Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Days I love my job, days I love my blog 

Taking a time out yesterday wasn't a feeling of being harried or hurried. Indeed, when I take days off from this blog it's often because I'm doing things I love doing, and so far this week I have been doing that. First, over the weekend when I often queue up three or four posts to use through the week I was instead spending time with family and friends, and working on the next Quarterly Business Report. By about 1:30 yesterday afternoon I had finished the last of it and sent it off to the Times, who publishes it in its ROI Central Minnesota magazine. It should be out in late December.

The more I write economics here and in QBR the more the two styles merge. My co-author tends to write on a set format; my writing tends to look like two posts here strung together. (There are bits of posts from last September that showed up in other ways in QBR.) I then have a section that needs to be a little more formatted, then we're done. This used to take me three or four days, but skills developed here have reduced that writing time to about six hours, included the first pass at revisions.

All of this is meant to contribute once more to the discussion of the value of blogging: Daily blogging is a discipline that makes one apply butt to chair and write. When non-blogging writing is needed on short notice, it's easy to do it. Do I need to write about economics to have that discipline develop? No, though it helps and it's natural since it's what I normally think about.

It also comes in handy for what I did this morning. My in-laws were often found in their latter years at a local senior center. When well and in town, in fact, they were there daily, and they remembered it in their wills. So when a humanities group at the center called and asked if I would be willing to speak to them, it felt only right to help the place that meant so much to Lloyd and Doris. And again blogging came in handy, as they had asked me to talk about savings and debt, and I could go to many different blogs to read. Some of the slides I created for the talk this morning -- and what a great job I have, that a speaking engagement there can count as part of my work here -- will get used this afternoon in class.

And they better be as engaged as my audience this morning. If you can get a job teaching senior citizens, get it.