Resolutions and Ruminations

Well, happy year of the rabbit, you all. And Merry Christmas, for that matter, since I missed posting around then.

It’s been a while, this much I recognize. I haven’t updated in quite some time, and it’s been even longer since I put up anything of substance. That’s why I’ll start off by saying my one and only real resolution of 2011: to get my ass in gear and start writing again for real.

Hanlon’s Razor started off as a silly little project of mine in December of 2005 and has grown into something halfway decent, with a gaggle of readers and commentors better than I could have ever hoped for. Over five years later, I can look back with pride on what I would argue we have created. At least until the past year.

Now, you might ask why I decided to wait until the New Year to do this. If I really wanted to get moving, why wait? It’s an intangible thing, but we as human beings like to put together things with barriers and lines. We set our alarm clocks at even hours and half hours, set vacations for even weeks, and put gas in our cars at even dollar amounts. We just like to make things clearly delineated. So, in the spirit of that, 2011 will mark a further growth of the Razor. And I mean a big one. I fully expect to overhaul the site soon. Really revamp it.

Onto the ruminations. During this hiatus, I fully expect that while my work schedule was a big factor (I put in over 100 hours in the past two weeks), that’s not the only thing that made me take this time off.

See, political blogging is a slightly different beast than regular blogging. If this were simply a site of my own thoughts and ideas, I could plop down and bang out a couple entries at any given time. With politics, the longer you’re away, the less you’re suited to comment on current issues. Political issues build and develop over time, and if you didn’t read last week’s news, you’re missing a good amount of context for this week’s.

The end result is that after a few weeks of slacking, the pile of stories I’ve missed becomes a daunting monolith of my own failures as a writer. Trying to crack into anything of substance means having to face all of the things I didn’t read up on before. It’s not a matter of quickly brushing up on what I’ve missed that day, it’s a matter of reading up on what I’ve missed over the past months.

I don’t mean this as an excuse so much as an explanation of just how much I’ve fallen off lately, to point out my sincerity in getting back into the swing of things. January 1st of 2011 seems as good a time as any to do it.

So… for anyone still reading this thing, thank you, and happy year of the rabbit!

One last thing: I’m also considering, so as to avoid this in the future, branching out into further areas. Not to turn the Razor into a Huffington Post or Gawker, but after all, in this crazy world it’s important to follow the Razor in all aspects, so what do you guys think about tossing non-political stories in as well? Or at least not purely political.

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6 responses to “Resolutions and Ruminations

  1. Hey Hanlon! Happy New Year!

    I can fully relate to everything you’ve said here. Political blogs are especially difficult because it seems that there are so many capable, bright folks doing lefty-leaning ones that by the time I get around to an issue, someone (or several somebodies) has already covered it much better than I can. Also, I frequently get the feeling that I’m so predictable and so far to the left that anyone who reads one post can pretty well sum up the rest of them – just a few different curse words usually.

    And yes, you nailed it when you said taking a break is lethal to your flow, however, there are also slow times where many blogs are just rehashing stuff that I kind of consider filler — ranting about Palin, Beck, Limbaugh. Don’t get me wrong, I do it too, but it’s not the kind of analysis I had envisioned myself doing when I started my blog.

    I guess the only consolation for, “Trying to crack into anything of substance means having to face all of the things I didn’t read up on before. It’s not a matter of quickly brushing up on what I’ve missed that day…” is that now you know how Nanookie must feel every damn day, except she doesn’t seem introspective enough or self-conscious enough to realize she might be missing some crucial piece of information like where Russia actually is located.

    I would love to hear you branch out into other topics when you feel the urge. There are so many interesting things going on in the world besides politics! Even personal stories will be interesting to your followers. Like I say, most of us are preaching to the choir with our readers as far as politics go, so sharing some insights into other things you find interesting will mix things up a bit and let us get to know you a little better.

    • Comments like this really make me realize I need to get my ass in gear if I want to match up to your writing, haha!

      I’ll definitely be trying to bend and twist this site into something beyond what it initially was (a generally stock standard lefty blog), but we’ll see how it flies.

  2. 1. Happy New Year.
    2. Your 1-line and 2-line posts were great. They went to the bone.
    3. Maybe it’s now an old chestnut, but during women’s movement of the 1970s, I learned that “the political” (like “culture”) is not a discrete sphere. Everything is an expression of politics. Everything is an expression of culture. The fact you had to work 8 hours on Christmas is totally political. And totally cultural.
    4. Since it’s the year of the rabbit, I hope you’re wearing bunny slippers.

    • 1. And to you!
      2. Thank you, I was worried about those.
      3. Very true. And not only was it political, but it sucked!
      4. I don’t have bunny slippers. 😦

  3. I wholeheartedly endorse your branching out into other areas, whether it is just once in a while or often. Besides, if you get put off by politics, or bogged down by work and find you don’t have the time to catch up on the week’s headlines, writing about something else will keep you writing and it won’t be as hard to get back into the political swing of things.

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