I’m happy — rather than cranky — to report that today marks Middle-Age Cranky’s first anniversary.
Its genesis began at the 2009 American Society of Journalists & Authors conference in New York City (I just returned from this year’s conference). Last year — and the year before, for that matter — blogs were all the rage. Panelists promoted them as a way to establish a “platform” for yourself, a place from which you could promote your work, your voice, your insights, your value to editors, clients, blah, blah, blah.
As it happens, the ASJA always holds its conference in New York City on the last weekend in April. Interestingly, the American College of Physicians, the professional association for internists to which my wife belongs, holds its annual conference the same weekend. Not in New York City.
Last year, it was in Philadelphia, and because it seemed silly for both of us to rent expensive hotel rooms in expensive East Coast cities at the same time, we stayed at a hotel in Philadelphia and I took the train back and forth. This is why I was sitting in Penn Station one evening, trying to figure out if I were to start a blog, what the heck I would talk about.
After all, panelist after panelist had hammered on the idea that you had to post consistently, to show your ability to make deadlines, speak in a consistent voice, blah, blah blah.
As I sat in the waiting area of Penn Station, listening to an annoying child roll a soda can with a marble in it across the floor, it only took me about 90 seconds to figure out what I could write about on a weekly basis.
The aggravations of middle age.
What else flies at you so consistently and inexorably as you grow older? How could I dodge my head fast enough to avoid being hit by story ideas? I could have probably stayed within the letter T in the dictionary and not run out of material: taxes, travel, traffic, teen-agers, toxic family members, tomcats, Texas governors … the imagination reels.
But of course, even I’m not that one-dimensional. I can be a pretty sweet guy, on occasion. And so “Middle-Age Cranky” has evolved. It has its moments of crotchety, but there are columns that are tinged with nostalgia; that riff on memory and the way it shimmers; that pay homage to the perspective that comes from getting older, though not necessary wiser; that comment on how things change and how they don’t, sometimes all at the same time.
I’m delighted that my friends enjoy the blog (one of them refers to it simply as MAC). I’m grateful that strangers have asked to receive my weekly e-mail. I’m amazed that many of my relatives read it and still talk to me. I’m gratified that, whoever you are, you’re celebrating this anniversary with me.
Here’s to many more aggravations and anniversaries.
Note: On its one-year anniversary, Middle-Age Cranky is moving from Blogspot to WordPress. I believe that this will make it simpler for my readers to comment here, rather than on Facebook or sending me e-mail. I want very much to hear from readers, and for them to be able to see each other’s comments. If you would like to see the post’s from Cranky’s first year, visit http://middleagecranky.blogspot.com.