I feel a little blog-spasm coming on (yeah yeah, terrible phrase), so I thought I might reflect on that, briefly. For a while it felt like I never wrote anything in brief (all my university essays were over-word count, and then there was that whole 80,000 word doctoral thesis thing). And now, for the last little while, it's felt like I've not written anything not brief. I'm not about to have an, 'OMG, THE TWITTERZ IS KILLING OUR BRAINS' moment - I love twitter and the communication it enables. However, between having it as a forum to express my opinions, and the fact that life has been busy and chaotic, and at times depressing, over the past two years, longform writing has faded from my practices, by-and-large. But now I have a permanent job which I love and a little bit of brain space for reflection, and neither the present nor the future seem quite so horrendous a prospect for reflecting upon.
(though, don't get me wrong, there's a lot about the present that irks me greatly, and I may express my ire, at points)
I'm also encouraged by my place of work and by my boss to do the whole 'personal development' thing. And, frankly, I also don't want to get stuck in a rut - I want to get to own my own stuff (both literal stuff and worky-project stuff) one day, so I'm starting to think about who and where I want to be in 5-10 years, and how I get to pull all the stuff I love into that. The bit where I'm a historian, the bit where I'm academic, the bit where I get bored of academics writing unreadable prose, the bit where I'm a policy wonk, the bit where I care about justice and society, the bit where I wish I knew more theology and philosophy, the bit where I want to write things and talk to fun people about interesting things, and frankly, the bit where I just wanna get to read lots of kids fantasy fiction (ok, that one might have to be an own-free-time thing...).
One of the things I'm going to be doing as part of that is reading stuff. Lots of different bits and pieces about different things, and then thinking about how they fit together in my head and what I want to do with that outside my head. So there's going to be some stuff coming out of the fact that I (finally) finished The Shock Doctrine, and then next week I'm going to start working through a book called Consumer Detox for the duration of Lent, alongside some of the fabulous lunatics I work with here (have a look at Matt's post about it), with the aim of writing something every week about that. And then we'll see how it goes from there.