Matters, This Blogger Life

Writer’s block comes in many forms

If you are a ChicagoNow fan or junkie, you probably have noticed a few changes around here.  Some good like the front page getting updated with new posts more often.  Some questionable like the Ask ChicagoNow posts.  ChicagoNow has always been a Hogwart’s for bloggers and our Dumbledoore left a few months ago (at least he wasn’t killed by the Defense Against the Dark Posts blogger).

Three year old tyrants

They are definitely plotting their next move

At the same time, though unrelated, I have been in a slump since the start of the year. First off, my daytime paying job has been busy, stressful and more demanding than usual.

Second, I’m going through what I refer to as the Groundhog Day Phase with my kids.  Everyday it’s pretty much the same thing:  Fight with them to wake up in the morning, get them dressed and off to daycare.  Then scramble to get to work at a time that is in the ballpark of “Start Time”.   Hope that things are quiet enough that I can leave on time and meet my wife at daycare and bring the mini-tyrants home, feed them and fight with them to go to sleep at a decent time.  Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Finally, while I have from time to time thrown my opinion in on Worldy News Events, things happen so fast that by the time I form a useful opinion on something, many more talented people have already opined on it six different ways to Sunday.

The irony is that this is the best time to be blogging for ChicagoNow because a lot of bloggers aren’t publishing as much and most of the heavy hitters are invisible! Minor leagues like me would get more exposure than ever.

You know how everyone is writing their Jimmy Memorial Posts and recalling how they got their blog started? I had to beg for mine and it was only after CN changed its model and let anyone who wanted to blog (and stopped paying bloggers) blog that I got mine. [No disrespect to Dumbledore, I mean Jimmy, he has been nothing but supportive and helpful.]

Another cost cutting move that the Chicago Tribune made was to eliminate all the stipends for those few bloggers at ChicagoNow who were getting one. I was lucky enough to be one of them. I had a contractual agreement to earn $50.00 a month for my blog for the past several years.

Frankly I’m not surprised because I always knew the CN we know (Hogwart’s for bloggers) couldn’t last forever.  I suspect things are going to change even more and someday ChicagoNow might either go away or become irrelevant. I know blasphemy, right.  My advice is to CN Bloggers is to get all the posts you can out of your system and let whatever happens, happen.  Now to just follow my own advice.

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