It is with no modicum of sadness that I announce that my next entry "Dare Ye Inquire Concerning Such a Wretch?" will be the very last non-administrative entry on Going Private. It has been an amazing journey, most keenly highlighted when, on occasion, the fancy catches me and I peruse my own archives and think back to the creature that was your author "in the beginning." It seems wonderfully arbitrary and capricious to end matters on the week of Going Private's third birthday- and that makes it sort of elegantly beautiful. So much so, in fact, that one might even consider it an homage to the Congress of the United States. I do, in any event.
Originally, I planned to pen a retrospective of my favorite Going Private pieces, but, in the end, this seemed like quite a lot of work for very little gain. What could readers past and present care which were my favorites, or which I thought the most cogent or prescient, or even daft? (There are quite a few of this last description, actually). And, really, what use have readers for the self-referential indulgences of authors? (To my shame, there are quite a few of these, in Going Private as well).
But something unexpected happened during my slow saunter to the door. To wit: You filled up my inbox four times in as many days.
Certainly, a proud author never thinks she intends to fish for compliments from her readership, but I suspect I might have been a bit guilty of such in announcing so publicly my intention to close Going Private. Whatever the nuances and motivations, the last week produced more reader mail than I had seen in the 5 months before.
Thank you for that. (And the many excellent and humorous suggestions about the fate of my "message in a bottle.")
Some readers even sent money via Pay Pal. (This struck me as odd, considering, so far as such donors knew there was no future utility in such a payment. A parting gift? Perhaps? Surely some behavioral economics Ph.D. has a paper in there somewhere). Of course, I have to politely refuse such offers, as accepting money into my Pay Pal account would have the side effect of identifying me. The gesture is not, however, lost on me even if I cannot accept. (I may have to find time to ruminate on the tangential point that anonymous Tip Jars are a thing of the past owing to IRS regulations).
Whatever the character of expression of the individual readers who emailed, it was a humbling experience to find one's work so rewarding to others. It also instills a sense of obligation to one's "public," and this brings me to my last point:
Though Going Private is at its end, I have endeavored to give its readers a new forum, should they wish to join me. And while the next post is the last for Going Private, it is the first for my next project. It will be different. Some readers may be annoyed. Others charmed. I really don't know. I'll announce it here, without particular fanfare, and it will be there that I hope to see you again.
[Art Credit: Francois Louis Joseph Watteau, The Departure of the Volunteers]