Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

And Then There Was One

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Total Black: -$199.84
Total Red: $269,947.64

I received a comment today on a post from a few months back, No Holiday For Lawyers.  The commenter acknowledged that she was a late to that table; that post has been up since President’s Day.  But she acknowledged that she was making her way through the prior posts.  Intriguing that it was that post that prompted her to comment as another person, mentioned below, also reached out to me just as she reached that same post.  Curious.  I don’t see a problem with “late” comments.  Though some of the posts form an interlocking story. Sockpuppets and Doppelgängers, for example, can’t be fully understood without reading Breakfast with Narcissus.  Other posts stand on their own.  As such, why shouldn’t someone comment months or even years later.  But it’s fitting that, with only one day left until this blog comes to its pre-arranged termination, new readers are making their way through three-hundred, sixty-two prior posts. 

Tomorrow is the end.  That leaves today as the final day before I’m scheduled to accomplish my goal.  Unless an angel investor out there intends to donate mounds of money, it’s not looking like I’ll be meeting that deadline.  But that’s okay.  My consolation prize is a clerkship in paradise.  That, and people who took the time to get up to speed, so to speak, on the blog and share their words of encouragement.  The commenter I just referenced isn’t the only one.  I had another reader send me a beautiful note a few days back.

I certainly can relate to the troubles with debt, budgeting, making sacrifices, and doing all you can to keep your head above water.  I commend you on being so courageous and brave to publicly tackle such a challenging feat and I appreciate your dedication to the effort.

I wanted to write you to let you know, I am such a fan!!  I enjoy reading your blog daily—I read it like a person who is catching up on a long running series after it went off the air on Netflix—I always can’t wait to see what happens next!  I am currently on your “No Holidays for Lawyers” post and each click brings me to a story that I can relate to or another that is just plain hilarious.  I see that your countdown is almost up and though I try to not to look at current posts so I can save the surprise, it appears that you are not quite as close to reaching your goal as you would like.  I just wanted to personally let you know, YOU DID NOT FAIL, IT IS NOT OVER and it is not the destination but the journey that is most important.  I encourage you to continue towards your debt-freedom goal—that day will come!!!  I wish all the bests for you and I am so happy that each day I sign on, more visitors are stopping by and giving you feedback.

Keep on keeping on and I hope that you continue blogging beyond Aug. 9th!

A long running series.  Kinda cool.  I noted back in my first post, In Medias Res, that I got the idea for this blog from the film Julie & Julia. Julie Powell’s blog, The Julie/Julia Project, is still up on internet.  I must admit that I’ve yet to read it, but it’s comforting to know that it’s out there.  Similarly I mentioned in That Man Behind the Curtain the blog Kaboom: A Soldier’s War Journal.  Both are blogs that were turned into a book but the blog itself still remains available.  I like blogs that remain in place after their completion.  Frankly, they are human history in the making.  Historians study the diaries and journals of everyday people who lived centuries before.  They provide windows into worlds gone by.  In a similar sense, a commenter from a few posts back had compared this blog to what reading a serial novel would have been like years back.  So I guess I’m making history here.  Years hence a historian of the Great Recession or of the early years of the Twenty-First Century can look back on my entries to glimpse what life is like for us today.

I definitely enjoy blogging.  I noted as much in 19 Days Left.  It’s difficult posting daily though.  Is there anyone else out there who posts daily?  No, media conglomerates like CNN or Huffington Post with hundreds of staffers don’t count.  (Though if you are out there, I’ve certainly proven my abilities as a blogger—if you’re hiring and all.)  But which other individuals post daily.  I don’t imagine I’m the only one.  Nonetheless, I’m happy that I can pretty much say that I posted daily.  That was a secondary goal of this project: to do the same task everyday.  Mission accomplished, with the exception of two days.  I must acknowledge, however, that I was not able to write every post each day.  For example, as of today only one post, Spectacles and Spectators, remains unfinished.  I definitely recall the comment that prompted that post, however, so filling it in won’t take long.  I’ll get that outlier post up shortly; if not today then certainly tomorrow because I do want the entire blog complete by its completion date: 8/9/10.  That way it can rest nicely on the shelf: an entire year of my life in print, so to speak.

But yes, needless to say, it has been difficult blogging daily.  Do I want to continue?  That jury’s still deliberating.  Its hung at the moment; they’re troubled by the burdens of daily posting outweighing any benefits.  I know that I need not post daily.  I feel that I’d let it slide too much if I didn’t have my internal voice compelling me to post.  Besides you tend to lose followers if you update only sporadically.  One rule of a successful blog is consistency and dependability.  Followers knew that I would, for the most part, post daily, even though there was a period of time where I fell significantly behind.  But for leaving New York I might never have caught up.  Then again, but for leaving New York I probably wouldn’t have fallen so far behind.  Perhaps for any new efforts I should up the ante and commit not just to daily but to having post up by a certain time of day?  But I’m getting side-tracked.

I can say that words of appreciation, commiseration, and encouragement from readers do make a difference to a blogger.  The negative comments serve a function too.  And unlike other bloggers, I don’t delete or filter comments.  I’ve only altered the substance of one comment and that was by specific request.  The redaction is noted.  But it’s difficult to take a beating daily.  Colleague Confusion and Venom and Vitriol both stand out in my mind as posts where I was just baffled by the uproar.  Odd too because Venom and Vitriol didn’t really have much uproar now that I look back at it.  Perhaps I recall it because it’s the post where I responded to having received my first negative comment.  You always remember your first time, right?  And I do still recall my first positive comment as well.

Something to think about.  I won’t leave my readers hanging, however.  I’ll indicate my decision in an epilogue post to this blog.  Just check back on the day after tomorrow to find out.

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