Raw Thought

by Aaron Swartz

Happy New Year

Nobody seems to have noticed, but over the past couple months, this blog has been publishing a record post a day. Every weekday — plus, starting a little later, a bonus post on sundays — I’ve written an entirely new essay. I’ve done this while traveling, while celebrating holidays, while galavanting around the world, while sleeping on the couches of published authors. I’ve even written and posted whole pieces using the SSH feature on my cell phone.

I don’t know anyone else who has done this. There are columnists who write for the paper, but they only have to post a couple times a week. And there are bloggers who post many times a day, but they mostly post links and commentary, not whole essays. As far as I know, I’m alone in this bizarre pursuit.

It was a fun experiment but it was also a lot of work. I still have lots to say, but I’m not sure that forcing myself to say it every day is quite so healthy. I want to work on writing better, not just faster. I wrote most of the blog posts in about an hour and while they’re decent for something written at that rate, they can rarely be called great.

So I think it’s time to slow down, work more on crafting my prose, maybe write for magazines and other outlets. (If someone out there wants to publish me, drop me a line!) This will probably hurt my readership, but running this blog has always been a weird and random occupation, done more for me than for page views.

So I guess that’s goodbye for now and thanks for stopping by. If this piece gets posted when it’s supposed to, it’s New Year’s Day and I’ve still got a couple more weeks of winter break to spend world-travelling. So expect some silence until I get back. Au revoir!

You should follow me on twitter here.

January 2, 2007


Happy New Year and enjoy your travels!

posted by Beatrice M on January 2, 2007 #

Happy New Year. Thanks for your thoughts, they were always interesting…

If you do get published somewhere else, please post it on here, too :)

posted by Andrey Fedorov on January 2, 2007 #

You’ve written essays while sleeping? Actually, that explains a lot.

posted by Ged on January 2, 2007 #

And you were even able to be a cofounder of reddit all the while? Impressive.

posted by concerned on January 2, 2007 #

I noticed that…for several months, ‘cause I have been only reading your blog veryday for several months.

posted by count0 on January 2, 2007 #

Could have been named ‘Jerry Roll’ or something[This blog].

If you wanted to experiment with some ‘raw’ thought thing with people - that could have been done too. But you seemignly chose to stick with very classic (and say muscline?) way of ‘deciding’ what’s ‘writing’ is.

So that kind of comes across. You are talking of some quite defenseless or exposing stuff - well that’s not bad thing, esp if you haven’t go through ‘school days’ with many or even some close, reliable friends, talking over one subject over years. But it’s written down, and with Times font face - and your tone is rather sober or classroom debating match.

Jerry won’t fit in the envelop. Jerry has to be shared casually and so on. We all could have been defenseless, exposing but trying to be creative and free. Not stuck in ‘straight jacket mode’.

But that kinda thing - may take a while to show up on the net.

posted by Pastries in Europe on January 2, 2007 #

Thanks to the beauty of RSS, there’s no reason to lose readership just because you’re no longer the Daily ASW.

Feeding the beast is exhausting, and one of the major problems with the blogging medium is that no one reads the archives.

posted by engtech on January 2, 2007 #

this is a bad news to me. am addicted to ur thoughts. anyway happy new year asw .

posted by ravishankarbn on January 5, 2007 #

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