It Takes a Village

…to write a blog. Or so I once thought. And still remember.

And perhaps that is some of what I’ve been missing, as some of the other yesterday-bloggers fondly recall and also miss.

When the blog held the energy of genuine collaboration, I find as I look back into the archives of 2002 through 2006, it was often the prompts by blog readers that made me dig deeper and look differently at topics that mattered to me. Without those community inspired writing and thinking catalysts, I’d have not done the hard work I did to see what I thought by reading what I wrote about those matters.

There was that time that my writing and thinking got better because I was not blogging alone.

And just for clarity’s sake, with gratitude to those who commented or emailed with the notion the blog might come to an end, what I’ve given up on is thinking that even the most urgently important matters to our future will generate discussion on this blog. Maybe that’s happening on other blogs, or maybe (though I have not discovered such) on Facebook.

But I will be, if not content at least resolved, to keep saving my environmental and stewardship resources–even aggregating like topics, imagining how they might be spun into a blog post or essay for the paper. I stopped writing my column for the paper after seven years, back in December, and the blog became my only outlet for the more fleshed-out opinion pieces for a while, now a time past. I think that missing outlet has been a greater loss than I had imagined, though I made the change of my own choice and timing.

Meanwhile I am finding new energy for writing some of those gut-deep and very personal ruminations into a collection of bits that some day may find an audience among book readers.  I’ll spend more time there, and less–but not NO time here.

I’ll not bother saying too much about that other writing either, but just do my work. And maybe someday, those who have been along for the ride thus far with the unfoldings along Goose Creek will travel with me one more time between the covers of the Floyd County Almanac.

Stay tuned!

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I never realized before that you were longing for discussion. My knowledge of environmental issues seems too shallow to warrant sharing my thoughts. I felt like a member of the approving choir you were preaching to, so my comments have been a mere “right on,” etc. You recently engaged in a gentlemanly debate with a commenter who was not a “member of the choir” but that’s the only instance I recall.