notes on another year

looking back, looking forward

Manila, 31 December—And so we have come to the end. My last entry of the year is mostly a mix of notes for myself—a laundry list of what worked, as well as a list of things to try for 2020.

I think this space is the apt venue for an accounting like that, as this is my only longform venue. I’ve been thinking and re-thinking my online presences a lot; a lot has changed in this particular space in the last ten years, especially with social media and influencers and monetized metrics and algorithm-powered disinformation structures, and the general horrible state of the Internet as it is, as a whole.

Come to think of it, there’s hardly any good reason to write the way I’ve been writing on the Internet anymore—I think Internet audiences are done with reading personal blogs, preferring instead to peer into other lives through curated photos on Instagram, or via live multimedia video experiences on vlogs, or via little snippets consistently dished out throughout the day on Twitter. (Yes, I’ve been reading too much Jia Tolentino, and I highly recommend it, too.)

Everybody writes on the Internet; some do it for money, or attention, or clout. I have already made my peace with the fact that my personal online writing would bring me none of these haha. If anything, all this writing is just recording. I’ve wondered often where my days go, and going to this blank page, at least once every week, has allowed me to track at least that.

When I look at it, I’ve been trying to perfect Step One of the Getting Things Done framework, which is Capture. What has been interesting? What has been worth my while? They say what you pay attention to is what makes your days, and I’m trying to pay due attention to what is important or worthwhile. It’s a work in progress; it always is.

My aim for next year is to get past capture—I want to get to Synthesis, to write about the So What? This would need some necessary re-allocation of resources, because I would need some bandwidth and focus to write a bit longer (rare these days). It’s worth a try, eh?

For 2020, I’m also looking forward to doing a bit of travel writing—these past years, I have traveled mostly for work. This coming year, we have a few planned trips for leisure (for a change) that I can, hopefully, write about.

What worked: A recap

  • Weekly writing schedule. Targeting Writing Fridays-Publish Sundays has provided my weekends some structure by providing a minimum target.

  • Twitter as my preliminary capture tool. Twitter is my primary social network, and it has been a good tool for discovering great reads. It has also served me well in terms of keeping track of news and issues, as curated by media-savvy friends.

  • Having accountability partners. C has been on top of proofreading dispatches, making sure my links work, and that issues are sent out on schedule.

Things to Try for 2020

  • Twice a week writing schedule. Midweek and Weekend editions seem like a good idea for that Capture-So What cadence earlier mentioned. Friday for Monday, Sunday for Wednesday schedules seem promising, setting aside Fridays for writing the weekly wrap-ups and Sundays for synthesis. We’ll see.

  • Single-topic or themed posts. Right now, entries are hodge-podge and cover a range of topics, as can be expected of wrap-ups. This has been easy for me as a writer, but hard for me as a reader. There has to be a better way of organizing media, instead of reflecting the noise of the Internet.

  • Write about more books. I always try to put a Read More clause in my New Year’s Resolutions. This coming year, I hope to read more non-fiction and LGBT fiction—and write about them, too.

Need an accountability partner for your New Year’s Resolutions? Got some book recs for me for 2020? Planning to re-boot your blog this coming year? I’m looking to relaunch a blog roll of sorts. Let’s follow each other OUTSIDE of social media lol.

Send me your 2020 blog's URL!

Happy New Year, folks! I hope, as always, that the coming year is ever kinder.