Big announcement first, I’m going to move this blog over to substack. Two main reasons for the move. The first is that it will hopefully make following my writing easier. Right now, most of my traffic is driven by facebook, but that requires me to manually copy and paste the link every time I post (which I often forget to do), and, judging by the stats, it seems likely that a lot of those posts are getting lost in the algorithm. With substack, posts will no longer clog up your facebook feed, but will instead clog your inbox (don’t worry, Mom, I’ll help you sign up if you can’t figure it out). The second reason is just plain old mimetic desire. All the cool kids are on substack, I want to be there too.
I might do some cross-posting for the first week or so after the transition, but substack is going to be the main hub going forward.
Wanted to also reflect on the last few weeks of writing. After the writing challenge, I set myself the goal of three posts a week, which I promised to adhere to for at least four weeks, with the exception of my birthday where I gave myself a day off. I forgot about Labor Day when I was planning this out-forgot about it until all of a sudden it was Labor Day, in fact-which led to another pseudo-justified skip, but then completely lost all momentum and took, well, however long it’s been since my last post and today to write this entry, which really wasn’t that difficult to write.*
Momentum is a very powerful thing, and posting on a reduced schedule made me reflect on it a lot. The surprising lesson of the three-per-week schedule is that it was far, far harder to stick to then the everyday one. On top of that, I think the quality of the everyday posts was better, and as a means towards the primary purpose of this whole enterprise, clarifying and exploring my thoughts, served far better. Posting every day forced me into a sort of dialogue with myself, and that rumination improved the quality of my ideas, kept things fresh, allowed me to return to subjects and develop thoughts. I learned far more about Vico posting about him five days in a row, then I did thinking about Marcel for five days and posting once.
I had a tendency to take off days as precisely that, days off, and not do any work at all. I know this isn’t ideal, and perhaps the solution is “stop doing that,” but I also know my character, and realize that I need the external pressure.
“Aha,” you say, “go back to posting every day and the problem is solved!”
“But alas,” I respond, “the time commitment is too great, particularly with the (here’s some news) fact that my book has passed peer review and needs to be revised before publication.”
“Balderdash!” you cry, “if it’s worth doing, then do it, stop thinking.”
“Good advice,” I concede.
As Sertillanges wrote, words I wish I could engrave on my heart, “Do something, or do nothing at all. Do ardently whatever you decide to do; do it with your might; and let the whole of your activity be a series of vigorous fresh starts.”
So, yeah, the plan is four posts a week, a pseudo-compromise. There may be some points where work schedules or book writing or whatever prevents this, but I’ll do my best to let you know in advance. No skips unless it simply cannot be avoided. The goal is to stick to this between now and a work conference during the last full week of October (i.e. from Monday until Friday, 10/21), then reassess.
*This is a prime example of me failing to adhere to the principle described in a footnote when I initially began my writing challenge:
“A maxim I repeat to others and myself, but far too rarely follow-I believe I stole it from Terry Pratchett-is that if you fail to keep pledges to yourself for good reasons, you’ll very rapidly find yourself doing so for bad reasons, then not even bothering to give reasons at all”