Why I’ve Quit Fading To Black

Everything changes but change itself, Matthew Sweet once sang.  Change has been very much on my mind lately.
In December 2006, a new blog called Fading To Black appeared online.  In its very first entry, this website was singled out for naming Sun Media one of the Losers Of The Year.  Emails were soon exchanged and a friendship began.  Interesting information was passed on to me which was used in a follow-up piece here.  Four months later, an invitation to contribute items to FTB was offered and, after some thought, accepted.  (That all came about quite by accident, actually.  While reading news stories online in the early months of 2007, I would sometimes come across a particular report or commentary that I felt FTB should write about, so I emailed the appropriate links.  Sometimes they were used, sometimes not.  When they were, credit was usually given which was cool.  And even when there wasn’t a public thank you, there was always a private one.)
For the most part, it was a good experience writing for someone else’s website.  It was a fairly straightforward gig, really.  You’d find a story online that deals with the decline of the newspaper business, write a paragraph or two about it, cut and paste a relevant section of the article and provide a link to the whole story.  Sometimes, you’d also include links to internal memos and follow-up reports related to the initial item.  
Receiving the occasional comment was nice.  Whether the feedback was laudatory or critical, it didn’t really matter.  Whenever you saw some kind of response on the actual site, you knew at least somebody was reading what you were posting.
But covering a beat like this can really get to you over time.  And the repetition of these stories (layoffs, strikes, walkouts, etc.) leaves little room for creative writing.  (Receiving all those Google Alerts day in and day out certainly doesn’t help ease the tedium.)  While it was good to do an original report about Toronto Star columnist Antonia Zerbisias changing jobs within the daily, FTB news gathering opportunities for me were very rare.  (An attempt to do a breaking story on layoffs at The Edmonton Journal proved frustrating and fruitless.)
That’s why I’ve emailed FTB to announce my resignation from the blog.  After being a contributor for almost ten months and posting close to 150 pieces of writing, it’s time to move on.  Besides, The Writings Of Dennis Earl requires my full attention again.  I feel my site has lost focus in recent months.  As always, there are plenty of ideas worth pursuing.  It’s just a matter of settling down and developing them properly one at a time.
I want to personally thank FTB for giving me a chance to branch out a bit and try something different.  It’s much appreciated.  But as The Writings Of Dennis Earl inches closer to its second anniversary, this is where I want to focus my energy.
Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, January 31, 2008
6:59 p.m.
Published in: on January 31, 2008 at 6:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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