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Another month (or two) of daily musings

Topics/tags: End-of-month musings, rambly

It’s the end of August. At the end of most months [1], I try to reflect on what I’ve mused [2] about and what I’ve learned from my writing. In the early days of musing, I also tried to reflect on how my writing was changing. However, I don’t see significant changes in my writing right now, and I haven’t for some time. Perhaps I should be a bit more intentional in thinking about my writing. Maybe I’ll add that to my writing plan.

I took a break from musing for about seven months. I’ve now spent two months musing [3] and ranting again. I’m glad that I restarted; I appreciate the opportunity to sit down and write [4]. And I appreciate the opportunity to reflect that often comes with writing. But it was harder than I expected to restart and to get used to musing each day. Building habits is hard. Restoring habits is equally hard.

I’ve also been much calmer about missing days. When I was in the swing of things, as it were, I cared enough that I had a long list of things I could muse about briefly. These days, I seem less willing to write something just to have written something. But that also means that I feel less obligated to write. I don’t know whether or not that’s a good thing. Part of me wants to be able to look back at how much I’ve written. I’ve written twenty-six musings in the past two months; I’d much prefer to say I’d written sixty. On the other hand, it was nice to be on vacation and not worry about musing. In the end, being relaxed is probably better than writing daily.

At the same time, I’ve also accumulated a backlog of issues to muse about. I have about thirty, if I count correctly [5]. That’s not close to the few hundred that I have accumulated overall, but it’s still a reasonable number.

Michelle says that I seem to have fewer readers than I had when I mused regularly. I can’t tell how many readers I have [6], so I can’t verify her claim. Do I care? A bit; it’s certainly nice to know that I have readers. However, as I’ve said in the past, I write primarily for myself and my family, I suppose I might get more readers if I mused more frequently or if I ranted more often; my rants seem to tend to attract comments, which suggests more readers.

But I seem less inclined to rant. I did have three rants-in-progress on Thursday. But those rants got overshadowed by my positive experience in hearing the new dean. I’m not sure whether I’ll come back to them. A month or so ago, I ended up musing about my failure to rant rather than ranting. I’ve even started to suggest that others think more charitably about ITS and Communications, two of the more common targets of my rants. Just yesterday, I wrote,

I will admit that I have some sympathy for ITS; even with the gains in staff, they are still under-staffed. They are also facing a complicated landscape made more concrete both by the Grinnell admissions hack of last spring and the recent shutdown of Regis University’s computing systems. I think it’s worth acknowledging those stressors.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t think that ITS can improve. But I do acknowledge that it’s hard to get everything done. I’m also more inclined to accept that there are a lot of additional forces at play. But don’t worry; I’ll still rant. I know! I can rant about things that involve no particular individuals, such as attendance at last Thursday’s Scholars Convocation.

What will I muse about if I’m not ranting regularly? I should be working on drafts of my innovation fund proposals; expect to see those relatively soon. I believe I mentioned a variety of topics, such as Tutorial, in the notes on my sabbatical. At some point, I thought I’d more actively include images in my musings; that doesn’t seem to have happened. However, part of me wants to muse about the tchotchkes I’ve brought to my new office. When I do that, I should include pictures of those tchotchkes. What else? If I’m reading more regularly, and I plan to be, I might end up musing about what I read.

We shall see. I’ll report back in a month or so.

[1] Or at least most months in which I muse.

[2] Or ranted.

[3] And ranting.

[4] Or type.

[5] I’ve been less good about recording all of the musing topics in a single location, so it’s hard to tell.

[6] I suppose I could look at the Web log [7] to get some sense of how much people are looking at my musings. But I’ve never done so in the past and I’m not inclined to do so now.

[7] No, not a ’blog. More accurately, a Web server log.

Version 1.0 of 2019-08-31.