By Mike Steffanos
I wrote my last blog post of the 2010 season on April 12. Fully eleven months elapsed before I began blogging again in April.
The vast majority of citizens of the world, including Mets fans who read blogs, paid little notice to the disappearance of one of a chorus of voices in the Mets blogosphere. I was never under the illusion that it would go any other way. There are so many good Mets blogs out there that few, if any, of us are irreplaceable. I knew that I certainly wasn't. That is not to diminish my surprised gratitude for all of the emails I received over those eleven month from readers who actually missed hearing what I had to say on the Mets.
It is true, I think, that a writer -- particularly one who doesn't make money doing it -- writes simply because it satisfies some need within us to write. Still, there is no real satisfaction writing without an audience. Communicating something you feel to someone else is the only real motivation to keep something like this blog going.
Sincere thanks to those of you who wrote, and those who have found their way back here since I began posting again. I appreciate your comments, emails and your time. Even if you've never communicated with me at all, if you are someone who comes here to read what I've written I want you to know that I do not take you for granted. You are all the reason that this space exists, and why I doing this thing again.
As for the "what happened", it was a combination of things more than anything else.
My Mom had a series of strokes last spring that complicated an already bad situation. She had mental and physical problems before these strokes exasperated her personal situation. Among other things, my brother and I spent weeks removing 2 dumpster loads of hoarded clutter of the most pathetic variety after she was removed against her will from her house. Her financial situation was messy, too, and is still something that eats up large chunks of my time. My mom and I were never close, but she's the only one I have, and I did what I had to do.
Personally, there were setbacks and disappointments in my ability to earn a living. As I scrambled around trying to figure things out for my mom I also scrambled trying to make enough money to get by. That's still an ongoing challenge, to be honest.
There was little time for the Mets last year, certainly not for the concentrated effort that worthwhile blogging required. I missed it at times, and kept thinking to myself that I would be doing it again any day now. Meanwhile, time kept moving on.
There were a few times that I started writing something, but I found that the longer I was away from writing the harder it seemed to get back to it. Writing isn't something that my day to day life demands of me, and the specific type of discipline required to harness my thoughts into something coherent that I actually wish to share with others doesn't come effortlessly to me. The longer I went without writing, the harder it seemed to get back to it.
But I continued to follow the Mets. Like many of you, I felt a renewed sense of hope when Sandy Alderson and company took over this team. Also like many of you, I grew increasingly frustrated at how the owner's financial mistakes dominated every discussion about our team.
I found myself spending a lot of time thinking about the Mets this past winter, and was amused to discover that I was composing imaginary blog posts in my mind. I had somehow become a writing nerd, and it was time to just get back to it.
It wasn't easy to get back into the swing of things after almost a year away. I started writing a piece about the Wilpons in March that took me almost a month to finish. There were lots of distractions, but also wasn't completely happy with my work. I realized eventually that the only way to get back to producing work that I was pleased with was to grind through and get something finished.
The last month has been my spring training. I'm still not where I want to be, but I'm posting again, and I'm getting there.
My plan going forward is to continue to try to post a couple of times a week through the season. There are times where I will probably post more frequently, and other times when it gets crazy and I may have to back off a little.
Once I get a little bit more comfortable with my writing I will be contributing occasional columns to Joe Janish's terrific Mets Today blog. My readership has understandably shrunk substantially due to my time away, and Joe was kind enough to give me an opportunity to write for a larger audience again. I'm looking forward to that, and will place a heads up on this blog when I write something that appears there or any place else.
I hope at some point in the future to be able to post daily again, as I really enjoy the constant interaction with other Mets fans that regular blogging affords. In the meantime, I will try to maintain a semi-regular presence as described above. I missed this a lot in the past year and will do my best not to disappear so long again.
Some thanks are in order. First and foremost, thanks to everyone who took the time to contact me in the past year. It meant a lot to hear from you.
Thanks to those of you who comment on this site. I always read what you have to say and appreciate your input.
Thanks to all of you who continue to grace this site with some of your valuable time to read the words that I and my fellow contributors have written. You're the reason I'm back, and I am grateful to you.
Thanks to Joe Janish for his encouragement when I contacted him with my request to write for his blog.
Thanks to Greg Prince of the irreplaceably wonderful Faith and Fear in Flushing blog for the kind mention and link that allowed some of my lost audience to find their way back here.
If somehow you read this, thanks to whoever selects the items that are linked from SI.com's Mets page. I understand you're not doing anything as a favor to me, but you've linked to some of my stuff since I've been back. These links and Greg's mentioned above are the only substantial traffic coming into my site since I've been back. While this is my spring training as a blogger, it's nice not to be toiling in an empty ballpark.
I know that old readers are going to continue to find their way back here in the coming months. Rather than repeating this story over and over again I will link to it from my new posts. That way we can just talk Mets, which is much more fun and interesting than talking Mike. Thanks again to all of you for your time.