The New Year is always a time of optimism and ambition, as well as a shaking off of the past. That's definitely the case for me and for this blog. The content at Pretty Goes with Pretty has suffered for at least the last year, maybe more, due to a number of reasons—not least was I had a kid and I wrote a book. Funny how blogging (both writing and reading blogs) can slip right down your priority list when a little life change comes your way.
Well, I still have a kid, so everything in this post ought to be taken with the appropriate grain of salt. But I am definitely done writing my book, and for the most part done thinking about my book (unless you want to talk about it).
I started thinking about writing Spiderland back in late 2008, and started in earnest by the spring of 2009. Putting myself in that headspace required me to revisit the 90s. The side-effect was that most of my listening hours were spent listening to music of my youth. If Pretty Goes with Pretty is meant to be a kind of self-interrogation of my own listening habits, that necessarily meant digging up a lot of nostalgia. Only I didn't want to be a nostalgist. Nothing against the music of my youth—actually, I'm really glad to have revisited a lot of it—but I don't really have an interest in playing the "back-in-my-day" card quite as often as I feel I have in the last year or two.
Avoiding nostalgia, then, often meant not writing at all. If I blogged once in a month, I considered myself a success.
Meanwhile there was a time management issue. I was still consuming new music, and new-to-me music, but was finding myself with less and less time to write about it. Obviously family time has taken on a whole new meaning. And of course when I did have time to write, I needed to be focused on the book. By the time I was completely and utterly finished with the book sometime this summer, I was so backlogged on things I wanted to write here that I just... gave up. My quarterly Listening Hours posts went by the wayside despite my trying to sustain them (I do have a bunch of unfinished drafts I couldn't bring myself to complete). My thoughts on things I was reading on other blogs were too difficult to get out in any kind of timely fashion. The blog had become an albatross, so I mostly abandoned it except when it was, occasionally, easy.
So, here's to looking forward: I love this blog and I love writing about music and I love what to me has long been the premise behind this blog—to trace my own listening habits and try to discern how one choice leads to the next.
Oh, that's the premise? Yeah, exactly. The last time I felt I wrote something that falls under that umbrella was probably last January (not an omen, I hope). With a metaphorical purging of my duty—it was a duty, or felt like one—to engage with 90s indie rock, I now hope to return to what I like best about this blog.
Starting in January I plan to bring back my Weekly Soundtrack posts, which track what albums I listen to in full each week, and/or which songs defined my week. I also plan to reinstate my Listening Hours posts, though perhaps monthly instead of quarterly so I don't feel overwhelmed when the time comes to get them out. I don't know, we'll see about that. And, hopefully, we'll see other things happen here too. It's all still a bit up in the air. But the point is that something is actually going to start happening here. Promise! Unless you want to pay me to write for your website instead. That's always an option, fyi!
Meanwhile I'll probably still continue to be most active on Twitter, where the 140 character burst seems to best fit my schedule; and I still try to keep up with Tumblr though that sometimes proves difficult (mostly I just reblog without much commentary—unless you ask me a question.)
Glad I got this off my chest. See you in four months when I return to sheepishly retract my bold proclomation that I'd become more active.
- Sammi Smith: Today I Started Loving You Again