Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gus is Staying; I Get a Little Personal

By Joseph Kellard

Gus Van Horn, my favorite Objectivist blogger, writes a post celebrating the third anniversary of this blog. In this post, he reflects on the pros and cons of writing for his blog, and, at first, it appears as if he’s considering calling it quits. Thankfully, that’s not the case. To my delight, Gus has decided to continue blogging, and below you’ll find my response to Gus’s post. I thought it would make for interesting reading for you, my readers.


I'm happy that you've decided to continue blogging. For various reasons, I've stopped subscribing to TIA Daily, and so I've turned to reading various Objectivist blogs instead. Your blog is one of a handful that I try to read every day.

As a writer by profession, I can certainly sympathize with your pausing to weigh the pros and cons of blogging, and whether it’s worth it to continue. I’ve been writing opinion pieces for more than a decade now. In the early days, after starting and writing a quarterly newsletter for about a year and a half, I tried to write a weekly opinion column or essay for what became a weekly email newsletter. For the most part, I succeeded.

But once I changed professions and became a full-time journalist, however, things really changed. I found that, after sitting at a computer writing all day, coming home and starring at a computer to write even more eventually took a heavy toll on me. For a few years, I tried writing a periodic column for the newspaper where I work, but, as you wrote in your post, most people at work, namely my publishers and boss, did not necessarily want to hear what I had to say. My left-wing publishers, and my pragmatic, conservative boss, put the clamps on my column writing, particularly after I wrote one reluctantly calling on readers to support Bush over Kerry in 2004.

On top of all this, I’ve never been able to successfully reconcile my writing with two other important values: a social life and romance. At 41, I’m still single, and now more than ever I’m looking for my true love. For many years I loved reading, studying and writing so much, that I just put these values aside, or, to be more accurate, I pursued them much less aggressively that I should have. Both writing and finding friends and a girlfriend have never come easy to me. I’m basically introverted, and so talking to the ladies has not been my forte. But if, as a man, you want to meet a woman, then you’d better lean how to get over your insecurities and find the courage to open your mouth. So I constantly had (and have) this tug-of-war going on between my love of writing/reading and my love of women. I’ve found that, because it’s largely in my control, a writing career has come relatively easy; but finding the right woman has proven much more difficult.

Anyway, until I meet the love of my life, and assuming she and I are compatible and we marry, and until I get that well-paying journalistic job (almost an oxymoron) that will make me much more financially secure than I am, I don’t see myself putting in the time, effort and energy that I once did to produce ever-improved opinion columns and essays—my true love.

In the meantime, I do what I can, here and there, to pump out an occasional HBL post, opinion piece, letter to the editor, and blog post, and maybe I’ll read David Allen’s book and find it as fruitful as you have. Also, I’m happy to see that you, too, are trying to work through your own individual “issues” with your writing, and that you will continue to blog.

Keep up the great work.

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