I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but haven’t really taken action on it. The key issue that I want to address is that I tend to fill post space with commentary on current events, which then encourages me to spend a lot of time reading the news and staying current with what other people are thinking.
Most of my most popular posts are in that vein, but it’s not really what I want to spend my time reading and writing about. Part of my dissatisfaction/confusion about what to do with my time has also lead to a drop off in my writing productivity. My general lack of focus and the amount of time that I’ve had to dedicate to staying on top of current affairs has made other projects that require more concentrated effort founder and go unfinished.
So, thinking out loud, what I’d like to do is to make this site sort of a similar production to what Dan Carlin does with his Hardcore History podcast. I still want to write about current events, but I’ll start doing that on other sites rather than distorting the focus that I want to put on this site.
Because people also tend to prefer a mix of audio, video, and text material on the web, I’ll aim to produce fewer, bigger, better-researched pieces that incorporate speech as well as text.
My top focus will be on the history of the English-speaking world, with some broader material on the rest of the West. I’ll still produce individual book reviews, but I think I’ll shift more over to syntopic reading of certain topics or periods in history instead.
I think what’s good about what Carlin does (even when I don’t agree with him) is that every piece of material that he puts out is researched to a higher standard of quality than we typically get from either the internet, TV, or magazines. When I also think about what I liked the most about reading Moldbug’s corpus (and that of others on his level) was that focus on history.
When I ponder over the writing that I’ve actually felt good about, it tends to be the stuff that doesn’t just come off the top of my head, that required a lot of outside research. There are also far more people out there just saying whatever comes to mind, and fewer producing more focused work that requires some investment. While I can compete just fine on writing quality alone, I do sometimes feel like a windbag.
If I do manage to pull it off, I think this kind of material can also reach a less ideological audience and have more of a beneficial effect while also being a more enjoyable side project for me. If I take the same hour or two I would spend every day staying on top of events on working on longer term projects, I’ll be able to get a lot more done that’s useful.