The blog has been on hiatus. My life, for the most part, has been on hiatus because of work.

I don’t normally mention the day job on this blog, but it has been a wild and exciting ride, for the past year or so: launching a major website with more than 10,000 pages, reaching the million visitors mark for that same website, watching it earn an honorable mention for a webby award, working to contribute to a massive upload to wikimedia, collaborating to create a crowd-sourced museum exhibition… what a rush!

Is it July already? Almost my birthday? Time sure does fly when you’re working your ass off. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I’m glad it’s over. I need a vacation, and then to rekindle my social life. I can’t keep up that pace of work forever; I would die, but it sure was fun while it lasted. Now that life seems to be returning toward normal (whatever that is), I wonder: what’s next? Yes, vacation is definately the first order of business, but what do I do now?

I’ve started to reflect on what I’ve learned from this intense period of work. It will take some time until that reflection results in any concrete understanding. I’ll contribute to at least one paper to describe some of the work. That will help. At first glance though, one thing seems clear: focus helps. Recently, a colleague at work reminded me of that pop psychology concept, “flow” which is probably just another word for focus. Well, whatever you call it, it can be very helpful, and somewhat refreshing, to go through life for a while with a “one thing at a time” approach. Life can’t always be solely devoted to one thing, of course, but focus is useful.

Before this intense period of work, I was already quite busy with: a small publication, the website for that small publication, my own website, freelance clients, a full time job, various social circles, a habit of regularly attending literary events in Baltimore, and a writing practice that included work towards a play and a new set of spoken word pieces and on and on and on. Then, work took over, and I put every bit of that stuff “on pause” for a while. Now I’m back, and I have a moment to survey it all and I think “wow, what a mess”.

Perhaps it’s best not to choose “what’s next” just now. Perhaps the best course of action, for the rest of the summer, is to take some time to relax, to take stock of it all, to prioritize and then, eventually, to find some new focus.