Last April, I decided to experiment with some week-long series that looked for essay possibilities within either a single year or set of years. I selected the time periods via a random year generator (kinda fun to do!). From April through November, I did some cursory explorations of 1811-1815, 1856-60, 1930, 1955, 1963, 1965, and 2006.
Since I thoroughly enjoyed this time-focused approach, I’ve decided to expand upon the strategy in 2013. Knowing that I work best when confined by arbitrary and numbered ground rules, here are my new guidelines for the coming year:
- 21 Essays will cover six time-periods in 2013. The January focus will be 1913, allowing me to explore some highlights of the world, 100 years ago. The other five time periods will be chosen through the random year generator.
- Essay series will naturally emerge. When I have five or more essays on a single subject, I’ll group them into an informal essay series. Originally, I hoped to be able to keep up a pace of publishing 21-essays-in-21-days on this blog, but I’ve learned this is an unrealistic goal for me. With this new approach, I’ll post in-depth on topics that I find most inspiring but without any firm promises to crank out a full 12, 15, or 21 essays.
- After a month of heavy concentration on a single time period, I’ll relax things in the second month. If I feel like it, I can continue working on the time period, or I can revisit earlier essay series (like King Kong, Duck Dodgers, In the Bleak Midwinter, Der Golem, or Blackmail), or I can take some well-deserved time off.
- Most importantly, I reserve the right to relax, change, or abandon the rules whenever I like.
Here’s the big benefit of the changes…
I run two blogs, 21 Essays and Tour America’s Treasures. Previously, they had no real connection, aside from sharing the same writer/publisher. But now I can think of my blogs as a complementary pair. Tour America’s Treasures is a cultural history blog with a focus on place. 21 Essays is a cultural history blog with a focus on time.
Place and time: I think it sounds like a good way to do history.
© 2012 Lee Price