I see that my infrequent writing has created some debate about whether or not this blog remains viable, or worth visiting, or even the state of my health. While I am happy to stir debate—always have been—the truth is, this blog has always gone through phases; it went through a long period in its beginning, for example, when three-quarters of the posts were about things that were happening at Harvard, the subject of my second book—until eventually I decided that I was no longer informed enough about goings-on there to be a meaningful and regular contributor to discussions about the world’s most powerful university. Shots in the Dark’s most recent phase, writing about the irrationality of the discussion about campus sexual assault, has been a somewhat accidental period. Though I’ve covered the subject regularly, it only became a frequent topic for me after the whole Rolling Stone thing blew up. But I never wanted to be the go-to guy for sexual assault skepticism. As you get older, I think, you want to write about things you support, not just things that outrage or depress or befuddle you.(Though, to be fair, the Rolling Stone piece was as much a measure of my passion for beautifully reported and edited journalism as it was a reflection of my doubts about the prevalence of campus sexual assault.)

I’ll grant that the infrequency of my posting is at a peak. But I think I can say that I’ve never been quite so busy in my life. Things at the day job have kicked up several notches, which is, on the whole,terrific. Worth is entering a new and really exciting phase, and I hope to be a big contributor to that. And my family is, along with all things literary, the other great joy of my life; I can never give my wife and my two boys as much time as they deserve, or as I would like to. My father wasn’t around much in my life. I don’t want to be that kind of dad.

I’m trying to exercise more, too. I’m in probably the worst physical shape I’ve been in since, well, ever, due to the difficulty of finding time to work out. (I used to be an obsessive gym rat. I still am, except now I obsess about how little I go to the gym.) At 50, I don’t love feeling out of shape; it starts to seem like a bad idea. So I’m trying to address that as well.

I’m also kicking around the idea of writing a book again; my last book, The Greatest Game, came out almost ten years ago—a fact which I have a tough time wrapping my head around. I loved that book, and I’m proud of it, but at the same time there are things about The Greatest Game that I would have done differently had I had more time and money. (I got a relatively small advance for that one, so I was working two jobs to write it, getting up at 4 AM to write the book and going to a day job at 8 AM.) Anyway, it’s not the book I want to be my last; that itch is in me, and I am going to have to scratch it soon.

So, yes, the blog has suffered as I’ve had to try to be more disciplined with my time. But it won’t go away forever; the ability to express myself in short, succinct posts matters too much to me. I’ve started tweeting now—rpbradley1 is my Twitter name—and I like that all right, but really, you can’t say much in 140 characters. It’s a thought, but not thought, if you know what I mean.

As for whether you keep reading the blog—well, I suppose that I hope you do. Every writer wants an audience. But I’ll tell you something: In the 11 years I’ve been blogging, I have never once measured the number of hits the blog receives. I don’t even know how. This is the one space where I never wanted to worry about making money from writing or how many people were reading what I wrote. Not knowing whether it was read by a thousand people or by ten was enormously liberating; truly, I was writing for myself. And the thing that’s great about that is, it’s the way I write best. It’s when I’m most honest and take the most chances, because commerce and critics don’t count, and I don’t feel like everyone is watching me, as I did with, say, American Son. I’d rather be read than not, but here, on Shots on the Dark, I really try not to worry about that.

So bear with me if you like. Don’t if you don’t. I’ll be here, though maybe not as much as I used to be. Sounds like the same will apply to some of you. Well—I hope we meet again. I think we will.