Monday, September 7, 2009

My labor-leisure tradeoff

In the first five months of the blog, I wrote a new post every day. I have posted daily for a couple of reasons:

A fun challenge. The commitment to writing every day is a challenge that keeps me grounded in ideas that people find interesting. Writing an essay per day has been a great way to work on my writing, and to express my ideas. More than being an outlet for my ideas, the blog has been a source of creativity.

A consistent flow of ideas. Daily posting works best to attract regular readers. If the content is good, daily posting can beget habitual reading. In other words, I posted daily to keep readers' attention. I feared that posting sporadically would eventually lose readers who are eager for new content.

Keeping these overarching goals in mind, I recently re-evaluated the labor-leisure choice for my blog writing. I view this blog as an exciting hobby. And, posting daily is too much for a blog that is a hobby. Effective this week, I am scaling back the frequency of my posting.

Keeping in mind that regular, consistent posting is convenient for my readers, I will continue to write on a regular schedule: twice weekly. On Saturdays, I will post my weekly poll. On Wednesdays, I will write other economics articles.

How did I arrive at this conclusion?

First, my blog writing was encroaching on other important leisure activities like spending time with my wife. The daily posting commitment was a good challenge for me, but I value a well-rounded personal life. Commiting to a lighter schedule will help me to achieve better balance. As a window into this other side of my leisure activities, here's a video I produced from our recent vacation to Michigan.



Second, I am a budding economist with legitimate research interests (in fact, a paper of mine was recently accepted to the Journal of Law and Economics, forthcoming 2010). Moreover, my academic life places significant demands on my time. In the near future, I expect to spend a lot of time working on academic research, as well as some on coursework. To meet my standards for my academics, I need to make time in my schedule.

I am making this change to achieve better balance, personally and academically. On account of these other experiences, I hope to provide better-quality content on this blog, but my primary motivation is selfish. Sometimes, you just have to enjoy life.

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