GETTING BACK ON TRACK
Where are you? Are you okay?
Dozens of e-mails similar to that have poured in almost every day for the past month.
To all of you that have asked, and all of you I haven't been able to respond to, yes, I'm doing just fine. I've just needed to take some time away from this site to focus energies on other projects, including what you see above ... the last, final proofing of my upcoming book. It's going to be a good one, I promise!
I hope that all the multitude of distractions and other projects that have pulled me in 10 different directions over the last month are either over or will allow me to get back to what I do best: writing.
But my time away has also allowed me time to think about the direction of the site. While I've long aspired to have a full-service, all-encompassing news site (I even have the perfect page layout for it), I've come to the realization I just don't have enough time in the day to do justice to it.
Likewise, several media friends have said that while they like the layout I had, that for me to get the biggest and best impact, I should go back to what I do best: writing, rather than try to be too many things to too many people.
After fighting them about that philosophy, I finally realize they're right. When I was at USA Today, ESPN.com and Yahoo Sports, I focused in on doing only one thing: writing.
So, I'm essentially going to get back to my roots here on Trading Paint! I'm going to get back to writing almost exclusively. I'm not going to worry about external add-on things for now, although I may add audio and video, where necessary and if it complements what I'm doing writing-wise, in the near future. I have everything technilogically to do so; it's just a matter of doing it.
Therefore, you see a new format/version of Trading Paint! in front of you. I've not only changed the layout, I've also decided to do a few new things:
* While 95 percent of my writing from here on out will likely still be on NASCAR, I'm also going to branch out for occasional pieces on other forms of motorsports such as NHRA and IRL, and also will throw in occasional columns on general sports as well.
* Because of ongoing issues with oftentimes downright rude comments, particularly those left by anonymous authors, I've decided for at least the near future to eliminate public posting of comments on the "new" version of this site. I'm doing this for a couple of reasons:
A) some of the worst anonymous comments in the past were getting posted automatically, and they were quite ugly at times. Unfortunately, I wasn't always able to get to and delete some of them until they were visible for hours. This way, all comments will be sent to me directly, and I can choose which ones to publish/not publish
B) I have promised for several months that I'd bring back the Trading Paint! mailbag. By not publishing most comments, as well as getting e-mails directly, I'll have tons of material to do regular mailbags, which were one of the most popular features when I did them at Yahoo.
* My book (I know, shameless self-promotion again) is getting closer and closer to hitting the shelves of book stores across the country (tentative release date August 16). I intend on using this site as well as my appearances on Sirius NASCAR Radio and planned excerpting of several chapters on AOL's FanHouse.com to really get the word out. There's going to be some great stories, several controversial questions and answers and a lot of material to spawn what the book is all about: debating about NASCAR.
* I'm going to try and do my best to write regularly again. I hope to have at least 4-5 new columns per week. Only time will tell. Let's hope I don't get any more overwhelming projects that will keep me away again.
Well, that's about it. I look forward to getting back into the groove. Thank you for your patience, understanding and all your e-mails wondering where I've been.
I've been right here all along, and now I'm right back where I belong.
(P.S. ... Due to a Blogger technical glitch, comments are not working. If you have any comments, send them to JerryBonkowski@gmail.com. Thanks!)