R.I.P., What War Zone? (Attention-Grabbing Title Created to Make You Read)

Update: That’s a question above, by the way, not a declaration.

This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a while. Hey, remember this blog? The one which made fun of Israel, cultural differences, America, Hebrew, “yiyeh b’seder”, and, oh yes….myself? Yeah, I know. It’s been a good several months since I updated it regularly. Every day, I think, “Man, I gotta write something….what is happening to this creative outpouring of goodness? What about my loyal readers? What about chumus talk?”

Mmm….I don’t even need to say the word.

I consider this blog to be one of the greatest things I have done in my life. It’s been fun, a creative outlet for my writing the likes of which I’ve never had as an adult, and it’s been directly responsible for most of my comedic success since moving to Israel.

So what’s happened? A few things probably. In no particular order…
  • Facebook: For two-and-a-half years, I felt zero inclination to write a status update. Who cares what I’m doing? Only last summer did I stop to think, “Hmm….maybe this is another way of marketing myself and making people laugh.” Voila-statuses. I still haven’t come to a happy place about whether to use my profile or my fan page (I’m doing the former) but it’s a fun place to write a quick one-liner and watch the replies come in.
  • Twitter: See above. For those of you who haven’t figured out Twitter yet, I’m telling you, it’s a winner. It’s even less about the self-absorbed “Timmy is eating a Twizzler” than Facebook. It’s about community, sharing information, marketing something, and getting instant information. It’s been a great way to spit out short thoughts to my community, and occasionally to get the word out about something in a major way. My “62 Things…” list? ReTweeted to a shawarma-load of people.
And some other no-less important reasons:
  • I have other creative outlets as well. Stand-up, my comedy troupe Hahafuch, and more. I even got my t-shirts online this past year, albeit at prices which piss me off. Maybe I don’t need to express myself as much here to be fulfilled. I have now been self-employed for over a year and am no longer a frustrated office employee who had to use his blog to feel at peace.
  • It’s getting harder to justify. With the introduction of the above micro-blogging tools, it’s becoming harder to motivate myself to sit down and churn out a long post. Especially when, aleph, it takes a long time, and bet, it doesn’t pay. One of my free-lance writing/social media colleagues/heroes Esther told me once that I (or any blogger) should watch the amount of time I’m spending on something that doesn’t directly lead to income. Instead of spending four hours on my Madonna post, maybe spend two. I enjoyed every minute of that four hours which is why it became one of my most unique and favorite posts but I get the point: with only so many hours in the day, the fun of writing should be balanced by the reality of finances.
  • And related to that point, it isn’t paying. I mean, not directly. Can I achieve the same great stuff and experience the same creative pleasure through the other stuff I’m doing? Facebook, Twitter, Hahafuch, my stand-up, etc? I don’t know. I had a monthly column in the Atlanta Jewish Times until the newspaper almost went under. I made a real effort to pitch my writing to several Jewish newspapers but they’re not just interested in paying. I’d love to have a regular place to share my thoughts (MASA, Birthright Israel, Nefesh B’Nefesh, etc) but it hasn’t happened yet and I’m not sure what else I can do.
  • Is this stuff still funny to me anymore? Can I keep writing about the old man wearing tighty-whities in the Mediterranean? The guy with the horribly inappropriate t-shirt message? The ridiculous headline in Jpost? I don’t know. Even though those things will always be funny, something about it smells like oleh chadash (“Smells Like Oleh Chadash”, the highly anticipated new song by Nirvana). Do I still want to be laughing at floor mopping like someone who just got off the plane? I don’t know.
Still funny, right?

I don’t know at all. I have loved writing on this blog, it’s been my heart and soul for three-plus years, I’ve had online and personal interactions and run-ins with readers all over Israel and the States, and I’ve hoped that the writing would lead to bigger and better writing opportunities. But something is making me not write here as of late and I’m not sure what it all means. It is sad to watch this thing die and I’d hate to imagine losing this unique audience that so many bloggers would do anything to have. Maybe I need to redefine it…I’ve known for a while I’d love to do more video. So maybe it’s not so much as a death as a rebirth or evolution. I don’t know, I’m just not sure where it all leads. I would love to hear from other bloggers and some of my friends and readers to see what you think.

Ah….and one more thing. Here’s my contribution to the Jewish Federations’ “What’s Your #ish?” campaign. Enjoy, and get involved with your Federation today! Thanks to Fun Joel for the camera work.

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