Essays on Technology and Culture

Winding Down

It’s no fun anymore.

I got into blogging because I had a lot to say, and it was fun to put words on the internet. It was also fun to make the sites to put words on the internet. When I graduated High School, I asked my parents for one gift: a domain, and a year of web hosting. That was almost fifteen years ago, and it’s the best gift I ever received—though I’ve changed web hosts and registrars since.

Of course, you’ll notice that there aren’t fifteen years worth of posts on here. That’s because I have a tendency to burn my life’s work, sometimes to start a new life, sometimes to start a fire. I started, and restarted Sanspoint several times before settling on what you see today: blogging about technology and culture. It gave me seven years of solid content ideas, even if the volume was inconsistent.

But it’s no fun anymore. I’m burned out. Technology either infuriates me beyond the point of rational analysis and good writing, or it feels like a distraction from the bigger issues in the new political world. As Patrick Rothfuss put it so elegantly on Twitter: “When I was younger, I could run endlessly on rage. These days, it’s not sustainable for me. It clouds my reason. I burn out and shut down.” I’ve been feeling the same way, and now I’ve hit the “burn out and shut down” stage.

I can’t force the words to come when there’s nothing in the well, and while the well isn’t dry, it’s damned close. It takes far more effort to make the words come and put them on the screen than is worth the return I get from it. I don’t mean financial return, though I won’t deny that’s a factor. If Sanspoint were my full-time job, I could probably find it in me to push on a little further. How much further, though, I don’t know. I just know I’ve hit my limit.

So I’m not going to push any more.

I’m not giving up writing, let alone on Sanspoint, by any stretch, but I’m also not going to beat myself up for not writing. Since making that decision, I’ve felt better than I have in months—maybe years. It’s just a load off my back that I am more than happy to let go. Where I’m going, I don’t need it. I’m much more fulfilled in my new day job, working for one of the country’s premier performing arts organizations, and doing work that is meaningful, even in dark times like these. Instead of fighting elephants with thumbtacks, I’m making an impact in a different way for something I believe in.

I don’t make this decision lightly. I mentioned the financial incentive to continue writing earlier. Last year, I’d set out a goal of making Sanspoint a self-sufficient project. I came close, bringing in about $82, which is a bit over two-thirds of my hosting bill. The idea was that I’d have some kind of incentive structure beyond just regular content to entice sign-ups. (Never mind, of course, that regular content often failed to materialize anyway.) The only thing i came up with was a newsletter, which I’ve steadfastly produced for 25 issues. A couple were late, but it’s been way more consistent than anything on this site.

So, I’ve cancelled the whole $3.00 a month subscription offer for Sanspoint. The support page still has an option for free-will donations, but if I’m not promising regular updates, there’s no reason why you should give me money on a regular basis either. On top of that, I’m opening up the newsletter, officially, to anyone who wants it. I want to keep writing the newsletter around because writing the newsletter is much more fun than writing for the site. It’s a looser, freer format, with less constraints. I hope you enjoy it.

I’m rather proud of most of the stuff I’ve written here over the past seven years. Proud enough that I won’t set it on fire, literally or figuratively. I’ll write again when I have something of value to say that isn’t mere angry grumbling about the technology industry. I have some ideas, and when the words come, they’ll go up. And maybe I’ll explore some other media options too, in time. I won’t rule out anything.

But for now, I’m freeing myself of obligation, and it’s a very good feeling. I’ll see you all when I see you.