A few people might have noticed that I haven’t been posting here very often. I’ve taken on a lot of projects that have cut into my blogging time, but more important, I’ve gone about as far as I can go with this blog, at least in its present form. I’d probably never run out of topics, but I’m completely burned out on discussing writing and self-publishing.
So what’s next? I’ve been seriously mulling the problem for the last few days without coming up with an answer. Try to post once a month? Shut the place down? Find a new subject?
This morning, I stumbled over one of those serendipitous moments that happen every once in a while. I read a “reblogged” comment about a post on another blog. From the original blog post: “I often advise my students to avoid sharing their work with a larger audience until they are able, and willing, to create art from life, a process that requires distance or a craftsman’s care or both.” The comment that followed: “Jenny Spinner with a fascinating consideration of narrative blogging: ‘As with the essay about my father, part of the lure of the narrative blog is that it’s written in the raw. It won’t stand still. Neither the writer nor the reader knows what’s going to happen next.’ ”
There are two things going on in my life that connected with this. First, I’m working on a book about the death penalty. Second, I’ve also been writing a little bit about a relationship I have with a man on death row. I don’t know whether I will continue to work on it or whether I would ever publish it. It’s more about my feelings and how this relationship has changed my life, and how I understand it, than what we talk (write) about. I call it Meetings Before the Dark, because both of us are close to death, he by execution and me by virtue of my age.
From a purely writerly point of view, there’s a lot of good material that could be of interest to other writers. From a personal point of view, I’ve often found myself wanting to talk about it, if only to release bottled-up feelings. Maybe I could do that here, not in a confessional mode, because I’m a private person, and this would be pushing the boundaries for me. I’m also quite analytical, as my regular readers know, so there would be a great deal of analysis and contextualizing.
The over-riding context would be the American criminal justice system and its flaws. Within that, my concern is the lives of the incarcerated, particularly those who are condemned to die at the hands of the state, and how the existence of the death penalty impinges on our lives. I wouldn’t propagandize, though I’m completely opposed to the death penalty. My focus would be more philosophical and ethical.
So this is what I’m thinking about as a possible new direction for the blog. I’m sure a lot of subscribers would drop out, but that isn’t a factor in my decision. I’d be interested in feedback, of course. Yes? No? Maybe? Suggestions?