After almost three years of Pen Economics, I’ve decided that it’s time to step back. It’s not because I’ve lost interest in the blog or our wonderful community, but because I’m about to start working a new job in a new city. That’s where my time and my focus need to be. 

The new job is a big change. I’ve been an academic economist for five years, it’s been interesting and challenging work but it hasn’t been a perfect fit. Research requires an intense, years-long focus on single topics, and it can often be pretty solitary. There isn’t a lot of variety and it can take a long time before you see any real output from your work. Some people are really well-suited to that, but I’m not one of them. 

My new role is different, and pretty much a perfect fit for me. I’m still officially a ‘researcher’ but now I will have clients and jobs. Instead of making new research contributions, I’ll be taking the academic research and using it to help other people make decisions. I get to communicate economics, contribute towards important decisions, and see real-world impact from my work. Plus I get to work in a small team with good people. I can’t wait to get started!

This means cutting back on other things though. While this blog has been a pretty awesome experience (and a surprisingly good way to spark new friendships), it also sucks up a decent amount of time. That time really needs to go into my work, into deepening and broadening my expertise in certain areas, and ensuring that I’m performing as best I can. Hopefully, I will eventually settle into a routine that will still allow me to blog now and then, but that could be three to six months down the track. 

I’m also cutting back on Fountain Pens Australia. FPA has become a wonderful community of more than 1500 members, and I’m immensely pleased that I could make a contribution towards building it. It's been a hugely rewarding experience, and I’ll stay involved there. But it’s definitely time for someone else to start writing the next chapter in that story. 

I'll still be active on Instagram and Twitter, in case you want to follow or engage me there. And my peneconomics email will be active for those of you who use it. 

Before I go, I just want to thank everyone who has read my work over the last few years. Your time is valuable and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you spending it here. I’m also grateful to those who have engaged in some way, especially those who have provided their own experience or perspective; those who have challenged my arguments or pushed me to do better; and those who have really thought about my ideas and offered their own. I’ve learned a huge amount through interacting with readers and had a lot of fun in the process. 

It’s been a truly wonderful experience. I’ll see you all again soon.