When am I going to retire Birchtree?

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

Here’s an uncomfortable question: when do I stop blogging?

I’ve been doing this site since October 2010, which is over 1/3 of my life, and I don’t foresee anything that would make me stop anytime soon, but like…I have to stop one day, right?

I can see a future where I blog less here (have a kid, career change, have a bad experience that makes me hesitant to share things publicly, etc.), but actually stop writing here? I don’t think so.

Birchtree has never been my job, so it’s not like I’ll ever want to “retire” and just relax because writing for this site is a way I relax already. I find writing cathartic, even if it’s about the tech or game news of the day rather than something personal.

And this blogging thing is really new in the grand scheme of things, so we don’t have a ton of precedence for when people stop doing this. Some of the longest running blogs I know about are run by people in their 50s, so they’re not even that old!

My suspicion is that there won’t be a specific day where I decide I’m done, it will happen slowly over time. I’ll follow the tech news less religiously and I won’t have strong opinions to share as often. I think TikTok is the first major tech thing that I’m seeing this with today; I don’t use it, I don’t have opinions on it, and I have no interest in spending time thinking about it. I bet over time more and more things fall into this category.

There’s also the community aspect of blogging. I really enjoy being a part of the broader tech conversation. Most posts on this site are links out to things other people have written, and I can “yes, and…” them or argue against them, and they can do the same to my posts. If that community fades away because we all get older and move onto other hobbies (and my aforementioned TikTok ambivalence isn’t going to help me resonate with much younger generations), then I could see my blogging taper down as the flywheel of inspiration slows down.

The answer of course is we’ll have to wait and see. If I had to guess, I’d predict I’ll effectively be done writing here sometime in my 50s. Maybe it will be sooner than that, or maybe I’ll keep it going well into my 60s and 70s (or later!). I can’t tell what the future holds, but after all this time doing it, I think it will be very strange to think about Birchtree as “a thing I used to do.”