2018 Year in Review and Looking Ahead to 2019

“In 2018, I would also like to get back to more original content. I’m thinking it would be good to post something original once a week, but spread it across different forms: poetry, essays, drawing, photography and so forth. Maybe also do more brief commentary of 250 words or less, sketches of story ideas or fragments, aphorisms, book reviews and the like. The goal still being to post something everyday, something that seems weird or interesting, just with some more originals.” 2017 Year in Review and Looking Ahead to 2018

I posted something every day in 2018. The top five posts were:

  1. Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor: Summary
  2. OpenBSD: Configuring mutt & gpg/gpg2
  3. Freedom & Limits: The ASUS C201 with libreboot and Parabola Linux
  4. Hamonshu: A Japanese Book of Wave and Ripple Designs (1903) – The Public Domain Review
  5. OpenBSD & The Command Line

As of a few hours ago, had 3,314 views, 2,097 visitors, 522 likes and 36 comments in 2018. It seems like a lot for a little idiosyncratic personal blog that I never imagined anyone reading.

My favorite posts of the year were:

I think I did more original content in 2018 over 2017. Still, I’d like to do more.

So, I’m going to go with a twice a day posting schedule for 2019. In the mornings, it’ll continue as before with links to articles and websites with quotes and maybe some commentary. I often schedule these posts a week or more in advance. I’ll also keep Sunday reserved for music (or visual media) I’ve been listening to recently or find interesting for one reason or another.

In the evenings, the posts will be a Foucault-style hupomnemata, i.e., “to capture the already-said, to collect what one has managed to hear or read, and for a purpose that is nothing less than the shaping of the self.”

I once read of the process of the French essayist, Alain, who set out two pieces of paper, kept a quote or topic in mind, and then wrote until the pages were filled. He did not edit, and the results—such as his book, Alain on Happiness—explore ideas with immediacy and occasional brilliance. Of course, this approach can also be repetitive, but the repetition can help bring out different facets of an idea.

I’m no Alain. But, then again, Alain wasn’t Alain at first either. Maybe Foucault is right that the writing process itself can be transformative.

So, mornings are for exploration of the new. Evenings are for synthesis, bringing the unknown into the known. This is the initial idea, at any rate.

Possible fodder for evening posts:

  • I have been collecting rules and maxims for life over the last six months or so, and I was thinking of doing a once a week series with that focus.
  • I still haven’t included any material from the commonplace book I kept for years before starting Adding in material from it with some reflection now that it has been several years might be interesting.
  • It might also be worth doing open-ended stream-of-consciousness writing. However, it probably won’t be much fun to read. I beg your pardon.

The main goal is to keep evening posts short, immediate, and to keep the editing filter in check and see what materializes.

Also, I’m also thinking of trying to do some watercolor in the coming year. It might work as part of the Postcard Friday I mentioned in my year in review as a possibility for 2019. Adding a photo of my attempts might also make it as an evening post.

In short, expect some changes and more posts in the coming year.