1. On Multiplicity
"Shutting it down" is overly dramatic. That's not what's happening. But I am changing things, and want to take a moment to explain.
June 30 will mark, to the day, eight years of continuous blogging of bus stories by yours truly. Every few days from 2012 onwards, I've written a new story from the streets here on the site, and the following has grown beyond my wildest dreams.
I love writing the stories. More than photography, they carry for me the weight of full, bodied accomplishments that take time and consideration to generate. I wrestle with the words, nurture them, playing chess with myself in the search for how to translate life to thought to language.
But there are not enough hours in the day to write new stories continuously, write books, read them, promote them, make films, submit films to festivals, work full time, sleep, maintain friendships and relationships and family and health and peace of mind... I'm exhausted, reader. I am exhausted and my active life is probably half over. I do not wish to spend the prime of my existence as a blogger. I love doing it, but it takes more time than the other activities listed above, and thusly prevents my doing those activities as effectively. A blog post– the way I write them– throwing my all into every paragraph, disciplining myself to do my best writing all over again with each new entry– occupies every spare moment of the week. I just published a book and directed a film. I'm tired. I'm happy and I'm thankful... but I'm tired.
2. On Books vs. Blogs
Adding to this are two elements unrelated to exhaustion:
People aren't reading blogs anymore. Blogs have been dying out for a long time, and I'm glad mine has held on better than many, but the numbers just aren't there in the sky-high ways that used to be– even though readership of my work as a whole is increasing, due to the massive rise in press and awareness I've undergone in the last two-plus years. Far more people know my work than ever before, but they're reading the book more than the blog, never mind that the blog is hundreds of times larger.
Which brings me to my second point: Isn't this exactly what you would want?
I see what's happened as the ideal scenario. After all, bloggers who manage the incredible luck of getting published don't then abandon their newfound opportunities and humbly return to their Wordpress page. The natural next step is to follow through on the possibilities gifted you by this new playing field. (Plus, as per the recent announcement of my book being picked up, I'll be needing to dedicate more time to promoting it. Such a nice publisher, those folks at Chin Music; I've got to keep 'em happy!!)
Thank holy goodness that people are favoring books over blogs. My dream was always to get a book out, because it feels real and tactile, and I get the impression readers feel similarly. Blogs don't "live" in the way books do; books you carry in your hand, carry on the bus and show your friends. Books change your bookshelf, complimenting the other titles and altering the room ever so slightly. Books breathe.
3. What's Next
So. This blog will still contain the occasional story, because I'm not going to be able to stop myself from writing these things, but it will transition primarily to a venue for alerting you about upcoming writeups, interviews or events of mine. Look at the last three weeks of posts: they're all alerts for various talks, or updates and news on film screenings. That's the future of this blog– a way for you and I to stay connected. I'll also be sharing more of my photography online.
But what about the future of Nathan's bus stories? Hopefully you like them, because I'm going to continue to work on them– but in the context of a future book. Nothing's set in stone, and as hinted earlier, a publisher would need to take an interest, but maybe someday after Lines has had its day in the sun I'll get a chance to have another baby. I've got plenty of ideas already.
This will also open up possibilities for films in ways that would be impossible if I kept blogging as before– time can now be alotted for a new screenplay (already underway, actually!), and further attention can be paid to Men I Trust's life on the festival circuit, where it's doing much better than I ever anticipated despite having just entered the field (more on that soon!).
4. On Gloating
I don't like talking about my own successes because I find gloating hugely unattractive– to do and to witness. I tend to consider whatever successes my endeavors have had as a mixture of incredible fortune and remarkable goodwill on the part of the people I've known throughout life.
I owe my entire being to certain people who have been kind to me. Who were kind when they didn't have to be, but who did it anyway and in so doing taught me about humanity, how to be good and kind and strive to be the best person I can be. No words can adequately express my thankfulness. I wouldn't even know how to take for granted the way your lives have affected me.
5. On Legacies
I would rather consider myself an author and filmmaker than a blogger, and I wish to work in those mediums as I continue to share with you what I have. The blog is something I'll be endlessly proud of, endlessly grateful for your enthusiasm and support of it, without which none of any of this would be happening; few things move me more than when I met someone who's read the entirety of the blog.
But I feel a need to grow, and hope you can respect that. No one likes an endlessly running TV show that declines in quality as the years pass; but we all love a long film that knows just when to end. With a desire in mind to approximate the latter and not the former, I'll continue to post stories regularly between now and June 30, probably more frequently (I've got a lot I want to share!), and with the hope that it'll be among the best work I can offer.
If you like, please enjoy them, share them, and as ever, thank you, for everything. I'm not done yet.
I'm just getting started.