There is an old proverb that says “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.”
It’s time for me to plant some new trees to replace the ones I didn’t plant 20 years ago. And with that understanding I won’t bury the lede of this column. I’ll be significantly cutting back the time I dedicate to writing about Georgia politics starting next week.
Rather than writing each business day, I’ll be transitioning the column to a weekly format. I’ve been honored to write five columns per week for the Courier Herald for the past two and a half years and the Albany Journal for the past year or so. Getting to expand my audience through the Courier Herald family of papers and to others who have optioned it through syndication has been a gratifying experience. It helped me groom some of those trees that were planted when I began writing about Georgia politics on the Peach Pundit blog, where I will remain as editor and write as time allows.
One of the best things about writing this column has been moving the discussion of Georgia politics out of the realm of those who follow the inside baseball of the gold dome and engaging readers – most of whom live far away from both the capitol and my own home. It has helped me focus a discussion that involves all regions governed by our state, and not just the population center around Atlanta.
As I have written daily during these past few years, I have also maintained my full time employment in a non-political role. While I have been presented some intriguing opportunities to leave that world behind and write or engage in politics full time, I have resisted them thus far and plan to continue to do so. Having employment outside of the political sphere is one of the things that helps keep me somewhat grounded in the world where taxpayers, business owners, and other “real people” live.
That world, frankly, needs a bit more of my time. There are also other areas of my life that need a bit more attention.
Writing until 2am or getting up at 5am to write a column before I go to the office has forced some discipline on me and this craft that I wasn’t sure I could muster. I hope you have enjoyed the product. But it has also forced some compromises that need to be unwound. The time saved will not be free time, it will just be re-allocated. While I do enjoy being lazy, it seems I don’t remember how to do that nearly as well as I once did.
The tradeoff, hopefully, will be a more consistent product that will allow a bit more focus and development of thought. You will get to be the ultimate judge of that.
So beginning next week, this column will remain in the Courier Herald on Mondays. There may be additional columns randomly from time to time as the urge strikes, but for now I am going to focus on a couple of new projects on the horizon, give my employer the time that they deserve, and possibly get an extra good night’s sleep or two during the week.
I appreciate those of you who have taken the time to drop a note and comment on these columns, and hope you will continue to do so despite the reduced output that you will see going forward. Y’all have done a good job of letting me know when we’ve agreed as well as when we haven’t. Above all, you have made me feel appreciated and welcome in an area of the state that I rarely see in person but always am made to feel welcome and at home when I do.
With that, I thank you all again for reading, wish you a wonderful weekend, and will be back Monday with more thoughts on our state’s political outlook.
Charlie Harper is the Atlanta based Editor of PeachPundit.com, a conservative-leaning political website. He is also a columnist for Dublin Georgia based Courier Herald Publishing.