You will be seeing more of less of me

It’s good to be back. It’s been a while.

I started covering Pickens County not quite 10 years ago, after lucking into a job at the Easley Progress. I literally went from being a pizza delivery guy one day to the paper’s entire hard news department the next. I hit the ground running and for the next few years, I ran faster and faster.

One thing people in the news business have gotten used to hearing in recent years is “We’ve got to do more with less.” You get used to having more responsibilities divvied up among less people. And then even less people. And then even less people.

But it’s a great way to learn, and it was a fun learning experience for a long time. I was in my twenties and having a good time. Who needs a social life? Who needs sleep? Not this guy!

Eventually I left the papers and took a job running a website all about Easley. I was writer, editor, picture-taker, uploader, everything and everybody.

It was a fun job. It let me focus on what I’m good at — telling stories — and leaving behind what I’m not good at, which is everything else.

I was able to expand the site’s coverage areas and I got good at getting the stories nobody else was getting.

As I bounced from meeting to meeting, event to event, story to story, I got used to hearing, “Jason! You’re everywhere!”

And it felt like I was.

But the problem with being a one-man band is eventually you get tired of your own tunes. In fact, the very concept of music-making starts to make you twitch.

That’s how it was with me and writing for a long time. I burnt the candle at both ends for so long that I snuffed out my desire to write, both as a career and for my own enjoyment. When it came to writing for myself, if I had the time, I never had the inclination. And if I had the inclination, I somehow never found the time.

Another problem: No time to take care of myself. My diet was pure junk. My weight didn’t just balloon, it Goodyear Blimped.

It was all taking a toll.

So when my previous writing gig went kerblooey a few years back, I found a new job. One that was behind the scenes in journalism. No writing at all. A set schedule. A predictable, seldom-changing set of daily tasks.

And it was … fine.

I mean, it was good.

I mean, it was OK.

All right, all right, it was mind-numbingly boring.

There were nice, talented people putting out a great product every day, but my new job utilized very little of what I bring to the table, in my humble or not-so-humble opinion.

It took me, oh, maybe two days to realize that I missed writing and covering communities very much. I hung in there for two years before leaving to try and figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

What’s that you say? I’m 34 and not getting any younger?

Shush. Age ain’t nothing but a number.

I was very glad when Rocky and Zack reached out to me recently. Helping them out is a happy medium. I get to have a social life and I get to do what I enjoy. It’s nice. I’ll be doing a mix of hard news and feature writing for the Pickens County Courier, and I’m eager to get started.

And it’s an exciting time to be covering this area, with possible school closures and controversies over coal ash, just to name a couple of the most recent topics. It’ll be nice to stop viewing it all from the sidelines and get back into the game.

I’m already enjoying one perk of being back on the scene. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight since the last time I was out covering stories in Pickens County. I’m really enjoying being told that I look good — or at least better — these days. Keep that up. I don’t think it’ll ever get old.

I’m looking forward to getting back in the groove. So you’ll be seeing more of me, in these pages and out and about. It’s going to be fun.

Let’s get started.