Monday, October 23rd, 2006
1001: A Blog Odyssey
I’m not even sure how to start this.
I joke that I’m at least a little obsessive-compulsive, but there must be some truth in that when you consider that the last day I missed posting on this weblog was January 26, 2004. Since then, between January 27, 2004 and today, October 23, 2006, I have posted to this blog for 1001 consecutive days. One. Thousand. And. One. Some entries have been short, more have been long, a few have been epic but they’ve all been on time (give or take, depending on time zones). In that time, I’ve posted dispatches from various points in Canada and the USA, all over Scanadanavia, Russia, Estonia, Poland, the Netherlands, Taiwan and Japan. I’ve also been to some 175 concerts (give or take) and five major music festivals and covered them all, often in fine detail and with probably excessive photographic evidence. I’ve been through some great times and some awful times but have still always managed to put together a post of (I like to think) some merit, almost always by 10AM ET and always on my own.
And while I will modestly say that this is an impressive accomplishment and one I’m quite proud of, it’s not a sustainable work ethic. It’s just not. (Most days) I have a day job and that, in addition to the 25+ hours a week I spend on this site, can often leave me exhausted and/or without the time or energy for anything else. Simply put, the blog is running me and not the other way around and that’s not such a good thing. So a few months ago I did some calendar math and chose today, the thousand-and-first consecutive day of posting, as a nice round number to aim for. Actually I suppose it’s as pointy as it is round but it’s still a fine, palindromic number. But as I was saying, I chose this day to be the day that I celebrated the feat but more importantly, the day I called it quits.
Not the blog, not the website. Just the schedule. The rigid adherence to the calendar that forced me to often plan out my published schedule weeks in advance and fret about the days that there seemed like there simply wasn’t anything to write about – I think regular readers can tell the slapdash posts from the well-assembled ones. But the point is that I’ve felt that the quality of things occasionally suffered for the ever-looming daily deadline and I want to avoid that. So from here on out, things are going to loosen up. Exactly how, I don’t know – I’ve spent almost the last three years in an intense, regimented grind and learning how to take advantage of my self-emancipation or even acknowledging that it exists will take some doing. Expect things to remain pretty damn close to daily – there’s usually a lot going on – but there may be more short posts, more long posts, more posts per day (gasp!), I really don’t know. We’ll see how it goes. But in the long run, I hope being able to think in a longer-term instead of just worrying about the next 24 hours will mean that my interest in and the overall quality of the site will improve as a result, even if you won’t be able to set your watch by it anymore.
As today got closer, it felt like the end of a marathon and the sum weariness of the whole endeavour nearly took me out just short of the finish line more than a few times, but the past week I’ve felt great and refreshed and more into this site than I have been in a while. The monkey on my back has climbed off and is once again on its leash, doing its little dance in front of the barrel organ (okay, weird analogy but I like monkeys). Stuff I’d been procrastinating on for ages, like a new redesign of the site, finally got on the front burner and in fact, I’m almost done. Look for this place to get overhauled in the next couple weeks or so. Which, in turn, brings be to a question for you, gentle reader – how can I make this site better? What would you like to see more of? Less of? I am opening up the suggestion box to all, though obviously I make no promises to follow them. But if you do have an idea or something to offer, please leave a note in the comments.
It was inevitable that the streak would end sometime – it may not be tomorrow, or even in the next week or month, but it will. And when it does and I do miss a day, it will be because I let myself and not because I met some untimely end (though wouldn’t it be ironic if I DID meet some untimely end before I was able to take a day off? Knock on wood). But for now I think I’ll go out and get a life. Or a dog. Or at least a sofa. I’ve needed one of those forever. Maybe I’ll try and find a band again, I’ve been getting reacquainted with my guitars again. But believe you me, the prospect of posting what I want and when I want again is an exciting one.
Thanks for indulging me on my emancipation day. See you tomorrow. Or maybe not.