“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” — Franz KafkaYou know it’s the end of December when the blogosphere lights up with all sorts of ‘year in review’ type content! This is not really one of those posts. Not that I have anything against those kinds of posts, because frankly I find many of them fascinating and surprisingly useful. For me it is simply that I don’t have the time available to go over all the stuff covered on this blog this year.
Instead I’ll share a bit of the personal story and history behind this ‘project’ and let you know what might be coming in 2011.
First, I want to thank all those subscribers who have persevered with me over this past 12 months. I appreciate each and every person who took the time to read my thoughts, comment, share my posts and/or enjoy the content I linked to. Thank you for enduring my rants, my atrocious spelling mistakes, and the often militant choice of topics and information shared. I take full responsibility for all ridiculousness and lack of tact that has inevitably ensued. As of today there are 120+ subscribers, and I adore each and every one of you tasty little gremlins immensely.
In fact, it is quite astonishing, really, that there are so many of you out there since it has only been 12 months since I first made this blog available to the public. It was exactly this time last year I decided to change the access settings and open my private little brain-tickle trunk up for the world to see. Up until January 2010 this blog had been a mere aggregate site for storing the numerous links, articles, multi-media and commentaries gleaned from my obsessive explorations of the world wide web. No search engines were able to access this site, and I had yet to let any living person outside my immediate family know that I was even blogging. And that is exactly the way I wanted it.
So what changed? Well, me.
As I began to write and post more of my own thoughts, and less and less links and absconded information, I started to remember just how much I love to write. After grad school I took up several “applied” employment positions that, although enormously stimulating and ultimately rewarding, left me little time to explore and write on topics I wanted to pursue. Over the years I have written countless technical reports, assessments, and policy statements – but relatively little on the topics that interested me most: politics, theory and science. So after a year of experimentation, unpolished attempts at expression and ranting on every topic imaginable I realized just how much I enjoyed writing again. Yet I still needed to make more time to write. And, I thought, I would also need to expose myself to readers so that I would feel compelled to begin writing better. If people are gonna read this stuff then I damn well ought to take the time to try and make what I am putting out there coherent. (At least that is what I thought in December 2009 – and if I am failing or succeeding in that endeavor my readers, of course, will remain the judges.) Thus, in January 2010 Archive Fire went public.
So now here we are, 12 months later, and I’m still trying to become a better writer and blogger with every post. One limitation I continually seem to be bumping head first into is time. At best, I can only spend about 10 hours a week working on things blog related - as family, job, reading, eating, traveling and Muay Thai occupy most of my waking life. Yet, believe me when I tell you that those 10 hours are well worth the squeeze. I have met more fascinating people, had more interesting conversations, and learned more about my own perspectives and assumptions through reading blogs and blogging than I had in the previous 5 years combined. Simply amazing.
So what’s next? I want to continue becoming a better, more accessible writer/blogger; I want to continue playing with the design and layout of the site; I want to continue engaging other bloggers and online communities; I want to branch out and explore different topics; I want to write more short essay-type posts in order to develop my own strain of thinking further; and, finally, I want to get more of YOU readers involved in discussion.
Beyond that, what you can expect in 2011 is more of the fun stuff (“enough with the doom and gloom already Michael!”) and more precision and development in terms of the philosophy-oriented (theory) posts. In addition, I have a few ideas about ‘metalinking’ (round-up type posts) I want to explore with a new feature I’m calling Riffs & Frags starting in January 2011. I also want to try my luck with interviews. Yup, the ole’ Q and A! I have always found dialogue more interesting and fruitful than monologue, so why not dabble a bit in the conversational arts myself? I guess we’ll see how that goes.
So, again, thank you for reading and commenting. Without you mysterious hairless primates lurking out there in the darkness of the Web I wouldn’t have as much fun as I do doing whatever it is that I do here. Have a happy new year and we’ll see (read) you on the flip side!