The Season for Reflection and Rest

person holding mug of coffee

First, thanks to Peter Schmidt for buying me 5 coffees this month! I’m now 48% of the way to having my web hosting covered for the year.

Second, remember to send work for the Community Bonus Post at the end of the month. That will be the last blog post for 2022! Send your work via the Google Form by 11:59 pm CST on Wednesday, November 23rd.

When I started this project in the spring, I had no idea what shape it was going to take. Like many of my creative pursuits, I dove in headfirst, making it up as I went along, knowing I’d figure it out along the way. I’m also grateful that the blog and podcast have allowed me to stay connected to my creativity through a tumultuous second half of 2022, including a cross-country move, buying a house, and changing jobs twice. Moving in October, I felt the call to take a break. I wrote recently to a group of friends that, for most of my adult life, I’ve felt the desire to put life on pause from October through the new year. And pretty much every year, I’ve ignored that, pressuring myself to keep up with the pace of life I keep during the sunnier, warmer months. This year, though, I’m trying to honor that impulse. So I’m taking today to serve as a way to reflect on the project so far, and what my plans are for the future.

The Blog

On this site, I’ve experimented with a few different types of posts. My focus is sharing haiku others have written, along with my own commentary. Sometimes I focus on a specific type of food; sometimes I focus on a specific season; sometimes the post is more conceptual. I haven’t nailed down one specific approach because different ideas inspire different structures. That being said, I think I would like to maintain a more consistent structure in the future, and one of the things I’ll be doing during my project hiatus is considering the shape I want future posts to take. It’s hard to be in that planning mode when you’re in creation mode, so I’m looking forward to stepping back, letting my mind go fallow, and seeing what emerges. If there are particular structures or approaches that appeal to you, let me know in the comments!

I also enjoyed putting together the May community blog post, and am excited to be reading haiku for the November post as well. I’m considering making this a regular feature next year, either quarterly or every other month. If you have a preference, please let me know! While I ultimately have to shape this project around what works with the rest of my life, I also do want to know what interests people who read this blog.

The Podcast

Since launching the podcast in June, I’ve learned some of the basics of Garageband, finally settled on a theme song, and even experimented with different kinds of episodes. I modeled the show after long-form, open-conversation podcasts, which are the kind I most enjoy listening to. However, I also did one solo episode, and was surprised to find how much fun I had making it! And just as I enjoy doing the community blog posts, I loved putting the community open mic bonus podcast together. If I decided to make community blog posts every other month, I might do that for podcasts as well. Odd-numbered months could have a community blog post, and even-numbered months could have a community open mic. This idea is still percolating; I’ll see how it takes root during my hiatus.

The Future

The main thing I want to do during my creative break is take time to get organized. I’ve collected over 200 haiku at this point, and while my organization system on the whole is pretty solid, ever since buying and setting up the house, I haven’t done a great job keeping track of which haiku I have already used on the blog and podcast. I’m honestly excited to take a weekend afternoon and get everything reorganized.

I also want to put together the foundation for an eventual print manuscript. While I don’t imagine putting a print book together until at least 2024, the time to get organized is now. That means setting up a Scrivener file especially for the book project, getting a basic organizing scheme in place, and importing relevant blog or podcast content that I might want to revisit. While I know that a project of this length is going to evolve over time, giving myself a structure now will set me up for an easier time down the road.

In addition to the community blog post at the end of the month, I have two more podcast episodes lined up, and then I’m officially on hiatus until January. I hope you have a restful and creatively fulfilling winter season.

Huge thanks to everyone who has read this blog, commented on posts, and supported this project. It means a great deal to me that there are people interested in the work I’m doing here. I’m excited for what this project will yield in the new year.

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