August 31st marks the four-year anniversary of my writing on this. It’s mostly got to be ephemera (as does much else lol), but I cannot help reflecting since delving into Croggon lately. Her blog was extant for six years.
What I admire, or I should say enjoy mostly, is reading the comments, more than the actual reviews themselves (including Croggon’s). The plays or performances I never saw or will never see; but the discussion of issues is revealing. If a blog’s comment section is curated Croggon did a magnificent job. Many of the contributors appear on a first-name basis with each other; I suppose theatrics in Australia forms a close-knit community. The level of respectfulness is enviable.
I opted to leave the comment section of this blog off. Possibly I erred. But I had reasons. As a trial-run before establishing my own website I had an anonymous blog at Blogger. My experience was that no one commented, or when they did, it was spam.
I lack the diligence to foster a community, and also what I write about probably excites little interest. Trivial, spur-of-the-moment effusion mostly.
After the last presidential election, my Facebook account went dark for a year. In that time I read novels by the handful. Since I’ve resumed—though not to imply cause—my reading has diminished to barely a drip. Summer tends to be my slow time; winter’s cold forces you indoors, and reading is the perfect pastime. But otherwise, I’ve had to train myself to be a reader, it is not my natural proclivity—to contrast myself with something Alison Croggon says in this pleasant interview (“I’ve always been a word-centered person”).
The point is, I might easily foresee closing off my relationship with the internet altogether, including shutting down this site. (No plans; but certain fees associated with its maintenance might easily be forgotten.) Much of what I have done—self-publishing books, starting a website, learning to write a bit of prose and “indulging” in “criticism,” was done primarily with a view to broadening the exposure of my work. The impulse no longer drives me.
At one time I had hoped that writing might open up (directly or indirectly) a career path that would enable me to do more writing. That never happened. Had I broken into the theatrical community in Chicago, and gotten productions, I would easily have doubled the number of finished plays under my belt; now however—with this last election—conditions for the type of comedy I did have evaporated (essentially a free citizenry), and, as time prolongs the hiatus, I don’t know if I would be able to write another play at all, much less figure out a new mode suitable for new times.
August 31st is not an anniversary I will celebrate. It seems a noteworthy benchmark, however, in that if I follow precedent set, “endarkenment” (to use one of Michael Ventura’s favorite words) should be expected about two years from now.