I put this blog on hiatus at the end of 2017 planning to return with new daily posts on January 1st, 2019, but then an odd thing happened. I discovered how much I enjoyed not being on the daily post treadmill and began to consider permanently moving on to other less time-consuming and potentially more lucrative projects.
So the past few months I’ve been weighing my desire to see this project to some form of completion against my own creative and financial needs and self-interest. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t financial costs to this project. Beyond losing potential income by focusing on writing local history pieces for free when I should be pursuing paid writing gigs, there are out-of-pocket expenses like subscribing to online newspaper archives and genealogy services. From a business standpoint, it’s clear I should just walk away.
My problem is that there’s still so much more Seal Beach history I’d like to share! This format is close to perfect for the type of local history I’m interested in, and I have scores of posts already researched and waiting to be written or posted. My fear is that if I leave now, I’ll never get back to finishing them or digging deeper into some of the other Seal Beach history I’ve uncovered.
So this is what I’ve decided.
Since 2015, I’ve managed to write and publish a post for 303 dates in Seal Beach History. Starting January 1st, 2019, This Date in Seal Beach History will run a daily post for every date in 2019. Most of these will be reruns of previously written posts, but I’ve begun work on fresh posts for those 62 dates I haven’t covered yet and will have them finished and scheduled for 2019 by this Christmas. This means that, by the end of 2019, I will have 365 dates in Seal Beach History covered, a post for every day in the year.
I’d feel good moving on at that point, but…
I have a wild, crazy notion. A wild, crazy and ambitious notion. One I should ignore.
There’s enough material in Seal Beach’s past to cover a full second year’s worth of new “This Date in Seal Beach History” posts — including February 29th since 2020 is a leap year. There are some great stories to tell, but I’d need the time to properly research and write them. I’d have to start work in January 2019 to stockpile posts well in advance for 2020, or I’d go nuts trying to keep up.
That’s the wild, crazy notion: To do one final year of this blog for 2020, complete with all-new posts and material and more.
However, there’s no way that I could devote the time and effort into that final year of new posts without a little support. By the end of this year, I will either set up a Kickstarter or Patreon page where Seal Beach history buffs and blog readers can help fund the 2020 blog. If there’s enough interest and funding for me to at least break even on my costs, I’ll do 366 posts for 2020.
I’m also looking into what I can offer as rewards and merchandise for tiers of support and planning what additional content I could offer if the funding moves beyond the breaking even stage. I’d welcome any ideas, insights, or suggestions at mike@SealBeachHistory.com
So this is my announcement, cunningly timed to be made on Seal Beach’s 103rd birthday:
1. In 2019, there will be 365 posts, a mix of old and new material. That’s guaranteed.
2. If there is enough public interest and funding for it, there will be a second year of 366 fresh posts and maybe more in 2020.
If not, This Date in Seal Beach History will end on December 31st, 2019.
Of course, if you’ve enjoyed the blog so far, a donation of any amount today at paypal.me/michaeldobkins would be greatly appreciated.
- Michael Dobkins