Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
Each time CoBL gets another year older, every time the June 2 date passes that marks the night six years ago when two young journalists decided to launch the venture that was the City of Basketball Love, I’ve typically put up an anniversary post, thanking our readers and all those who have supported us during our formative years -- years I don’t think we’re quite out of just yet.
This year, I feel as though I owe you all an apology.
This spring has been a trying one in my private life, and that’s had a major impact on my ability to run the business at the level I have been over the first five years and change. At first, I just tried to ignore it and push through, working as much as I could, but ultimately it was overwhelming, and I had to back off significantly.
As I’ve posted on social media several weeks back, I’ve dealt with chronic depression since my early teens. The combination of a recent breakup and a search for a new place to live, along with my general stress about growing this business and making its best that it could be -- a stress that's always at least in the back of my mind -- brought me into a bad place. And I’ve learned enough about myself over the years to know when I need to take a couple steps back and let things settle out. So that’s what I did.
Though I know that the last two months have been necessary for my mental health and just to get my private life in order, I still feel as though I’ve let down all the players, coaches, parents and fans who have relied on our site’s steady presence throughout the years. And I’m sure people will tell me that I don’t need to feel this way, my health is my priority, etc., and I get that. But I still feel badly. So there you have it.
(By the way, to all of you who have been checking in on me and seeing how I’m doing lately -- that means a lot. It’s very much appreciated, even if I might seem uncomfortable at the time.)
The good news is, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve been living at my parents’ house while I figured things out -- another reason it’s been difficult to get into a working mentality -- but that arrangement is coming to an end soon, within the next week or two at most. I think mentally I’ve been holding myself back until that happens, calling that the end of my “vacation,” but my work ethic is returning back to normal regardless, and we’ll be back to our typical capacity soon.
I also mentioned on Twitter several weeks back that when CoBL got back up to speed, it would be with a slightly different approach. It’s really just the enforcement of a subtle shift we’ve made over the last few years: less “breaking news” coverage, more feature stories and event coverage and deeper-focus pieces. I’m going to try to worry less about how many stories we can get up in a day and instead focus on providing the best content we can provide.
It’s not going to be anything profound, but it’s a mindset change from the earliest years, where I felt as if I was failing whenever I didn’t get up a schedule release. That wasn’t a smart way to work, and brought unnecessary stress into an already stressful situation. We’ll still provide offseason event previews and the like, of course, but generally want to focus on features and analysis.
A couple other things:
-- We are certainly on the lookout for new writers, both paid staff writers (college journalists with significant experience) and interns (high school/college writers with little-to-no experience). If you’re interested, please send an email with a resume and writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org. I know there are several of you who have reached out in the previous weeks, and I will be responding to you all shortly. Apologies for the delay.
-- Our next CoBL Exposure Camps are just two weeks away. On June 20, we’ll be having our Underclassman event (Classes of 2021/2022/2023), and on June 21, we’ll have our next College Exposure Camp (Classes of 2019/2020). Information and registration pages are available through those links. Our camps are a major reason we stay in business, so please help spread the word!
As always, thank you for continuing to read and support CoBL, and we look forward to an amazing Year Seven.
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