I know, I know; it’s not the first time I’ve left TTAC, but this time is different. The odor of smoldering bridges in the air has a distinct whiff of finality to it. What happened? The picture above says it all well enough. I just can’t seem to fit in. And it’s time to stop hammering.
I’ll spare everyone the details. But here’s the underlying problem: I just can’t work part-time, or compartmentalize myself. If something engages me, like writing about cars, I throw myself into it fully and passionately. And although my other business can be ignored for the most part, eventually the deferred projects pile up. So either I quit writing and do what needs to be done, or I get paid in relation to my full-time writing passion and use the money to hire a contractor. Certain realities seem to preclude the latter.
If I was pragmatic, I’d just throw on a few pictures and a paragraph or two, call it a Curbside Classic Lite, and collect my very part-time check. But I don’t need a part-time job. And I can only be inspired to write what I would enjoy reading myself, and yes, I’m a discriminating reader and I set myself a high standard. Guess that makes me a square peg. Some undoubtedly use other words.
When I came back in August, the marching orders were that I’d just restrain myself to three weekly Curbside Classics; strictly part time, and stay out of the kitchen. Not possible; my recent pieces have been running up to 2000 words, with lots of research, links, polishing, and each came with a Clue. Quite full-time indeed. Sorry boss; my bad. I just can’t stop caring about what goes up, especially when “Niedermeyer” is on the byline.
If somebody out there wants to grubstake me on a site of my own, drop me a line; my e-mail is below. But I won’t hold my breath. In the meantime, I have lots of other projects to immerse myself in, like designing a new house. I’m going to miss writing, but most of all I’m going to miss you. You’ve been the shock absorbers that have made the hammering very worthwhile.
[Editor’s Note: This is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to press “publish” on. Paul not only brought me into TTAC, he taught me much of what I know about cars and honesty, the two currencies of this site. My inability to keep him here at TTAC will be an enduring regret for me, and though I wish him the best in his offline endeavors, I look forward to the day when we will all be able to read his unique insights on automobiles once again… whether that’s here at TTAC or elsewhere.]