23 September 2009 by Published in: Blogging 17 comments

This is the 1000th post on this blog, made on the fourth anniversary of the first post. It hardly seems possible that something I started on a whim continues to be an important part of my life. Posting here has become an important part of my life, and so has the interaction with those of you who come here and read my rantings and leave comments. Were it to end, I would miss it a great deal.

I am grateful to each and every one of you who comes here, and to each and every one of you who indulges my rantings.

At the same time, I have never taken an extended break from posting. I’ve averaged 250 posts per year for four years now, in addition to my professional responsibilities and my research and writing. As I mentioned the other day, I am feeling burned out. I’m constantly tired, I have a very negative perspective, I’m angry, I’m bitter, I’m frustrated, little things that shouldn’t bother me do, and I’m in a dark place right now. It’s really no wonder that I’m tired–I’ve written 16 books in 12 years, plus about two dozen articles, and 1000 blog posts. That’s a LOT of words. And all while practicing law full time.

All of that has caused me to react to situations in an inappropriate way, and has likewise caused me to say things to people who are important to me that are inappropriate and hurtful. I had an inappropriate reaction to something on Monday that caused me to respond in an inappropriate fashion that caused harm to someone who means a lot to me and whose friendship and support has been an underpinning of my work and success for a long time. My inappropriate response needlessly caused this person pain and may well have destroyed a relationship that ultimately means more to me than nearly any other. I have nobody to blame for that but myself, and words fail to describe how much I regret my own stupidity and pigheadedness.

I now realize that I need to take some time, have an unblinking look in the mirror, figure out what’s wrong, do something about it, and also deal with the consequences of my actions Monday. That means that I’m going to take a break from this blog for a while until I can get myself right and regain my mojo.

Fear not. I won’t be gone forever. I will be back, and probably soon. I just need to step back and regain my perspective.

In the meantime, please know that I value each and every one of you and that I will miss the interactions that occur here. Be well, think good thoughts for me, and be patient. I will be back.

Scridb filter

Comments

  1. Wed 23rd Sep 2009 at 9:46 am

    Congrats on the 1000th post. I read your blog often, but rarely comment. Just wanted to drop a note and say that I appreciate your blunt and honest rantings. They’re very refreshing.

    Best of luck on the break.

  2. Wed 23rd Sep 2009 at 10:16 am

    I’ll be praying for you brother.

  3. R A McDonald
    Wed 23rd Sep 2009 at 11:19 am

    Eric,
    You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Take care,
    RA McD

  4. Garyjd
    Wed 23rd Sep 2009 at 11:43 am

    Sometimes you just have to stop and take stock of things. ~Gary

  5. Jane Johansson
    Wed 23rd Sep 2009 at 5:43 pm

    I am a fairly recent reader of your blog, and I have greatly enjoyed your postings. Currently I am taking a break from historical research; when I made that decision I felt that a great weight had been lifted from me. I wish you well during your time off!

  6. Ian
    Wed 23rd Sep 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Eric, speak softly, be humble and let your friends know they are the center of your universe and that you love them.

  7. Wed 23rd Sep 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Eric, just keep up the good work. The Civil War hasn’t gone anyplace in near on 147 years or so. It will still be here when you get back.

    Craig.

  8. kevin a kearns
    Wed 23rd Sep 2009 at 7:40 pm

    mr wittenburg i just wanted to say yours is one of the few civil war sites that i look at and i enjoy it very much.good things only to you and yours.

  9. Chris Evans
    Wed 23rd Sep 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Eric,
    I always enjoy reading your blog and hope that the time off is very beneficial for you. I am glad to see that there are so many people that have a passion for history and the American Civil War. I always enjoy your perspective on issues.

    When feeling down I always try to remember the men who fought in the war and how bad they had it and I remember a quote from the movie ‘Gettysburg’ by Longstreet: “All the men that have died in the past are with you here today.”
    Hope you feel better,
    Chris

  10. Thu 24th Sep 2009 at 6:32 am

    Eric,

    Based on what you wrote in Monday’s post, I wasn’t surprised by today’s. Having experienced burn out more than once in my life I can empathise. It’s a horrible thing to encounter. You can struggle against it, but it’s a suffocating paper bag you really can’t fight your way out of without pulling back completely. The best words of encouragement I can give you is that it’ll pass and, after time, you’ll bust out to the other side with renewed strength, purpose, and vigor.

    Take your time and when you’re ready your audience will still be sitting in their seats.

    Thanks,
    Donald

  11. Thu 24th Sep 2009 at 12:33 pm

    1,000 posts is an amazing accomplishment! Rest up, and know that we’ll be awaiting your return, whenever you’re ready.

  12. J. Avalon
    Sat 26th Sep 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Eric,

    Enjoy the time off. Don’t spend too much time trying to figure out what’s wrong with you. The answer is nothing. You’re tired and as you said burnt out. In the last 13 years of doing our site, I’ve felt that way often.

    Take as much time as you need. Who’s more important to you – you and Susan or us? Enjoy my friend, it’s well deserved. We’ll all be here.

    Joe A.

  13. Kent Dorr
    Sat 26th Sep 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Eric….Rest & Recharge. We’ll leave the light on for you.

    Kent Dorr

  14. Mon 28th Sep 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Eric,

    Congratulations on 1,000! Trust your self-diagnosis and relax a bit. As others have said above, the Civil war and the cavalry will be here when you get back.

  15. Valerie Protopapas
    Thu 01st Oct 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Eric, it’s a frustrating time for just about everybody, I guess. Every once in a while, God gives us the grace to see that we aren’t nearly “in charge” of things – including our lives – as we THOUGHT we were. It is sobering, scary and not a little depressing.

    This “blog” served in the beginning as a “safety valve” that allowed you to comment without fear on things that were important to you. However, over time, these things can first become a habit, then a commitment and then a burden. You need to step back and see if you can achieve your first goal of having a place to “sound off” when needed or to exchange interesting and useful information with friends. When you can do that, it will be “fun” again.

    Meanwhile, see what other “barnacles” you can scrape from your hull so that you can sail with ease through life once more. Often we burden ourselves with duties and matters that we neither enjoy nor from which we derive any benefit. Do some housekeeping and do not be afraid to abandon anything that has lost its value to you and those you love.

    God bless.

  16. Fri 02nd Oct 2009 at 12:08 am

    Eric,

    A break is well deserved. We will be here when you get back. Take care, friend.

    Mike

  17. Brendan York
    Wed 14th Oct 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Fell better bro. I’ve often wondered how you keep up such a demanding schedule & whether you feel you should devote all your time & energy to your professional work or your outside pursuits rather than chase after both. I’ve got to imagine that you’d be some super highly regarded (& highly compensated attorney!) if you channeled all your energy into that area. Don’t spread yourself too thin!

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