Seven years ago, I was a school teacher who woke up at 4am every day to write. I finally collapsed and my wife told me I had to choose writing or teaching. I chose writing and, with her help, I took a year off work to write a book, “Coffin Point: The Strange Cases of Ed McTeer, Witchdoctor Sheriff.” This year Overbrook Entertainment, Will Smith’s production company, signed on to turn the book into a television show. As deeply as I have enjoyed the weekly fight of putting out the paper, that bit of good fortune reminded me that it can be valuable to step back, to report more deeply, to think harder, and to write longer—even if there isn’t the immediate gratification of several bylines a week (and it has been wildly gratifying, I assure you). Long-form stories such as my recent ones on Lexington Market or Qayum Karzai are the ones that have contained all my passion and I can’t really do those while taking care of the hundreds of little things that have to happen each week. If I continue to try to do it all, I will fuck up. And it is not worth making that kind of mistake.