If you’re wondering why this blog updates so sporadically, click here.
Update(s), December 2013: In a sad turn of events, Open Zion is ceasing publication this month — you can read Peter Beinart’s explanation of why here; as for me, in a much more lovely turn of events, I am very happy to say that I will be writing twice a month for Haaretz.com, the English-language, online version of Israel’s paper of record (and, broadly speaking the paper of record of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict), Haaretz.
Update, March 2012: In a lovely turn of events, I am now a regular columnist at The Daily Beast, as part of a blog project called Open Zion.
For about six years, I wrote about what was in my head, for a paying public. I wrote commentary, about Israel/Palestine, about being a mom, about being a daughter, about abortion and racism and atheism and shoes. Teenaged pregnancy and baby daddies. The Jordan River and the Kindle. And then some. It was quite a range.
This came after many years as a straight-up reporter, followed by a few years as a graduate student. Not everything I wrote got published, but a surprising amount did. Most of it. By a certain standard, I was a successful commentary writer, and I am, at heart, an essayist.
The thing is, in spite of the fact that the public was a “paying” one, it didn’t pay very well. This was the world of newspapers, after all, a world long in the throes of a wasting illness. Then the Great Economic Meltdown of Aught-Eight dovetailed with the Great Folding of Venerable News Institutions, and I realized that trying to place freelance material had shifted from the merely-nearly impossible to the almost-literally impossible. My heart could no longer take it, and in September 2008, I stopped trying.
I kept up with the other work that I’d always done – for other people, who had always paid more than any outlet at which I was able to use my own by-line – but I stopped, utterly and in one fell-swoop, working for myself.
Well, perhaps unsurprisingly, this has been a sizeable loss for me, for such a long list of reasons that I won’t even bother to go into them. But the world of blogging beckons and while I have, in my neo-Luddite fashion, resisted for years, I now realize that I have to try. I’m a writer, and it turns out that writers need to write.
So here I am! I will be writing about what is in my head, about Israel/Palestine, about being a mom, about being a daughter, about abortion and racism and atheism and shoes. And so on. I will try not to force a shape on this effort, but rather let its shape emerge as we go along.
Comments are open and welcomed. When talking to or about anyone else, please be respectful, please be thoughtful, and if you can, please be kind. Funny will earn you extra credit. If I determine that the lines of basic decency have been crossed, I will cut you off at the knees. But no pressure! (For more about commenting, you could always check out my About Commenting page).
You can find me on Twitter: @emilylhauser.
UPDATE: To paraphrase The Big Lebowski and borrow from one of my favorite blogs (South Jerusalem), this blog don’t roll on shabbos. So, no posting on Saturdays! And also, mostly, no posting on Sundays, but that’s more flexible. I have been mentioning this on a weekly basis, but that seems silly, doesn’t it? Anyhoo, bottom line: I don’t roll on shabbos. FYI, and all.