As of a few days ago, this blog has been going for four years now (basically), and has racked up 222 posts! Wow! And now it’s over! Done! No more blog! Okay not really, but going forward the blog won’t be updating weekly. Except for the next several months.
TL;DR The War of Paraguay will go up weekly for the next few months, then the blog will update only irregularly for the rest of time.
For a more detailed explanation, let me just start from the beginning.
I started this blog with very clear goals: create a “platform” that would allow people who had already read my work to know when I had a new publication, and that would pull in other people who had never heard of me and present them with a whole bunch of past publications. Each post would act as advertisement for my fiction writing, which I guess, if the blog was the platform, was the thing standing on the platform.
I also wanted to update at regular intervals, to get in the habit of producing content at a consistent rate. For the first year or so, I aimed for weekly updates, though I never explicitly said that’s what I was trying to do on the blog. I pulled from a lot of different blog post genres—some travel writing, some writing about writing, some book reviews—really doing anything that grabbed my interest. Pretty soon I realized how difficult it was to come up with something completely new every week. I’d originally envisioned the blog as being primarily focused on writing and reading—that is, posts about writing advice, and posts about books I was reading. Posts about books were easy enough, though I didn’t read enough to post weekly about them. Writing posts were much more difficult, because so much about writing has already been said. I didn’t want to retread well-worn advice—and even if I did, each post would essentially be its own little essay, requiring it’s own unique structure and planning.
Spring of 2016 I started posting my political analysis notes to the blog. The fact that these were in series made it easy to lay out several weeks of content ahead of time, and the fact that they were just repurposed notes that I polished up a bit made them very easy to produce. That was how I was ultimately able to achieve my goal of weekly updates—by figuring out series of blog posts, and working on them ahead of time. Since those political analysis notes, there’s been The Absolute at Large, The Only Series that Matters, Play Time, The War of Paraguay, and most recently Last Year Comic Chronicle. I sometimes felt that this was kind of cheap, turning notes or honors projects into blog content for the sake of having regular weekly updates. But, as I’ve come to care less and less about an indefinite weekly blog, my perspective has shifted.
At this point, I see the blog not as a platform for my writing, but as a platform for any weird project I don’t know what else to do with, which can comfortably fit a serial format. The platform isn’t built of weekly updates, but of all the posts that I’ve already written. Less a platform, more a ziggurat of odd, incongruous scaffolding, reaching up ever higher. The only mainstays are the book reviews, and I guess Recommendation Dumps as well. I still post whenever I have a new publication, but at this point I don’t see the blog as a commitment that I have to keep up for the sake of my fiction writing, but rather a potential home for all kinds of different projects—writing, comicking, translating, etc.
And a big part of that is the fact that, going forward, I have no intention to try and maintain weekly updates. Obviously, in the past I’ve had hiatuses, but in those cases I always specifically stated when the end of the hiatus would be ahead of time (and even stuck to it??! What the hell?!). This is different. After The War of Paraguay is finished, the blog will go on an indefinite hiatus. As with past hiatuses, I will still have little one off posts that go up irregularly. And the hiatus may last a month, or a year, who knows. I actually have a lot of ideas for series of blog posts, or projects that could fit the serial format—I just don’t want to commit to anything specific.
In the past year I’ve been trying to free myself from indefinite commitments, and I’ve been wary of starting any new projects without first determining a set end. Last Year Comic Chronicle was limited to a year for a reason. So with the blog. I want as much flexibility as possible going forward, and having a chunk of my life intractably dedicated forever and ever to one thing is limiting, to say the least. In the end, I may just happen to want to write enough posts, and have enough time to write them, that there is actually no discernible difference in how frequently the blog updates from the outside. Even if that’s the case (highly unlikely, but still:), there would be a world of difference on my end, in clearing up mental space by not always having to figure out how to keep the blog going, and in not feeling like the posts I write are an obligation (I think you can actually see this mindset change in the second half of LYCC, but now I’m making it official.)
So, thank you followers who have come with me this far. I’m sure a lot of you only started following my site for one kind of post, be that comics or travel writing or writing writing, and even if you ignore all my other posts, I’m happy to have your support nonetheless, and I’m thrilled you’ve been able to get something out of my work.
Like I said, my War of Paraguay translation will be posted here weekly, probably wrapping up sometime around the end of 2019, and then the indefinite hiatus will begin. There will definitely be plenty more posts this site in the future, but beyond TWOP I make no promise of when, what, or how much.
Oh! And if you enjoyed Last Year Comic Chronicle, know that some time in the near future I will be putting out an ebook version of it conveniently collecting all the comics in one file, with some bonus black-and-white comics and other stuff thrown in! So, be on the lookout for that.
Alright, that’s all, xoxo -Francis
One thought on “State of the Blog, 2019”
Thank you, Francis! I look forward to reading more of your archived writing and your political posts starting in 2016,