I’ve decided to start blogging again. Almost a year after my last post, and honestly, almost 2 years after my last post of any actual substance. I only mention this because my friend and colleague Carolyn Hank looked at scholar blogs in her dissertation research, and filtered out of her analysis any blog that had been inactive for 3 months or more. (Full disclosure: I was on her dissertation committee.) Of course any cutoff point is arbitrary, but 3 months of inactivity always seemed like a reasonable length of time to me. Which means that my blog is dead at least 3 times over.
So why am I going to start blogging again? Because I got a head full of ideas that are drivin’ me insane. Things I want to write about, that don’t have a place in any of my other writing. And when I say “any of my other writing,” I mean that I literally spend ⅔ – ¾ of my working hours writing, or thinking about writing, or doing background research for writing, or planning projects to write about. And that’s just my working hours; I also maintain a blog about my kids (mostly for the grandparents, but over the years I’ve discovered its archival value, as when Younger Child asks me what her first word was, or I’m trying to remember when we took our family vacation to wherever). So seriously, I spend a pretty significant percentage of my waking hours writing.
Why, then, would I possibly want to spend even more time writing? Well, the writing that I do for work is mostly reports on projects for my employer. That’s interesting stuff, but it’s not mine, really. My kid blog is, well, about my kids, and therefore also not really mine. I mean, it’s mine in the sense that I write most of the posts on the blog. But it’s not my ideas about what to write; mostly it’s just describing what interesting and/or nutty things the kiddos are doing. Anyway, point is, I need a venue to get all this stuff out of my head that belongs neither on the kidblog nor makes sense to write for my employer.
As you may know, dear reader, I left a tenured faculty job a little over 2 years ago. Why in the name of all that’s holy did I leave a tenured faculty job? Well, that’s a longer story than I’m going to get into here. But one significant reason was: I felt like I needed to step away from the job, in order to figure out what it was that I actually enjoyed about the job. And one of the things that I’ve realized over these past 2 years that I enjoyed about the job, was writing; specifically, being able to write more or less what I wanted.
After leaving my faculty gig, I had a few writing projects that kind of hung over from that era: my book about metadata, the paper 50 Shades of Open. But those were things that I had committed to before I resigned my faculty position, and so of course I had to see them through. Now that those are done and out in the world, I still have lots of ideas for things to write… but no external motivation to write them. The days of Publish or Perish are behind me. So if I want to write, I have to come up with the internal motivation to do it myself.
So, here we are. I doubt that I’ll be posting here very regularly. But I plan to not go another year — or another 3 months even — without at least something to show for it here.