Lately, I have been thinking of a quote from the Haruki Murakami novel Dance, Dance, Dance, where the protagonist, an entertainment journalist, describes his job as "shoveling cultural snow". I feel that is much of what I've done lately, methodically go through the process of learning and describing the culture around me. This is especially what I've been doing on this website for a few years.

It is a bit of a paradox: I look back at write-ups I wrote in the 2000s, when this site was thriving and I was passionate about certain things, and much of what I wrote was not very good. Even my spelling and grammar were often quite shaky, and my higher-level writing skills, such as providing organization for what I was saying, and describing things in an accessible fashion, were often ridiculous. Much of it was a step up from being a rant. I would reference pet theories without explaining them, and write things that were reactions to daily events that didn't matter beyond my horizon. In the past few years, on here, I've taken to finding a thing and writing about it. I find some event or artwork, describe it briefly, give my reaction to it, and try to link it together with other similar concepts. And I often do that whether I am that interested or not: I can't wait for emotional involvement to write. In a lot of ways, I am pleased that I've grown in discipline and technical precision while writing.

And yet.

It has been a while since I feel like what I am doing makes any sort of difference. I am not writing about things that matter to me, or to the world. There is still a lot going on in the world, but I don't channel much of my feelings about it into here. I feel that, as I've become a better writer, I am also becoming less relevant. Part of this is that the readership base on here is so small that I can't get the same exposure and spark the same debate that I could in 2004 or 2005. And part of it is that I've just become jaded to any act of the written word being able to change things: I am just going through the motions.

After completing this year's Iron Noder, (which I am doing with this very writeup!) I feel that I may take a break from writing for a while, until I can figure out what role writing should have to serve me, and to serve others.