Long Time, No See

Long time no seeHi, there, guys.  Remember me?  I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t, to be completely honest.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve done this, you know?  I just looked at the blog’s archives for the past year, and I see that since August I’ve only blogged a dozen times.

That’s just unacceptable. I used to be posting 12 times a month, and I loved it. I had fun doing it.  A lot of my spare time was spent looking at things and finding interesting ways to blog about them.

So what happened?

Honestly, nothing.  Nothing that should have impacted me like it did, really. I got pretty busy at work and excited about a few other things going on, but more than anything, I just got lazy. I lost focus.  I couldn’t bring myself to write an hour a day.  Not even 30 minutes a day.

I was stupid.  I hope this is where that stops.

So What’s Been Going On?

A lot and a little at the same time. Work has been going well. I was offered (and accepted) a contracted faculty position, something I’ve been working toward since I started teaching. I have to say, I was really stoked to have it happen. I split my time between teaching 3-4 classes a semester and working as the Associate Director of our Student Resource Center, so that keeps me occupied.

When we finally worked out the minutiae of the position, that’s when I started thinking that I need a Ph.D. If I am going to stay in academics for the foreseeable future, I need to get a Ph.D. It’s just one of those things. It comes with the territory. So I did my research, talked to a few people, and over the course of last semester, I got lucky enough to land in David Lavery’s “Cult TV” class this semester.

Wrapping my mind around those two happenings has almost been enough to keep me from blogging. I have been researching and prepping lessons and bring work home and grading papers and reading and grading papers and grading papers–well, you get the idea–knowing that I was putting most, if not all, of my hobbies and other interests on the back-burner.

But, I thought naively, that once the semester was over, I’d be back to blogging. Especially considering that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was coming out. I just knew I’d be blogging about leveling my Priest and running Heroics and getting into raids

But I didn’t. Time kept slipping past me, and very little that I had planned to do in December was actually done. I read a lot of blogs on Cataclysm, but I rarely commented and never posted myself. I love the expansion, and it’s the most fun I’ve had in the game since before The Burning Crusade was released. I even thought I might have time to raid a night or two this semester, but after evaluating my own teaching load and the Cult TV syllabus, I would be much better off focusing my energy outside of Azeroth.

Oh well. I’ll have May-August, at least if I want to WoW it up with my buddies.

What Does Any of That Have to Do with Blogging?

Well, I’ll tell ya!

I’m going to be writing a lot this semester. Dr. Lavery has some great assignments for his class (yes, I’m nerding out about getting to do papers), and mine get to deal with LOST (a paper on genre hybridization and its effect on the Hero archetype during Season 1 that I am double-dipping as a presentation at PCA in San Antonio this year) as well as an article on the Stargate franchise spinoffs for the online edition of the Essential Cult TV Reader.

Blogging, therefore, will be what I essentially use as a palate cleanser. That much academic writing can be pretty stifling. As much as I love it, I have to be able to break those rules occasionally, throw my own opinion into the universe, and write single-sentence paragraphs.

Like this.

And this!

Take that, ivory tower!

I’m going to need that time to work through ideas as I write the papers. I’m going to be spending a lot of time watching and re-watching shows (namely LOST, Fringe, Stargate Universe and sections of Atlantis). So I’ll be getting ideas that may not work for any of my academic papers but would be perfect for conversation with all of you.

Which is another thing I miss. I miss the comments and the conversations, both here and on Twitter. So I need to blog to get those back. I miss you guys.

There’s no reason to miss it when I can get back to it at any point. So that’s what I’m going to do. I may not be at my old schedule of 3+ posts per week–indeed, I likely won’t be–but there will be something. I care too much about it to let it fall apart. Like most things in my life, I have to get my head on my shoulders after the requisite time of slacking to see the importance in it.

Oh, and One More Thing

I failed in my quest to revise my novel’s manuscript in December. I blame it on a combination of too much World of Warcraft, laziness, and my wife being slower than I expected on getting her initial round of comments to me. But mostly the first two.

Either way, my novel still sits in much the same place it did when I finished it. Which means I’m off-schedule for this year. So I have to kick it up a notch and get that sucker revised before May rolls around and I start working hardcore on my second one (which I think is going to actually be pretty good–a paranormal action/thriller in the vein of The Dresden Files).

So between working, blogging, watching, and researching, I’m going to try to find a few spare hours to revise. I don’t know how many will be devoted to any of those (outside of working and researching, as they take precedence obviously), but my goal for 2011 is to do better than I did in 2010.

To keep up with what I love.

Because I’ve not been totally happy over the past few months. I’ve felt more unfulfilled and disquiet than I figured I would be after getting the contract I’ve devoted myself to over the past few years. I’ve realized why: I left very little time for doing other things that I love. I love to write, but I haven’t been doing it. I haven’t worked on a story, on a blog, on a novel, on an outline, on a article, nothing.

I just kind of…stopped.

So now, I’ll just kind of…start. Again.

It may not be a novel in under 45 days. It may not be a best-of-conference research paper. And, like I said, it may not be 3+ blogs a week. But it will be something.

If the best I can churn out is 1 blog, a few scenes sketched out in an outline, a note made about a novel, or a new way to look at characters on a TV show, then that’s what it will be.

Creatively, my plans for the coming year(s) still stand. (In fact, look for a post dedicated to my reaffirmed mission statement soon). I fully intend on writing at least one novel a year and revising another. If I can find the time, I would love to write more than that. After learning about my writing style and habits this summer, that may not be as hard as it sounds.

But I’m going to do something. I’m going to get back in the habit of doing what I love. I’m going to make sure I don’t abandon something I actively care about.

It’s good to be back. If you all will have me.


Comments

  1. Through the magic of RSS I’m still here. =)

    Personally I’d never begrudge anyone a blogging break – I just took a couple weeks off myself. The great thing is that after a protracted break, it’s usually easy to churn out new quality content.

    Looking forward to reading more!

  2. Longasc

    I can fully understand you and I am glad that you are back!

    But… playing and loving WoW? WTF! /fishslap

    • Cataclysm is as close to the game I fell in love with years ago as I can get. It may or may not hold my attention in the long run, but I have a lot of RL friends who still play that I can keep up with and the game itself was toned back a lot from what I hated about WLK.

  3. Stick it to the ivory tower Man! Yeah, take that, MLS “style”!

    *ahem*

    Good to hear life is treating you well. Don’t sweat the blog, that’s sort of the point of these things; to cleanse that palate and write what comes to you, if and when you feel like it.

    • That’s the whole plan. I have a few posts and drafts backlogged I’m going to post up as I can write new ones so that I don’t have these extended periods again.

      I also hope to get a slight theme update soon so I can make navigation work a little better and focus on a few specific things I like to write.

  4. prenden2

    Welcome back! I had heard that Ph.Ds are difficult to complete, but having to rewatch SG:U? That’s just cruel and unusual punishment!

    • No way! I really love SGU, and I chose that topic specifically for my assignment. When S2 got going, the show really fell into its stride, and then it got cancelled. The writing and characterization finally started to matter, but the lack of interest was too far engrained in fans.